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Russell to perform groundbreaking surgery

Don't miss this patient story featuring Dr. Stephen Russell - read the full story and watch the interview: http://bit.ly/2OAuIgh

"Dr. Stephen Russell will be performing the surgery. The treatment is called Luxturna and was approved by the FDA less than a year ago. It’s the country’s first gene therapy for an inherited disease and he’s confident McKinley’s sight will improve."

russell newsstory

Employee of the Month Award


Congratulations to the IRL Team on receiving the October Employee of the Month Award! Dr. Carter presented the traveling trophy to the team this past Tuesday. Thank you for all you do for the ophthalmology team and our patients!

Thank You Basket

The patient and staff satisfaction committee came up with the Thank You Basket idea. A Thank You basket is located in the administrative office (next to the copier) for any member of the team to use to give a thank you out. It has food, some giveaways, and drinks, along with blank cards that can be used to provide a quick thank you for any member of the team. Please feel free to utilize anytime.

If you have suggestions for the basket, please let Denise know (unfortunately, it can’t be money).

thankyoubasket opt

Wellness Corner

Submitted by Tonya Looker-

Wellness icon

Harvest Your Healthy Habits, Nov. 12–Dec. 7

liveWELL invites faculty and staff to reap the rewards of their healthy activities in Harvest Your Healthy Habits from Nov. 12 to Dec. 7. Over four weeks, participants will be challenged to complete four activities each week to improve their emotional, social, financial, and physical wellness.

 health habits checklist

*Click for PDF


Iowa Lions Eye Bank | Update

Submitted by Ashley Dockendorf-

tom and lynn donation story 2During Eye Donation Month, the Iowa Lions Eye Bank will promote cornea donation and transplantation awareness; encourage individuals to register as eye, organ and tissue donors; honor donors and their families; and celebrate cornea recipients.

Iowa Lion Eye Bank is proud to share the story of Lynn Hauser and Tom White, two men who are longtime friends from Davenport, Iowa. Hauser is the recipient of White’s wife’s cornea after she donated ocular tissue following her death. However, these men had no idea that White’s wife was the donor for Hauser’s transplant until White received a thank you letter from his wife’s recipient through the Iowa Lions Eye Bank correspondence program. While they are amazed by their discovery, it seems that destiny has given them a deeper connection in life.

Read the full story on the Iowa Lions Eye Bank website: www.iowalionseyebank.org

AAO 2018 Iowa Eye Alumni Reception

Thanks to all who joined us in Chicago at our Iowa Eye Alumni Reception! We had a record turnout of alumni and friends at the University Club of Chicago!

Images from the reception and previous University of Iowa events are posted online...

Iowa Eye Alumni Shutterfly page

aao reception aao reception2

If you have photos from the reception that you'd like to share please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alward recognized as guest of honor at AAO

Alward Lee 2018Each year, the president has the privilege of selecting individuals to be guests of honor at the Academy's annual meeting. Recipients attend the meeting as guests of the Academy. Their attendance allows the Academy to formally present their award during the opening ceremonies.

Academy President Keith D. Carter, MD selected the honored guests for 2018. They were formally recognized during the opening ceremony at AAO 2018 in Chicago, Illinois Sunday, October 28. 

"The American Academy of Ophthalmology is pleased to recognize Wallace Lee Alward, MD, as a Guest of Honor at AAO 2018 in Chicago.

Selected by Academy President Keith Carter, MD, recipients of the Guest of Honor award are recognized for their contributions to ophthalmology and the Academy and for the significant role they have played in the life and career of the Academy’s president. Dr. Alward is honored for his work as an educator, clinician, and remarkable colleague."

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2P6Se9R 

Drack recognized for scientific contributions

The Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) organization recognized Arlene Drack, MD, with their 2018 Scientific Contribution Award. The award recognizes a physician or non-physician scientist who has made a significant scientific contribution in the field of ophthalmology. It was presented to Dr. Drack at the 2018 American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Drack was selected based on her research involving gene replacement therapy for pediatric blindness which has contributed to a first-ever FDA-approved treatment for a genetic cause of blindness. Congratulations, Dr. Drack!




Critser receives Don Wong Award at AAO 2018

Brice CritserBrice Critser, CRA, Director of Diagnostic Photography, received the Don Wong Award for his paper, Automated Quantification of Posterior Vitreous Inflammation using Optical Coherence Tomography, at this year's Ophthalmic Photographers' Society Annual Education Program, held during the AAO Annual Meeting.

The Don Wong Award

In 1990 the Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society established a new award for the best scientific paper presented at each Annual Educational Program. The award is named for Don Wong (1931-1999), a founding member of our Society whose entire career exemplifies literary and professional achievement.

Don was the creator and first editor of our Journal of Ophthalmic Photography, one of the earliest proponents of the certification program, and the father of the international meeting series. He worked tirelessly to encourage professionalism in our technical work and high ethical standards in our lives. He was a mentor and friend to many.

The Don Wong Award recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in our profession. Presentations will be judged by a panel of accomplished colleagues on the basis of content, originality, organization, presentation, delivery, and importance to the field.

Congratulations, Brice!

Welcome, Andrew!

Dr. Pavlina Kemp and family welcomed Andrew James Kemp, born on Friday, October 26 at 2:19 pm, 7 lbs, 19.3 inches. "We are all doing well!"

andrew kemp

What our patients are saying

what our patients are sayingPeriodically we share patient satisfaction information and positive comments received through Press-Ganey surveys.

**Comments were left as submitted**

Patient comments received in September:

- Made next appt Kelly Baker at scheduling/checkout. Well done Kelly. (General)

Jill ophthalmic technologist, is an excellent staff member. (General)

- (Best thing) Professionalism of the doctors: specifically Dr. Terveen and Dr. Sears. (Glaucoma)

- (Best thing) The people! *Dr. Boldt and all of the people I saw and worked with were excellent! (Retina)

- *Connie is the greatest. (Retina)

- *Dr. Bettis is awesome! (IRL-glaucoma)

-  (Best thing) The professionalism and warmth of *Dr. Howe. (IRL – Contact lens)

Dr. Larson is great at explaining, seeking input from the patient, and always explains any options thoroughly while allowing the patient time to decide how we want to proceed. (IRL-Peds Oph)

Trudy Grout is truly amazing and I look forward to seeing her every year. Dr. Sindt is also fabulous! (Contact Lens)

- The best thing about your clinic is *Dr. Alward. However everyone on all my visits has been excellent. This gives me great confidence in the U. of Iowa Hospital and clinics. (Glaucoma)

- *Dr. Thurtell is A++. (Neuro-Op)

- (Best thing) Quality of staff and Dr. Han (Retina)

- Mandy was especially helpful. (Retina)

Dr. Russell and his immediate staff at Coralville (IRL – Retina)

- *Dr. Erin Shriver is outstanding (IRL-Plastics)

- The doctors and staff in the contact lens clinic are fantastic!!! (Contact Lens)

- Annie, Trudy, and Dr. Sindt = dynamic team! ALMOST wish I had to get my vision checked more than once a year. (Contact Lens)

- *Dr. Greiner was outstanding! Professional, knowledgeable & concerned. Thorough, kind.  (Cornea)

- Everyone is fabulous. I completely trust in them. I'd give a special shout out to *Dr. Ricca. He is the kindest, most compassionate dr. I have ever seen. *Dr. Greiner is wonderful too. (Cornea)

- *Connie, *Chris, and *Lisa are awesome!!! I have known all of them for over 10 years. You couldn't ask for better care. (Cornea)

Carrie was excellent. she was with thru the entire procedure and aware of any discomfort I was experiencing (Plastics)

- *Dr. Shriver is fantastic - She gave us confidence & good results. We were also impressed with *Dr. Steff clear communicator, pos. attitude.  (Plastics)

- Nurse *Connie Hinz is outstanding goes out of her way to help. Great PERSON & NURSE. (Retina)

- Everyone was very courteous and helpful. I can't think of anything that needs to be changed. Staff did a wonderful job. (Retina)

- This was my FIRST appointment with Dr. J. Haugsdal... Dr.J. Haugsdal replaced Dr. Griess and she was GREAT. (General)

- She was excellent--professional, thorough. Think her name was Stephanie Roy (General)

- In all of my appt there everyone I had contact with have been wonderful, I have shared this with many of my friends -recommending the cornea and now the retina dept (Cornea)

- All of the staff members were 'OUTSTANDING.' (Glaucoma)

- *Dr. Fingert was excellent which made my visit very good. Sorry I'm so late in answering. I must admit I don't always complete these forms. However, this staff made me want to complete. Wow!!  (Glaucoma)

- Very friendly staff, always washes their hands, spends time with you when answering all questions.  Best hospital ever from the Valet staff who parks our cars to all staff at the eye clinic. (Plastics)

- We are thankful for the care and follow-through of Iowa KidSight in following up with us after an abnormality was detected with ______ school vision screening. It was a great feeling to be able to share with the team that we did have ______ receive glasses and that she is now experiencing improved vision that will aid in her learning. Iowa KidSight is an impressive program with thoughtful staff and I am glad to know that they are working to help Iowa families and their children. (Iowa KidSight)

UI Sight student group

Submitted by Lori Short-

A big THANK YOU to the group of UI medical students who volunteered at the Iowa Children’s Museum this past Friday! These individuals are members of the UI Sight student group and partner with Iowa KidSight to extend vision screenings to young children throughout the year on “free Fridays” at the Museum. 

KidSight volunteers

Pictured is the second of two shifts who conducted screenings for 37 children that night.

Wellness Corner

Submitted by Tonya Looker-

November liveWELL Well-Being Updates

November 2018 Wellness Update

Wellness is a full integration of many different habits that lead to an improved quality of life. Harvest Your Healthy Habits is a four-week program that makes it easy to incorporate healthy activities during a busy time of year. Participate between November 12 - December 7.

Group Health Coaching: Healthy Weight for the Holidays

The holiday season can be a Sleigh Ride to maintain healthy habits. Join Erin Litton in Healthy Weight for the Holidays, a four-part series, to support your well-being during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Join others via Zoom to explore tips and tricks to keep yourself from feeling like Frosty the Snowman.

Financial Well-Being: Webinar: A View from DC-What the midterm results mean for 2019

Hear from TIAA's Head of Government Relations on the current political climate, what lies ahead as we approach the start of 2019, and how it could impact policy, markets, and the economy.

This webinar will be held Thursday, November 15 at 11 AM. Register today at TIAA.org/webinars.

UI Health Fair: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 | 7 AM to 4 PM

The UI Health Fair is a FREE event for faculty and staff where you'll be able to obtain a variety of health and wellness information as well as free health screenings.

For more information, visit https://hr.uiowa.edu/livewell/health-fair  

Health Fair Flyer 2018

Iowa Lions Eye Bank | Update

Submitted by Ashley Dockendorf-

Happy Eye Donation Month! 

Be sure to follow the Iowa Lions Eye Bank Facebook Page and the hashtag #eyedonationmonth2018 on social media for inspiring stories throughout the month of November.

EBAA EyeDonationMonth

Mark your calendars for Breakfast with Santa and help support the Iowa City Noon Lions Club on December 1!

When: Saturday, December 1, 2018 | 7 to 11:30 AM

Where: Johnson County Fairgrounds Building "C"


AAO 2018

It's finally here!

If interested, you can submit photos/posts by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will be shared through the department Twitter account – www.twitter.com/uiowaeyeor if you will be posting through your own account, don't forget to tag us so we can retweet you! @UIowaEye 


AAO 2018

View our posters and presenters: http://bit.ly/2EOo8DA 

Iowa Eye Alumni Reception

We hope to see you at the 2018 Iowa Eye Alumni Reception!

Saturday, October 27, 2018
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

University Club of Chicago
76 East Monroe Street, Chicago

Enjoy an evening with alumni, faculty, trainees, and friends!

Plus, we’ll celebrate Dr. Keith Carter’s term as 2018 President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology!

Bus to Chicago Information...

Depart - 8 AM, Saturday, Oct. 27: Coralville Transit Facility (900 Quarry Road, Iowa River Landing, Coralville) General Parking is available on Level 3

Arrive in Chicago - 12:30 PM: University Club of Chicago (76 E. Monroe Street, www.ucco.com)

Reception - 5:30 PM: University Club of Chicago 

Depart Chicago - 9 PM: University Club of Chicago

Arrive Home - 1:30 AM: Coralville Transit Facility

Health Literacy and National Medical Librarians Month

October is Health Literacy and National Medical Librarians Month. Meet our medical librarian, Caroline Allen!

allen caroline

How long have you worked at UIHC?

Since July 9, 2018. I mentored at Hardin for 6 months before joining the Ophth. Team.

Why did you become a librarian?

I’ve always been passionate about information literacy, before I even knew what that term was or how librarians worked to teach it. I started working as a shelver at a public library shortly after graduating from undergrad., and I began to learn about all the great ways that libraries help to give access to information and teach about how to appropriately use that information in the communities they serve. In grad. School my interests expanded to include how libraries assist in the research process and the dissemination of the findings of research, so that pushed me towards the health sciences field.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Definitely when someone asks for something that they think will be impossible to find, and we can just walk over to the shelves and pull out whatever they’re looking for. The relief on peoples’ faces when that happens is so gratifying.

What is your favorite book/author?

Always a tricky question! Generally, the answer is Catcher in the Rye and J.D. Salinger, but right now I’ve been feeling really fond of the Belgariad series and David Eddings. Although Poison by Christopher Wooding will always be high up on the list as a childhood favorite.

What is a hobby (outside of books)?

I’m a bit of a hobbyist, so I knit, box, cook/bake, and dabble in writing/art. I also really like to learn languages – I’ve been working on French for the past few months. Really, I just like to learn new things and improve on the skills I have, so I guess you could say that my number one hobby is learning.

Abramoff visits Topcon in Tokyo to announce exclusive agreement with IDx

Submitted by Laura Shoemaker-

Earlier this week, Dr. Michael Abramoff traveled to Tokyo to join Topcon executives in announcing its exclusive agreement with IDx. More in this article: https://hitconsultant.net/2018/10/22/idx-and-topcon-join-forces/

Topcon was an excellent host, arranging for Dr. Abramoff to participate in a press conference with Japanese media and visit with officials from the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to discuss the safe implementation of AI in healthcare.

idx topcon handshake opt

Wedding Bells


Congratulations to Dr. Alison Bozung, optometrist and clinical assistant professor, on her recent engagement!

Early Voting at UI Hospitals & Clinics


Early voting for the Tuesday, Nov. 6, election will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, through Friday, Oct. 26, in the Fountain Lobby (Elevator C, Level 1). 

See sample ballots

Questions? Call 319-356-6004  http://bit.ly/2PkbgJt

Iowa Lions Eye Bank | Update

Submitted by Ashley Dockendorf-

On Sunday, October 21st  the first of three Candlelight Tributes in Iowa put on by Iowa Donor Network, and sponsored by Iowa Lions Eye Bank, took place in Sioux City.  

These events allow family and friends to join together in remembering their loved ones who have impacted the lives of others through the gift of donation, and feature guest speakers, a candle-lighting ceremony and a memorial photo presentation.

Iowa Lions Eye Bank

Catherine VanMaanen lights a candle with her two granddaughters in honor of her son, Alex McVicker. Alex was a cornea donor.

The next two events will take place in November.


Coralville | Sunday, November 4, 2018 | 1:00pm-3:30pm
Marriot Hotel, 300 E 9th St., Coralville, IA  52241 

Coralville Candlelight Tribute/Cornea Recipient Speaker:

Crystal Ellis lives in Cedar Rapids with her two dogs: Max, a six-year-old Doberman and Jess, a fifteen-year-old mutt rescue. She is a Family Service Counselor at Cedar Memorial helping families pre-plan their funeral arrangements to lift the burden of leaving those decisions for their loved ones. She can also be found volunteering at two local animal shelters fundraising and re-homing pups into their forever homes. She had a cornea transplant in 2005 and since was blessed to be able to have met her donor's family. Together they continue to share birthday's and holidays and volunteer for the Iowa Donor Network and Iowa Lions Eye Bank spreading the importance of organ and tissue donation.

Altoona | Sunday, November 11, 2018 | 1:00pm-3:30pm
Prairie Meadows Hotel, 1 Prairie Meadows Dr., Altoona, IA 50009   

Altoona Candlelight Tribute/Cornea Recipient Speaker:

Phil Hester lives in rural North English, Iowa with his wife Christine, a school teacher, and his children Dean and Emma, both students at the University of Iowa. Phil has been writing and drawing comics for nearly three decades, beginning while still a student at the University of Iowa. His work, as both artist and writer, has been featured in hundreds of publications from nearly every major American publisher and includes runs on such titles as Green Arrow, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, Ant-Man, The Flash, Batman Beyond, Firebreather, The Coffin, and more. Phil joins us this afternoon as a recent and grateful recipient of the Gift of Sight.

About The Update

The Ophthalmology Update is a newsletter for employees of the Department of Ophthalmology. Editor & staff writer: Kelsey Hunold (7-8001) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; staff writers: Trish Duffel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Joe Schmidt This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; copy editor: Peg Harris; Department Head: Keith D. Carter, MD.