President's message: Update from COS president, Dr. Allan Slomovic

L to R: Dr. Colin Mann, Dr. Allan Slomovic, and Jennifer Brunet-Colvey at the Royal College where they received an Accredited CPD Provider Innovation Award for COS's surgical skills transfer courses.

By its very nature, ophthalmology is innovative. Through our innovative work in ophthalmic research and medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions, we are always striving for optimal care for our patients. That's why "Innovation in Ophthalmology" as the theme of this year's COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition is very fitting. Innovation has also been a theme of the work done by COS in the last six months; particularly against our key strategic pillars of Education, Advocacy and Membership. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the innovative work that has been done in these areas.

I am very pleased to announce that in September 2014, the COS received one of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada's three prestigious Accredited CPD Provider Innovation Awards for our surgical skills transfer courses. This award recognizes Royal College accredited CPD providers for their innovative educational and administrative policies, processes, resources and tools. A certificate was presented to COS on September 29, 2014, during the joint College of Family Physicians of Canada's and the RCPSC's 6th National CPD Accreditation Conference. The award itself will be presented to the COS by a representative from the Royal College at our Annual Meeting on June 19.

In addition to the Royal College award, there have been many other highlights in the area of education. In February 2015, the COS co-developed a very successful Canadian Retina Society Meeting (CRS) with the CRS. A new clinical resource centre on age-related macular degeneration was launched on the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology (CJO) website. A special claucoma issue in the CJO also covered the proceedings of the Walter Wright meeting, held in December 2014. Finally, for the first time we will be hosting a new session at our upcoming Annual Meeting on ocular regeneration. You will find further details on these, and many other initiatives, on the COS website and within this newsletter.

We have continued to grow our relationships with our industry partners, including two co-developed accredited symposia sponsored by Bayer and Alcon at this year's CRS meeting. We are also looking forward to two similar co-developed accredited symposia at our Annual Meeting in June. These symposia, along with our other educational initiatives help to ensure the delivery of optimal patient care and patient outcomes.

Over the last several months, the COS has continued to foster strong ties with International ophthalmological societies such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology as well as the Canadian Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada and other Canadian national specialty societies. We also continue to work with our provincial associations and sub-specialty groups, as well as the federal and provincial governments to highlight the unique skills and role of ophthalmology in Canada. These ties are vital in promoting the strong reputation of our Society amongst our peers and also to ensure patient safety, the promotion of high-quality and fiscally responsible patient care and the appropriate utilization of resources in the area of eye and vision health in Canada.

COS continues to advocate the establishment of an Eye Health Council in each province with the goal of having the involved eye care providers at the table focused on providing patient-centred, evidence-based and cost-effective care for our patients. The Eye Health Council model includes representation from ophthalmology, optometry, family practice, their regulatory bodies, their professional associations, the academic communities and representatives from government. In this regard, the COS has met with the Canadian Association of Optometrists to begin the dialogue to develop a collaborative format for moving forward.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Board of Directors, the chairs of our committees and councils and the chairs of our sub-specialty societies. We have a great many things going on at any one point in time and most of this work takes place after hours, on weekends and holidays. Our society really owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude for all the work that you do on an on-going basis. I would also like to thank the COS staff for their dedication, hard work and unfailing support.

I would also like to thank you, our members. Without your engagement and support, the work of the COS would not be possible. Your membership gives you a voice in the COS's advocacy work on behalf of ophthalmologists. When we stand united, we have a louder voice on the issues that affect our profession and the state of eye and vision health in Canada.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing many of you at the COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition in June.


Dr. Allan Slomovic MSc, MD, FRCSC

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COS 2015 Annual Meeting & Exhibition: Innovation in Ophthalmology

We are now just weeks away from the COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Victoria, BC (June 18-21) and we are on track for one of the best COS meetings on record! To complement the didactic sessions, COS will also have five Skills Transfer Courses, five Symposia, plus two co-developed Symposia and two workshops in Cataract Surgery, Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Glaucoma, Pediatrics, Retina and Uveitis, respectively. For the first time, we will also have a new section in Ocular Regeneration. We are also pleased to confirm that there will be 18 Visiting Professors, 11 from the United States, two from the United Kingdom and one each from Brazil, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Sweden. Our guest speaker roster reads like a who's who in Ophthalmology.

Thank you to the Annual Meeting Planning Committee for their exceptional leadership and organizational skills.

More information

Check out highlights from the 77th COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition available until June 15, 2015.

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Continuing professional development update

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Extends International Accreditation Agreement
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons has extended an international accreditation agreement with the European Union of Medical Specialists. This agreement allows physicians who participate in accredited live educational activities held in Canada to convert Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Section 1 - Accredited Group Learning credits to European Continuing Medical Education Credits (ECMECs). Conversely, Canadian physicians who participate in similar activities in the European Union can convert ECMECs to MOC Section 1 - Accredited Group Learning credits.

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Membership news

Notice to membership: Annual Business Meeting 2015
The Annual Business Meeting of COS members will be held on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 1215 in the Crystal Ballroom at the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, to approve audited financial statements, receive nominations for the Board of Directors and consider any other business.

Note: Under the new Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, new By-Laws were approved by the COS membership on June 5, 2014 and the COS has received continuance under the new Act. As such, COS Junior Members (Residents) now have voting privileges.

2015 COS membership renewal
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]. Learn more about the benefits of COS membership.

Equally important, your membership gives you a voice in the Canadian Ophthalmological Society's advocacy work on behalf of ophthalmologists. When we stand united, we have a louder voice on the issues that affect our profession and the state of eye and vision health in Canada. Renewing your membership will allow the COS to continue to be the national public voice of ophthalmology in Canada and to fulfill our mission of assuring optimal eye care for all Canadians by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and providing services to support our members in practice.

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Advocacy update

COS partners with CMA on National Seniors Strategy
COS has partnered with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), along with a number of other national specialty societies and patient groups on the development of a National Seniors Strategy, as part of the Alliance for a National Seniors Strategy. The alliance will be working until election day this year to make seniors care a ballot issue in the election campaign and persuade the major political parties to include a National Seniors Strategy in their campaign platforms.

To support this campaign, CMA has launched the website, with the support of the alliance partners. COS will be working with the CMA to provide updates on research, initiatives and events that would be of interest to other stakeholders and the public. We encourage you to visit the website to learn more.

Given the increase in age-related eye disease and the impact vision loss can have on Canada's seniors in terms of loss of independence, higher rates of depression and incidence of falls, the COS is proud to be a member of the Alliance for a National Seniors Strategy. Dr. Setareh Ziai and Rosalind O'Connell, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs, are leading this project on behalf of the COS.

COS recognizes MP Patricia Davidson for her work on Bill C-313 (cosmetic contact lenses)
On May 5, 2015, Dr. Kashif Baig co-presented the Vision Champion Award, along with representatives from the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Opticians Association of Canada, to inaugural recipient Member of Parliament Pat Davidson, (Sarnia - Lambton) at a Parliamentary Breakfast in Ottawa. MP Davidson was recognized for her incredible commitment and solicited non-partisan cooperation and support for her Private Members Bill, Bill C-313, An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (non-corrective contact lenses). Her bill, which sought to classify cosmetic contact lenses as class II medical devices under the Food and Drug Act, will ultimately protect the public by allowing only licensed eye care professionals to dispense and prescribe after a proper eye assessment and fitting. View photos from the event.

COS supports National Vision Health Month on Parliament Hill
To mark the 2nd annual National Vision Health Month in Canada, representatives from the COS attended a special reception on Parliament Hill, hosted by CNIB and the Honourable Dr. Asha Seth and the Honourable Tobias C. Enverga, Jr. The motion to establish National Vision Health Month was championed by The Honourable Dr. Asha Seth and unanimously passed by the Senate of Canada on March 25, 2014. National Vision Health Month aims to encourage parliamentarians, non-profit organizations, educators and stakeholders to use the month of May to inform Canadians on eye disease prevention and vision health maintenance.

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Communications & media relations update

Extra, extra, tweet all about it!
On March 27, 2015, COS launched its official Twitter page. The new Twitter page will enable COS to share updates and information with our members, other National Specialty Societies, patient groups, government officials and the public. It will also be used to provide updates on the presentations and awards at this year's COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Please visit our Twitter page and follow us at: @CANeyeMDs

COS signs first-ever Canadian Patient Charter for Vision Care
As part of National Vision Health Month (May) COS President Dr. Allan Slomovic participated in a special event in Toronto on May 7, 2015 to celebrate the signing of CNIB's Canadian Patient Charter for Vision Care, along with leadership representatives from the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Opticians Association of Canada. This was the first time CNIB and Canada's leaders in eye health have come together to make a shared commitment to providing optimum patient-centered care across all stages of the vision loss journey - from prevention to diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. View the charter, and see photos from the event.

COS in the news
Over the last six months, eye and vision health continued to be topics of interest for Canadian media. Read some of the latest media coverage featuring COS members.

We need YOU!
Good media coverage relies on great medical experts and compelling patient stories. Are you interested in speaking to media on eye and vision health related subjects? Or, do you know a patient who has an inspiring story they would be willing to share? Then we want to hear from you! For more information, please contact: Rosalind O'Connell, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at: [email protected] or by phone at: 613-900-6416.

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Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology update

In June 2015, the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology will be publishing a special supplement for primary care practitioners. Guest edited for the CJO by Dr. Walter Delpero and Dr. Pierre-Paul Tellier, the supplement includes seven recent articles from the journal that are of interest and importance to Canadian primary care practitioners. Accompanying the issue will be a 4-colour glaucoma diagnostic tool poster created by Dr. Yvonne Buys and sponsored by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Canadian Glaucoma Society and the College of Family Physicians Canada. The issue will be distributed free of charge by Elsevier (publisher of the CJO) to 7000 Canadian family physicians.

The Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology is planning a special issue for spring 2016 (the journal's 50th anniversary). Tentatively titled "Contemporary Canadian Ophthalmological Practice" the issue is being guest edited by Dr. Mili Roy and Dr. Kathy Cao for the CJO. Review articles, original research articles, and letters to the editor are currently being solicited in the areas of contemporary Canadian and international ophthalmology practice patterns, trends in ophthalmology education, manpower issues, changing scopes of practice, etc. For further information or to submit an article, please contact the CJO Editorial Office at: [email protected]

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Partner and affiliate news

Canadian Retina Society
Between February 26 and March 1, 2015, the 2015 Canadian Retina Society (CRS) Meeting, Canada's premier educational event for retina specialists, took place in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. The meeting brought together an impressive breadth and scope of international and local expertise. The exceptional scientific program was delivered by guest speakers from Europe, the USA and Canada, with topics ranging from ocular trauma, cutting-edge surgical techniques to high-altitude ophthalmology.

This year's meeting would not have been possible without the hard work and leadership of Dr. James Whelan, CRS President; Dr. Matthew Tennant, Co-Chair and CPD Director; and Dr. Netan Choudhry, Co-Chair. Next year, CRS looks forward to welcoming Dr. Pradeepa Yoganathan as Co-Chair, and Dr. Netan Choudhry as CPD Co-Chair. Full highlights and photos from the meeting.

Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Holds "Lobb-EYE" Day at Queen's Park
On May 6, 2015 the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (EPSO) held a "Lobb-EYE" Day and reception at Queen's Park, with many key government and opposition members in attendance. Representatives from the COS also attended the reception to lend national support for ophthalmology advocacy efforts in the province. Photos from the event.

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Residents' update

Calling all Ophthalmology Residents!
The Canadian Ophthalmological Residents Society (CORS) will be in attendance at the COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Make sure to check out the following events:

The Symposium for Residents and Young Ophthalmologists
Thursday, June 18 at 12:15 in Carson C
You will have registered for this event when you signed up for the COS Annual Meeting & Exhibition

CORS Business Meeting
Saturday, June 20 at 15:00 in the Esquimalt Room
All residents are welcome

Residency iTeam Cataract Learning Program
Saturday, June 20, 14:30 in the Fairmont Express Ivy Ballroom
Prior registration is required; this event is intended for senior residents only

In addition, if you would like to get involved with CORS, please speak with your program representative or email us at [email protected] or [email protected]

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Related conferences and events

Be part of the excitement: February 5-9 Guadalajara, Mexico for the WOC2016!
Why join us for the World Ophthalmology Congress® of the International Council of Ophthalmology?

  • Attend hundreds of scientific sessions led by internationally-renowned experts
  • Network with more than 7,000 ophthalmologists from over 120 countries
  • Visit more than 100 exhibiting companies
  • See Guadalajara, a cultural centre of Mexico, known for its beauty and history

Save $100 by Registering before July 31!

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