In this issue

Update from COS President, Dr. François Codère and Executive Director/CEO, Jennifer Brunet-Colvey

COS continues to be involved in a number of new initiatives and advancements. In this issue of Perspectives, we highlight some of the activities on which COS and its members are working.

Special message from COS president, Dr. François Codère
As my 2-year term as president draws to a close at the end of June, I would like to highlight some of our achievements and some of the challenges that we have tried to tackle. All of this work would not have been possible without the strong leadership and support of the COS board, councils and committees, members and staff team under the exceptional leadership of our CEO, Ms. Jennifer Brunet-Colvey. It is truly a team effort. I am very grateful for your vote of confidence and for having had the privilege of participating in the growth of our outstanding organization.

Building on the success of my predecessor, Dr. Lorne Bellan, some of the highlights over the past two years include development of the following:

  • Strategies to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization, including a review of our financial statements to identify areas of potential growth and opportunities to cut expenses, an in-depth review of our investments, establishment of an Investment Committee and drafting of a transparent Investment Policy
  • Policies and procedures, processes and systems to guide our work and increase overall operational and financial efficiencies
  • Performance measures to evaluate and assess how we are doing in terms of meeting our strategic goals
  • Strategies and plans to continue to add value and relevance for our membership
  • A national consensus on how we can collaborate with optometry in the care of glaucoma patients and those with suspected glaucoma
  • Strategies to support provincial associations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario against lobbying by optometrists and in positioning the professional expertise of ophthalmologists
  • Plans to rebrand the COS on the occasion of our 75th anniversary and adoption of our new tagline, Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • A new COS website, including a revamped continuing professional development (CPD) section to be launched in summer 2012
  • A favourable environment for implementing a national program on accessibility of donor tissue for corneal transplants
  • A CPD needs assessment, as required by the Royal College, to identify perceived and unperceived needs, over and above our already outstanding annual meeting; this will help shape the future direction of our educational programming

In addition, we

  • Opened up membership on key COS committees to residents in an effort to engage them in the organization early in their careers
  • Made a formal commitment to play an active role in organizing educational events outside the annual meeting, and developed policies and principles that describe how and to what extent COS will engage in these programs while addressing liability issues
  • Developed a clinical practice guideline (CPG) on diabetic retinopathy
  • Received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research meetings grant to develop strategies to enhance uptake of CPGs, using our CPG on diabetic retinopathy as a case study
  • Took all of the necessary steps to establish a foundation, a charitable arm of the COS; we expect to obtain registered charitable status by early 2013

We also navigated the transition of our scientific journal, the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (CJO), to an outside publisher, Elsevier. We are on track to receive an estimated 700 submissions in 2012, compared with 655 in 2011. Special thanks to editor-in-chief, Dr. Phil Hooper, for overseeing this difficult but necessary transition.

The CPD program continues to expand and our annual meeting is truly one of the best ophthalmology meetings in the world. The COS 2011 Annual Report will provide an in-depth review of our 2011 achievements.

As our membership continues to grow, the strength and reach of our organization grows with it. I would like to express my most personal and sincere thanks to our members for their continued support. Our work would not be possible without our committee members who dedicate countless hours to making COS an exceptional national specialty society.

Again, it has truly been an honour and a privilege to serve COS, an organization we can all be proud of.

François Codère, MD
President, COS

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Other initiatives

75th anniversary
2012 marks COS's 75th anniversary. Special activities to celebrate this significant milestone are being planned for the June annual meeting. We are very grateful to all those who have helped to bring the organization to where it is today, and we look forward to working with the current and future leaders of our profession.

New logo
As reported in the fall 2011 newsletter, the new COS tagline, Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, was formally endorsed by the COS membership at the last Annual Business Meeting. We now have a new logo that reflects our 75 years as an association.

Update on Bill C-313
Bill C-313 to classify non-corrective (cosmetic/decorative) contact lenses as Class II medical devices was unanimously supported by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health at its meeting on February 14, 2012. Representing COS in support of this motion were Dr. Peter J. Agapitos, MD, FRCSC, director, Riverside Eye Care Centre, and chief, Department of Ophthalmology, the Ottawa Hospital (Riverside Campus) and Jennifer Brunet-Colvey, executive director/CEO of the COS. Dr. Agapitos presented a formal statement. We are all very grateful to MP Pat Davidson (Sarnia-Lambton) for introducing Bill C-313, An Act to Amend Canada's Food and Drug Act (Non-Corrective Cosmetic Contact Lenses), which will bring non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses under the same regulatory framework as prescribed, corrective contact lenses. Ultimately, Bill C-313 will increase consumer protection by overseeing a potentially unsafe product and preventing its misuse.

In terms of next steps, the Standing Committee on Health will bring the bill to the House of Commons, after which it will go to the Senate for final approval.

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Nominations for the 2013 COS Lifetime Achievement Award

Several years ago, the COS introduced its Lifetime Achievement Award to honour members who have made significant contributions to eye and vision care during their lifelong career in medicine.

COS is soliciting nominations from its membership for the 2013 award. Nominees must be COS members who have "made a sustained impact nationally and internationally to the growth of the profession and who have maintained the highest standards of patient care in their practice. Recipients of this award have also been strong and positive role models in the community and exemplary mentors and educators."

To submit a nomination, please describe (in less than 500 words) how the nominee has:

  • Made an impact nationally and internationally on the growth of the profession
  • Maintained the highest standards of patient care in their practice
  • Been a positive role model in the community and an exemplary mentor and educator

Please submit your nominations in writing to [email protected] by September 1, 2012.

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Continuing Professional Development

Results of the CPD needs assessment
Thanks to those of you who completed the COS CPD needs assessment in the fall. The goal of the survey was to identify your educational needs and help us provide relevant CPD programs. Your feedback on current programs and your ideas and suggestions will shape our future direction.

The survey was mailed to more than 1,900 people, including COS members, non-member ophthalmologists, residents and fellows, for an overall response rate of 18.6%. Looking at COS members specifically, 20% replied to the survey; therefore, we feel that we have some good information to help us grow and develop our CPD program over the next three years.

You recommended that COS:

  • Develop and enhance the CPD section on our website
  • Develop a secure, online CPD community that would include discussion forums, "Ask the Expert" opportunities, etc.
  • Develop live and online accredited CPD programs focused on: glaucoma, retina and vitreous; age-related macular degeneration; diabetic retinopathy; general medicine in ophthalmology; intraocular inflammation and uveitis; and neuro-ophthalmology
  • Play a significant role in the dissemination of CPGs. This would include developing a CPG section of our website and perhaps CPG-specific applications for smart phones

Your feedback from this needs assessment has given us a clear direction for our CPD programs. We will be working on the above recommendations over the next three years. In fact, we are making good progress so far.

Coming soon:

  • New CPGs on diabetic retinopathy to be published in the April issue of the CJO and presented during the COS annual meeting in Toronto
  • A redesigned COS website, including a revamped CPD section, to be launched in summer 2012

More detailed results of the study will be posted on the COS website. COS gratefully acknowledges Pfizer Canada for an unrestricted grant that helped to support this needs assessment.

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COS Annual Meeting and Exhibition

Top three reasons for attending the 2012 COS annual meeting

  1. Practical skills transfer courses
    • Cornea Skills Transfer Course: New techniques in corneal transplantation
    • Cataract Skills Transfer Course: Iris repair and pupilloplasty surgical techniques
    • Glaucoma Imaging Skills Transfer Course
  2. High calibre presentations by an international faculty, including
    • EA Baker lecture by Harry W. Flynn: Delayed vs acute-onset endophthalmitis after cataract surgery
    • CJO lecture by James Tsai: Neuroprotection in glaucoma
    • COS lecture by Amar Agarwal: IOL scaffold: managing PC ruptures and preventing nuclei from falling into the vitreous
  3. Networking and celebrating
    • 75th Anniversary Welcome Reception at the Hockey Hall of Fame, Tuesday, June 26, 1830-2000
    • COS Celebration at the Design Exchange with a performance by Zero Gravity, Thursday, June 28, 1900-2300
    • Fun Run (and walk)! Friday, June 29, 0630-0730

Be sure to check the website - - regularly for the most up-to-date information, including additional speakers, schedule updates and online registration details if you have not already registered.

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Membership News

Membership fees are now due! Any outstanding fees may be remitted by cheque through regular mail or online at through our secure server for the use of credit cards. You may also contact Rita Afeltra directly at 613-729-6779 ext. 300 or by email at [email protected].

The 2012 COS Membership Directory will no longer be printed, but will be made available online at

Top 10 reasons to renew your COS membership

  1. Save by taking advantage of member rates for the COS Annual Meeting and Exhibition, the premiere ophthalmology event in Canada, including the opportunity for hands-on learning through surgical skills transfer courses
  2. Participate in great educational programs to earn CPD/CME credits
  3. Receive a free subscription to the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology
  4. Access the latest CPGs
  5. Network with more than 1,200 Canadian ophthalmology professionals
  6. Gain access to COS's annual online membership directory - a complete listing of Canadian ophthalmologists and residents - and a complimentary subscription to Perspectives, the COS newsletter
  7. Get involved in helping to shape the future of health care policy in Canada
  8. Receive discounts on the purchase of patient information pamphlets
  9. Find your niche - the COS is affiliated with Canadian subspecialty societies
  10. Get the latest news and updates in ophthalmology

Notice to membership: Annual Business Meeting 2012
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Business Meeting of COS members will be held on Thursday, June 28 at 0700 in the Regatta Room of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, to approve audited financial statements, receive nominations for the Board of Directors and consider any other business.

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Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology

New submission system

Attention CJO authors, reviewers and editors. The journal has changed service providers for submissions and manuscript management. To submit your manuscript, click here. If you have problems or concerns, please email EES Technical Support or contact the CJO Editorial Office.

Reviewers and editors
The CJO is actively seeking reviewers and editors, particularly in the fields of cornea and genetics. If you are interested in reviewing for the journal, please log in to EES and ensure that your profile, including areas of expertise/interest, is up to date. Prospective editors should contact the Editorial Office or Dr. Phil Hooper, editor-in-chief.

Closed access
As of March 31, 2012, access to the CJO is for subscribers only. If you are a COS member and have not yet claimed online access to the CJO, please visit the CJO website and click on "Journal Access."

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April 2012 issue highlights (CJO web site)

Canadian Ophthalmological Society evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the management of diabetic retinopathy - executive summary
In the context of steadily increasing prevalence of diabetes and diabetic complications, the new COS diabetic retinopathy guidelines recommend early testing and treatment for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. The CJO is proud to present the online publication of this important document in spring 2012.

Parental comprehension following informed consent for pediatric cataract surgery
Parents may overestimate their understanding of informed consent discussions. Surgeon follow-up communication with parents addressing aspects insufficiently understood at the initial discussion may provide the means to improve parental comprehension.

A comparison of cataract surgical practices in Canada and the United States
This expanded survey of 1,250 clinicians revealed that practice patterns vary quite widely across Canada and the United States. Among other things, the preponderance of OZil ultrasound since the 2006 survey shows that changes in the field can occur rapidly.

Comparison of outcomes after switching treatment from intravitreal bevacizumab to ranibizumab in neovascular age-related macular degeneration
It appears that ranibizumab can maintain or improve the effect achieved in visual acuity and central retinal thickness in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration after an initial course of bevacizumab.

Recurrence rates of basal cell carcinoma of the periocular skin: what to do with patients who have positive margins after resection
A study of 385 patients who had surgery for basal cell carcinoma of the periocular skin showed statistically significant differences in the recurrence-free rate among three groups.

Relative proportion of Aboriginal patients in a Canadian uveitic population
This study found no statistically significant difference between the proportion of Aboriginal people in a consecutive series of uveitis patients and that in the general population.

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