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Troyer and Critser to be featured on cover of Ophthalmology

Jody Troyer, CRA, and Brice Critser, CRA will each have their photos featured on the cover of American Academy of Ophthalmology's journal, Ophthalmology. Once we receive notification of which months, we will be sure to share. Congratulations Jody and Brice!

Jody's photo, "CRAO with Cilioretinal Sparing" won honorable mention at this year's AAO Annual Meeting

Two side by side without timer 2

Brice's photo, "Stargardt Macular Dystrophy" also won honorable mention at this year's AAO Annual Meeting


Best Wishes!

This week, we said farewell and best wishes to Mary Stever Terrill (26 years) and Liz Purdy (40 years) on their next adventures in retirement. Thank you for all you have done for the ophthalmology family, we will miss you both!

Celebrating Mary this past Tuesday

Mary Stever Terrill retirement

Mary Stever Terrill retirement

Mary Stever Terrill

Mary Stever Terrill

From Mary-

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful retirement party. The stain glass art looks great in our living room window, the earrings are perfect and the fox necklace will remind me of many fascinating years with our "pet" fox.  

It's been great being part of the Ophthalmology team. There is something new and exciting to learn on a regular basis which makes it even more fun and interesting working in this area of the medical field.

I will miss seeing everyone but hope we can stay in touch.

Thank you again,

Mary Stever Terrill

Celebrating Liz this past Thursday

carter purdy

group purdy retirement

Liz Purdy retirement

Liz Purdy retirement

Carmen Louise Musser, 1945-2017

carmen musserCarmen Louise Musser, former neuro-ophthalmology technician, passed away December 25, 2017, surrounded by her family.

Carmen was employed in the department of ophthalmology for over 40 years, working closely with Drs. Stan Thompson and James Corbett, retiring in 2007. She was the "go to" person for neuro-ophthalmology, and if she didn't have the answer, she could find it quickly.

View full obituary: https://goo.gl/yf66TC 

Grateful Patient

Submitted by Vikki Bell-

A "thank you" sent to Dr. Kemp from a grateful patient's family.


“My Dear Dr. Kemp:

My original intention was to send a package like this a full year ago…

I am sending this as a gift to you, your colleagues, family, friends, patients…or whomever you wish to give these items to…”

Wellness Corner

Submitted by Tonya Looker-

Wellness icon

liveWELL is offering lots of opportunities to support you and your colleagues' health and well-being in 2018:

  • New Year, New Incentive! Obtain your up to $45 incentive in 2018 by taking the Personal Health Assessment survey. Follow the links through Self-Service. In 2017, 73% (over 13,800 individuals) of faculty and staff participated!
  • Group Health Coaching: Resilience 101. Gain stress management skills and tips to help you bounce back quickly from life’s challenges in this four-session series devoted to resilience with Health Coach, Carla Melby.  Register by February 23, 2018.  Workshops begin February 27. Sessions available at UIHC, HSSB, and CRWC.  
  • Start a Live Healthy Iowa Team (or two, or three!). Program starts January 22, 2018! Use Group ID “LHIUIOWA” to register as a University of Iowa team. Get a t-shirt, one-year magazine subscription, chances to win lots of prizes, and online training tools for registering! A flyer is attached to help you promote LHI. 
  • Elder Caregiving Appointments AvailableAppointments are available Wednesday, January 10 between 1-5pm at UIHC and Wednesday, January 17 from 1-5pm at the University Services Building. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 319-335-1371 to schedule.

View PDF

January 2018 livewell


View PDF

2018 UI LHI Flyer


FDA panel approves gene therapy to treat form of blindness

Russell Steve 2015The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first gene therapy treatment in the US for inherited eye disease.

“All of us in the field of inherited retinal diseases were pleased that the FDA has approved this therapy. While not a cure, the benefits are undeniable and the risks are manageable. We have yet to see a falloff in effect so far,” Stephen Russell, MD.

Dr. Russell is the service director of vitreoretinal diseases and surgery and holds the Dina J. Schrage Professorship in Macular Degeneration Research in the Wynn Institute for Vision Research - WIVR at the University of Iowa. Russell worked with Al Maguire, MD, Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, Kathy High, MD, and colleagues from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and representatives from Spark Therapeutics in creating the gene therapy that treats certain rare inherited eye disorders that cause blindness.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2oMwxiH


Dr. Claus

Submitted by Matt Miller-

Last weekend was the annual Ophthalmology Santa Party, featuring Dr. Tom Oetting as Old Saint Nick. He played the role perfectly except for one flaw, as noted by Ian Miller (age 7) - "Dad, I don't think that was the real Santa Claus, I think it was someone dressed up as Santa. Why's that Ian? Because he was TOO funny to be the real Santa!"

A big thanks to Dr. Oetting for making the holidays special for our kids!

kids with santa

Dress to impress

The Oculoplastics service presented Dr. Carter with some gifts in honor of him becoming President of AAO, including stylish socks and a pair of custom-made prosthetic eye cuff links.

 carter gift1  carter gift2
 carter gift3 carter gift4 



Gift from thankful patient and donor

A generous donor and patient of Drs. Drack and Russell gifted a wonderful snack basket this week with local goodies.

gift basket (1 of 2)

gift basket (2 of 2)

Ophthalmology Holiday Party

Please click on the link below to provide feedback related to this year’s department holiday party.  Even if you did not attend, please respond to the question on what you would like to see in the future.  Thank you for all who attended and for everyone willing to provide feedback.

Department of Ophthalmology Holiday Survey

If you have photos you would like to share please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (or place in Kelsey's public folder). Submitted photos will then be added to the flickr album for viewing/download!

View full album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9RiWyP

 Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

New EyeRounds Board Members

Please congratulate residents Heather Stiff, MD and Ben Janson, MD, who were recently selected by our faculty to serve on the EyeRounds.org board. We know they will carry on the great tradition of residents on the board expanding the reach and quality of our EyeRounds content.

Heather StiffBen Janson

What our patients are saying

Submitted by Joe Schmidt-

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

Patient comments received in October:

- Very nice people. Registration staff pleasant and polite. (General)

- I would not think of going elsewhere for my vision or for help with my eye problems. I am totally happy with Dr. Sohn and all the people I have come in contact in the U of I Hospital and Clinics. I feel blessed that I live only 93 miles from one of the best hospitals in the world. (Retina)

- Everyone is concerned that I am comfortable with what is being said and done. Each person seems to treat you like you are the only one there and that you are special. (Retina)

- Everyone was wonderful. Had a great experience from the scheduling/insurance staff, to receptionists, nurses, & providers. (Vision Rehab.)

- The MOST AMAZING nurse I've ever had.  I think her name was *Annie?  Older African-American woman - give her a raise. (Contact Lens)

- Dr. Greiner's staff are very good and friendly. (Cornea)

- We've always been satisfied with the times, quality of care - and helpfulness of everyone! They all took their time to find the solution to the problem…(Glaucoma)

- I feel *Dr. Thurtell and his staff are a pleasure for handling my problems. (Neuro-Oph)

- The resident and Dr. were both fantastic! I felt very comfortable along with all the main nurses that I dealt with in that area. They made sure to let me know that if I needed anything to let them know. I was nervous upon arriving and they all made me feel at ease. Fantastic staff and company! (Neuro-Oph)

- LOVED the kids wait area and the staff! (Peds Oph)

- Connie H., Dr. Boldt's assistant was especially compassionate and helpful! (Retina)

- The scheduling personnel and *Jan (*Dr. Stone's nurse) take very good care of one, *Denise in the Shot Clinic is very good also. (Retina)

- (best thing) Friendliness and courtesy of desk staff and nurses. (Peds Oph)

- I appreciate the honesty of the resident, the care of the nurse/assistant and the knowledge and honesty of Dr. Johnson. (General)

- All the physicians, assistants, and staff were extremely caring and helpful, which made me feel better about my health condition. (General)

- Dr. Simon was great. (Neuro-Oph)

- I will recommend this provider without hesitation! The team showed support and respect for each other while assuring efficient, effective care. (Contact Lens)

- Dr. Shriver and staff were friendly, and knowledgeable. (IRL-Plastics)

- (best thing) Her assistant  - I think her name was Jackie - not sure, was great.  I've had her before, and always enjoyable. (Contact Lens)

- The nurses were very nice. (Plastics)

- Registration & scheduling people in this clinic are great! (Peds Oph)

- The nurse, Renee Donovan, treated me with much care and patience, despite my eyes  tearing continuously (General)

- The expertise of the staff & excellent 'bed-side' manner.  From med student to resident doctor to staff doctor - and all the assistants. (General)

- Everyone I encountered, from the clerk at check-in, the clinical technician (Jill), the resident physician (Dr. Matthew Benage), Dr. Johnson and the scheduling clerk, were all extremely courteous, respectful and friendly. (General)

- The main nurse was extraordinarily friendly, helpful, intelligent and wonderful at communicating everything.  (Neuro-Oph)

- Dr. Shriver and her staff are extraordinary.   (Plastics)

- (best thing) Dr. Boldt, Dr. Binkley, Connie Hinz and entire staff. (Retina)

- Jacqueline Jacobsen very nice & helpful. (IRL-Plastics)

- Every staff member was fantastic with the kids. They were friendly and interactive with them making it the best experience they could have. (IRL-Peds Oph)

Iowa Lions Eye Bank | Update

Submitted by Ashley Dockendorf-

The staff of Iowa Lions Eye Bank would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season!

Iowa Lions Eye Bank

Winter Holiday Party | TONIGHT

holiday sweaters

See you tonight!

- Casual attire and holiday sweaters are encouraged -

***If you snap any photos tonight, please
share them with Kelsey Hunold, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.***

Friday, December 15, 2017

5:30 PM - Social Hour
6:30 PM - Dinner
7:00 PM - Entertainment: Survey Says

The Celebration Farm

4696 Robin Woods Ln NE, Iowa City, IA

Click to view PDF Invite


Retina Fellowship Match Results

Retina Fellowship match results are in! We are excited to welcome Drs. Amram, King, and Kadasi into the Iowa Eye family!

Surgical Retina

Alec Amram

Alec Amram, MD
Ophthalmology Residency
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX

Benjamin King

Benjamin King, MD
Ocular Oncology Fellowship
St. Judes Children's Research Hospital
Memphis, TN

Ophthalmology Residency
University of Tennessee
Memphis, TN

Medical Retina

Laith Kadasi

Laith Kadasi, MD
Ophthalmology Residency
Brown University
Providence, RI

2017 Retina Hall of Fame

Retina Hall of FameSeveral alumni, faculty, and former faculty from the University of Iowa were recognized in 2017 for their significant achievements in ophthalmology and retina subspecialty. Each individual listed is a Charter Inductee of the Retina Hall of Fame.

-          Gary Abrams, MD (ʻ78F)
-          Christopher Blodi, MD (ʻ84F, Former Faculty)
-          Michael Bloome, MD FACS (ʻ72F)
-          Jerald Bovino, MD (ʻ78F)
-          David Brown, MD, FACS (ʻ93R, ʻ95F)
-          Thomas Burton, MD (ʻ69F, Former Faculty)
-          James Diamond, MD (ʻ75F, Former Faculty)
-          Nicholas Douvas, MD (ʻ51R, deceased)
-          James Folk, MD (ʻ82F, Faculty)
-          Dennis Han, MD (ʻ86R)
-          Sohan Hayreh, MD, PhD, DSc (Emeritus Faculty)
-          Michael Howcroft, MD (ʻ82F)
-          Alan Kimura, MD, MPH (ʻ89F, Former Faculty)
-          Louis Lobes, MD (ʻ77F)
-          Andrew Packer, MD (Former Faculty)
-          Peter Pavan, MD (ʻ81F)
-          Robert Watzke, MD (Former Faculty)
-          Thomas Weingeist, Ph.D., MD (ʻ72MD, ʻ75R, ʻ76F, Emeritus Chair)
The full list of Retina Hall of Fame inductees is athttps://rhaf.memberclicks.net/charter-inductees 

Wellness Corner

Submitted by Tonya Looker-

Wellness icon

5 Holiday Stressors and How to Deal
By Jennifer Purdie • December 14, 2017

What’s often called the most wonderful time of the year can also feel like the most depressing, stressed out, chaotic time of the year to some. If the latter better describes your holidays, the following experts provide meaningful advice on how to deal with the top holiday stressors.

Stressor: So. Much. Family.
How to deal: Try group activities.

Jill Howell, a board-certified art therapist, licensed counselor and author of “Color, Draw, Collage: Create Your Way to a Less Stressful Life,” notes that group activities are a great way to release family tension: Dig up old boxes of family photos to pass around. Buy an oversized coloring book and colored pencils for people to use. Put out a giant piece of paper and some markers and have everyone write down what they are grateful for. De-escalate stress before it even starts. Have everyone “leave it at the door” by placing paper, pens and a shredder at the entrance, and advise everyone to write down whatever is bothering them and shred it so they can focus on family fun.

Stressor: Working extra hours to meet end-of-year goals.
How to deal: Focus on the value of what you do.

Inna Khazan, PhD, a clinical psychologist and member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School says if you know you have a big deadline coming up you should make space in your life for that stress. You cannot meet a big deadline without feeling stressed. Think about the meaning and value of what you are doing — whether for yourself, company, family, etc. Knowing the value of what you are doing helps you see the stressful event as a challenge you can meet, rather than a threat you cannot cope with. Eliminate meaningless stress and allow yourself to feel meaningful stress frees up the physical and emotional resources that would have gone to fighting it, which is not something you can control. Use those physical and emotional resources toward something you can control: self-care. Make sure you get sleep, proper nutrition, some exercise and recovery breaks.

Stressor: Feeling lonely.
How to deal: Find safe ways to connect.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, licensed clinical social worker and author of “Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One,” shares tips to deal with loneliness at the holidays in a healthy way: Join a turkey trot or jingle bell run. Not only will the endorphins boost your mood, you might meet some new like-minded people who are also not with their loved ones this holiday season.

Embrace technology if you are missing loved ones who are geographically far. Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom are great ways to watch the kids open presents. Reminisce. If you are missing someone who has died, tell stories and look at photos or videos. Talk about previous holidays with that person. Joke about what that person would or would not like about the holiday you are celebrating.

If you are estranged from someone and missing that person, be careful about going online. Loneliness can sometimes become worse if you see photos of that person enjoying the holidays with others. Even if you are not engaged with that person on social media, you might catch a glimpse of him or her through someone else’s feed.

Stressor: Drinking too many adult libations.
How to deal: Find ways to slow down.

Ariane Resnick, certified nutritionist and author of “The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking (Cocktails Without Regrets),” lists these tips to avoid drinking too much alcohol:

- Choose stronger flavors — add extra lemon or something spicy (jalapeño, ginger, chipotle, etc.) to your cocktail so you cannot drink it as fast as you would something sweet.

- Stick to high-quality alcohol

- Use a small cup

Stressor: Too many social obligations.
How to deal: Prioritize events.

First, know that it is OK to say no to holiday activities. Elena Mikalsen, PhD, of Mikalsen Psychological Services, suggests making three lists:

1. Obligatory holiday events you must attend or face significant consequences. This list should have no more than 3–5 events.

2. Holiday events you should attend, but you don’t want to go to and aren’t obligated. This list should not be very long.

3. Holiday events you enjoy that don’t take much effort. This should be your longest list.


5 Holiday Stressors and How to Deal | MyFitnessPal

Iowa Lions Eye Bank | Update

Submitted by Ashley Dockendorf- 

The Giving Tree Reception

On Thursday, December 7th, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in collaboration with the Iowa Lions Eye Bank and Iowa Donor Network, hosted the Giving Tree reception, an event honoring donors at UIHC in 2016. 

Those in attendance were moved by speaker Lisa Tott, the mother of Matthew Tott. Matthew tragically passed away at the young age of 32 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Matthew was known for his love of sports and adventure and having a heart of gold. Matthew continued his legacy for helping others as an organ, eye, and tissue donor and his memory will live on through his gifts.

Participants also heard from Phil Hester, a double cornea recipient, and local artist. Phil is grateful every day to his donors, the staff at the UIHC Ophthalmology Department, and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank for making his sight restoration possible. He also believes that receiving the cornea transplants has changed the way he thinks about his artwork.

“I feel a sense of obligation to make the most out of the gifts I’ve been given by my donors,” says Phil. “I’ve always loved what I do, but now, I never have a day where I don’t want to work – I’m always eager to get started because I know what a precious gift that I have been given.”

giving tree1

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

The Coralville Lions Club Food Drive was a Success

Anna Wilcox, Scott Van Oss, and Laken Pins, all members of the Coralville Lions Club and Iowa Lions Eye Bank employees, dropped off the donations from the Coralville Lions Club food drive on December 9th. Employees of the Coralville Food Bank were very thankful for the generous donation.

Thank you to all who contributed to the food drive. It was successful because of you.  We plan to continue this tradition each holiday season.

ILEB food drive

ILEB food drive2

The Iowa Lions Eye Bank Newsletter is now Available

To read the entire edition, visit: http://conta.cc/2Bgi57A.

Email Ashley Dockendorf- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to be added to the mailing list.

ILEB newsletter

Staff Appreciation Meal Information

dinnerplateSubmitted by Dawn McCalley-

There will be no tickets to distribute for the Staff Appreciation Meal = Employees will use your badge

UI Health Care employees and volunteers are invited to participate in the annual Staff Appreciation Meal being served Thursday, December 14, through Friday, December 15.

Regular menu items will be available in Compass Express from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM and the Children’s Café from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

- The Atrium Dining Room will be closed on 12/14
- One swipe per staff member/volunteer or the meal can be purchased for $6.00.

On the UI Hospitals and Clinics main campus:

Traditional Menu

Chicken Parmesan, Garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, whole grain roll, fruit gelatin, choice of cream pie, milk, water, or soda

Location & Time on December 14th

·         Fountain Dining Room 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM

·         Melrose 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM 

·         6 OR dining room 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM

·         The Marketplace 12/14 7:00 pm -12/15 4:00 am

Healthy Menu

Baked chicken breast, brown rice, green beans, whole grain roll, fruit gelatin, angel food muffin, skim milk, or water

Location & Time on December 14th

·         The Marketplace 10:30 am - 2 pm

Weekend Activities

2017 Holiday Market

Shop local this holiday season. The Iowa City Farmers Market is hosting a Holiday Market this Saturday, December 9, featuring handcrafted, homemade and homegrown items from some of your favorite Iowa City Farmers Market vendors.

The 2017 Holiday Markets will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center.

For more information: https://goo.gl/9cKoWF 

Not Your Mother's Craft Fair

Saturday, December 9
9 AM - 3 PM
MERGE Iowa City

4th Annual "Not Your Mother's Craft Fair". New location this year, with all your favorite artists + makers, (and some new ones too!) plus music and drinks.

For more information: https://goo.gl/1xKh2U 

Holiday Pop-up Market

November 25 - December 23
Thursday - Saturday
11 AM - 7 PM

Experience the holiday season with the first ever, Holiday Pop-Up Shops for 5 weeks, sponsored by UICCU! A brand new concept for Downtown Iowa City, this will not be your usual one-day market, locally designed by AKAR ARchiTecture, the three shops will transform Black Hawk Mini Park into a festive holiday destination. For 5 weeks, the three full heated, beautifully designed Pop-Up shops will feature new shops.

For more information: https://goo.gl/rUuDGy 


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: staff writer: 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.; photographers: Brice Critser, Carol Chan, Stefani Karakas, Andrea Starkweather, Jody Troyer, and Toni Venckus; copy editor: Peg Harris; Department Head: Keith D. Carter, MD.