Bernard Perla, MD, of Cleveland, was recognized for his longtime participation on the Council of the American Academy of Ophthalmology during AAO 2018 in Chicago. Dr. Perla represented the Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) as a Councilor for six years.
Representatives to the Academy’s Council are elected by each state ophthalmology society and by ophthalmic subspecialty societies and specialized interest groups. On December 31, Dr. Perla will officially conclude his term on the Academy Council.
Dr. Walker Motley, of Cincinnati, immediate past-president of the OOS, has been elected by OOS members to replace Dr. Perla as an AAO Councilor and will begin his term on January 1. Jeff Perkins, MD, of Wooster, remains the OOS’ other Councilor.
The Council serves as an advisory body to the Academy’s Board of Trustees. More than 100 Academy members serve on this body as liaisons between their society and the Academy. Councilors bring issues identified by their societies to the attention of the Board through Council Advisory Recommendations (CARs). CARs are debated annually during the Council’s spring meeting, and ultimately recommendations are formulated for Academy Board consideration.
This year, one of the Council recommendations that was forwarded to the Board for consideration emphasized the importance of Patient Advocacy via the AAO. At the state level, the Academy continues to partner with state ophthalmological societies to engage patients as needed where we face optometric surgery initiatives. Through state-specific social media pages and other digital platforms — including the Academy’s email advocacy tool “Voter Voice” — patients can connect directly with their state legislators.
Another Council recommendation forwarded to the Board for consideration proposed an AAO Policy on Sexual Harassment. At the time the CAR was proposed, the Board had already approved a new policy on sexual harassment.
The Council has also recommended that the Academy recognize ophthalmologists for outstanding efforts in the state and/or federal advocacy arenas via a CAR that was considered and ultimately approved by the Academy’s Board.
Carla Ford, MD, of Findlay, is one of 19 ophthalmologists selected for the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Leadership Development Program, class of 2019. Dr. Ford, currently the secretary/treasurer for the Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS), was recognized in October during the AAO’s Annual Meeting in Chicago where the class held its first orientation session.
In January 2019, Dr. Ford will take part in a 2 ½ day interactive session in San Francisco with a visit to the AAO headquarters to hear from AAO physician leadership, including 2019 Academy President George Williams, MD, on a wide variety of leadership topics.
The class will then meet at the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum in April 2019 in Washington, D.C. where Dr. Ford will schedule visits on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and their healthcare staffers to discuss issues relevant to the medical profession. During the advocacy session, Dr. Ford and her classmates will hear from members of Congress on how best to build effective relationships with legislators and advocate on behalf of their patients.
The class’ final session will be held in San Francisco in conjunction with the 2019 AAO Annual Meeting.
Congratulations, Dr. Ford.