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    Get involved, urges incoming ASCRS president

    New Orleans—This year’s American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) opening session zeroed in on one message: Members need to continue to be involved to ensure the society can meet members’ needs—from education to influence in the federal government.

    Ed Holland, MD, this year’s conference program chairman, noted there were more than 6,000 attendees from 100 countries, and the conference itself hosted more than 1,500 papers, courses, and symposia.

    Several ophthalmic luminaries passed away during the past year (including Henry Edelhauser, MD, Jan Worst, MD, Robert Sinskey, MD, Lee Nordan, MD, and Rob Rivera, MD), and Dr. Holland said they all helped “work toward the elimination of treatable blindness.”

    Dr. Sinskey’s eye hospital in Ethiopia “provides thousands of cataract surgeries and hundreds of hours of training every year.”

    Outgoing ASCRS President Robert Cionni, MD, said the association is financially stable and over the past year has “significantly increased the number of educational offerings we provide. We’ve introduced more webinars and regional meetings” in the hopes that physicians who cannot travel to the annual meeting still get an opportunity to have in-person interactions with other surgeons.

    In the past year, ASCRS approved 77 educational grants and received $4.5 million in funding from industry to support those educational endeavors.

    By far, the “single most valuable on-demand service we provide is the online IOL calculator,” Dr. Cionni said. “The year 2015 saw more than 145,000 uses.”

    In regulatory affairs, ASCRS played a role in the repeal and replacement of the SGR, helped to prevent the transition of the 10- and 90-day global codes to a 0-day code.

    “We met with the leading companies to discuss their Directions for Use (DFU) that mandate enzymatic detergents that may lead to toxic anterior segment syndrome, or TASS,” he said. “We are now calling on the ophthalmic instrument industry to eliminate those requirements.”

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