Christopher Girkin, M.D., EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Chair, UAB Department of Ophthalmology, is serving as chair of the program committee for the 2015 American Glaucoma Society Annual Meeting, held in Coronado, Calif., February 26 – March 1.
The American Glaucoma Society (AGS) strives to promote excellence in the care of patients with glaucoma and preserve or enhance vision by supporting glaucoma specialists and scientists through the advancement of education and research. This year marks the organization’s 25th annual meeting. New in 2015, AGS has partnered with the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) to hold a joint session on Thursday, February 26.
Sarah C. Gordon, O.D., joins the UAB Department of Ophthalmology faculty as an assistant professor. Dr. Gordon is a Mississippi native and graduate of the UAB School of Optometry. She founded her practice, Inverness Eye Care, in 1986. She is past president of Alabama Optometric Association and served on the Board of Trustees for the Southern Council of Optometry. As a UAB faculty member, Dr. Gordon will participate in initiatives aimed at expanding access to tertiary care for her patients.
by Bob Shepard
One evening, five years ago, Brittni Powell did what a lot of young mothers do and gazed into her 2-month-old son’s eyes. What she saw had Brittni and her husband Byron heading immediately to a Montgomery-area hospital emergency department.
“We looked into his eyes and they had this gray, glazy tone to them,” Powell recalled. “We knew that wasn’t right.”
by Bob Shepard
Eye screenings of people with diabetes in underserved communities revealed that one in five had early stage diabetic retinopathy, according to a new study by a research consortium including investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The findings, published today in JAMA Ophthalmology, also indicated that nearly half of the mostly minority populations screened had additional vision conditions such as glaucoma or cataract. The study, which used a telemedicine screening approach, also provided early validation of the efficacy of telemedicine in reaching underserved populations.
Cynthia Owsley, Ph.D., Nathan E. Miles Chair of Ophthalmology, was a guest on Eye on Vision, a radio show focused on issues relevant for persons with vision impairment, which is based out of Memphis, Tenn., on November 1. Dr. Owsley explained her research on vision changes as related to aging. She also discussed how the use of a bioptic telescope can help certain individuals with visual impairment drive safely.
The UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation was honored as the Partnership of the Year by the Birmingham Area Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. This award recognizes an organization that demonstrates a genuine concern for the well-being of people with disabilities. The Center will now compete for the statewide award for Partnership of the Year, which will be announced in December.
The Alabama Department of Rehab Services (ADRS) nominated the Center for Low Vision because of their dedication to providing comprehensive vision rehabilitation aimed at creating or preserving independent and improvement in quality of life. Through their robust partnership ADRS and the Center provide individuals with disabilities the resources and support needed for success.
by Bob Shepard
Jeff Henson has been riding bikes for years. In 2012, he rode a bike coast to coast across the United States. Before that, the Army veteran did a long bike ride in France, and several in the American Northwest, always on a tandem bike and always from the back seat. He was not allowed to ride on the front seat, the steering seat.
Jeff Henson was legally blind during those rides.
Henson, a native of Heflin, Alabama, who served as a demolition specialist in the Army for nine years, developed vision issues caused by arthritis and inflammation that first struck his right eye in 2000.
MiYoung Kwon, Ph.D., joins the UAB Department of Ophthalmology as an assistant professor. Dr. Kwon’s research focuses on understanding how eye disorders impact the way visual information is processed in the brain and how the brain learns to see the world in degraded viewing conditions. Her ultimate goal is to identify the factors that limit visual performance and then use this understating to improve the functional vision of people with visual impairment.