Opening Lines

Opening Lines


The Practice Topped its Goal by Raising $66,068

■ Westbury, NY – Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (OCLI) surpassed their goal of $60,000 and raised $66,068 for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” annual walk. Once again, staff members, families and friends of OCLI came together for the walk at Jones Beach, Long Island in October. A longtime supporter of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) initiative, OCLI is proud to be a local flagship sponsor of the walk. The OCLI team was the second largest fundraising team at this event where over 64,000 walkers participated.

More than $3.1 million in total was raised by thousands of dedicated community members who participated in this inspirational walk to honor and celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate people about the disease and raise funds and awareness to create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. The OCLI team of 41 was lead by CEO Tom Burke and executive assistant Jennifer Messina.


“Today, there is more hope than ever for people facing breast cancer,” said Mr. Burke. “Not only is this my opportunity to join my community to fight back against breast cancer, it is also a way to inspire hope.”

Money raised from the walk helps the American Cancer Society. It is not too late to donate to the OCLI team. Donations are still being accepted online at by using the pink ribbon and “Donate to our Team” link.


Entertaining Patients With an Ever-Changing Gallery

By Cynthia Matossian, MD and Melissa Sullivan, Matossian Eye Associates

■ Hopewell, NJ - Sprucing up your lobby walls may be as simple as a phone call to your artistic patients or other area artists. At Matossian Eye Associates, we created a “local artist program” with which we feature a local artist in our reception areas for threemonth intervals. Artists drop off work and, in turn, we display a poster of the artist with biographical information. We also promote the artist’s work on our website, Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages. The full proceeds of any artwork sales go directly to the artist. The artists are extremely thankful for the exposure, which comes at no cost to them.


Local artwork adorns the walls of the reception area of Matossian Eye Associates.

The addition of the artwork not only enhances the ever-changing appearance of our offices, but also provides entertainment for our patients in the reception room. During each artist’s show, we run a “people’s choice award” to give our patients the change to engage with the artwork. Ballots are placed in the lobby and patients are asked to vote for their favorite pieces. At the end of the show’s tenure, the winning piece is announced on our website and social media pages. This added excitement makes a great wrapup for each exhibit and many eagerly await the results.

This outreach to the community creates goodwill for Matossian Eye Associates on many different levels. Minimal time is spent organizing and implementing the program, which makes it cost efficient, and there’s the added benefit of recognizing local artists. It is a win/win for our practice and local artists!

Oregon Practice Volunteers for the Holidays

■ This recent holiday season, as a gift to the practice owners-physicians, the staff at Eugene, Oregon’s Drs. Fine, Hoffman & Sims had an energetic and productive time volunteering at Food for Lane County. FFLC is a non-profit food bank that provides food to 28 emergency food pantries located throughout the 4,720 square mile county located in western Oregon. Staff members, along with some of their family members, donated 48 total hours of service as a group sorting a few thousand cans of food and dry goods which had been collected during the U.S. Postal Service December donated food drives. A second task involved packaging regionally grown bulk barley and lentils into family-sized packets along with a seasoning packet for making soup or chili, called Farm to Table.

The pace was rapid. The results weighed in at hundreds of pounds. The reward was priceless—high energy (after a full 8 hour work day) “get-itdone” cooperation with fellow staff members while volunteering our time in the name of Drs. Fine, Hoffman and Sims, and all the while doing good for our community.


Sorting of the canned goods and dry items at Food for Lane County, Eugene, Oregon


Winter time could put eyes at risk

Remind patients of the dangers of winter ocular trauma. As the cold weather sets in, conifer needles, icicles, snowballs, slips and falls, colds and the flu all can threaten ocular health, says The American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (ASORN). The group encourages allied health professionals to recommend patients consider protective eyewear during Winter-time recreational activities such as snowball fights, ice hockey and skiing. Patients who have undergone intraocular surgery should avoid the physical eye strain that accompanies shoveling snow as it could jeopardize the integrity of the surgical wound, ASORN says.

PCAB accreditation an assurance of quality control

Any ophthalmology practice planning to purchase from a compounding pharmacy would have numerous questions about the compounder’s history and quality standards. An organization called the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) conducts a thorough review of the history and operations of any compounding pharmacy seeking accreditation. This review encompasses a check of the compounder’s regulatory record, an extensive on-site evaluation of the company’s manufacturing processes, including staff competency, and an assessment of the pharmacy’s systems for ensuring and maintaining product quality and staff competency.

Tono-Pen boards International Space Station

Reichert’s Tono-Pen AVIA tonometers are out of this world, literally. That’s because NASA is currently using the handheld instruments aboard the International Space Station, the company announced. The tonometers were launched on the final two space shuttle flights for astronauts to test the long-term effects of weightlessness on their eyes.

On a space station, real estate comes at a premium, so at just a few inches long and weighing half a pound, choosing the Tono-Pen AVIA wasn’t exactly rocket science.

Refractive pioneer J.C. Casebeer, 73

John Charles Casebeer, MD, who educated a generation of surgeons in procedures such as lamellar keratoplasty and LASIK, died December 14 at age 73. Dr. Casebeer developed The Casebeer Systemized Approach to Refractive Surgery, which provided ophthalmologists with the first clear roadmap to approach refractive surgery.


This issue we asked how staffers can best employ social media.

Corey Santoriello Public Relations Coordinator The Laurel Eye Clinic

images Embrace and value negative comments and use them to help improve the practice. By paying attention to these posts you will know what areas to improve, such as customer service, decreasing patient wait times, or changing the aesthetics of the office. Adjustments may also be made in order to address these issues. For example, if customer service is a continuing problem, additional staff training might be necessary.
Just because you post on your Facebook business page doesn’t mean it will be seen by all your followers in their newsfeed. Facebook uses an algorithm that decides how many people will see your post, based on previous interactions and engagement on your business page. You can increase the reach of your content by engaging your followers. This can be done by asking questions, posting a call to action, or posting other interesting/creative content like captivating /archive/2013/January/images/videos.

Anna Mueller Marketing Manager Minnesota Eye Care

images Using a social media dashboard to follow trends has been helpful for us. For example, with tools like HootSuite, you can set various searches and see what everyone in the Facebook or Twitter world is saying about LASIK right now. It helps keep our content relevant. HootSuite also lets you post to various social media outlets at one time or on a schedule, which takes some of the hassle out of juggling multiple pages or profiles.
We have also found that when we share human interest information – like a patient testimonial video or an update about our annual charity outreach program — rather than educational or promotional posts, we get a lot more engagement. Even if a post isn’t related to your practice, if it touches on timely news or is entertaining, people will respond.

What is Your Tip?

We welcome you to share your practice tips and advice with the readers of Ophthalmic Professional. Please submit tips for consideration of publication to William Kekevian, senior associate editor, at Please limit your tips to no more than 175 words.