I am resigning as chief medical editor of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. I have served some 6 years, way beyond the usual term of 2 years, and CRST has a terrific replacement for me: Steven Dell, MD. I also have served out my term as president of ACOS, the American-European Congress of Ophthalmology, and have been replaced by Dr. Dell (is there a trend here?). I will continue to be heavily involved with both organizations; herein I would like to take a look back. I have two editorials left to write for CRST, and with this one, I would like to say a few words regarding ACOS' accomplishments. I will say goodbye to my time as editor of CRST in the next piece.
ACOS has accomplished much in its brief 2 years as an organization, thanks to the hard work of the coexecutive directors, David Cox and Adam Krafczek Jr, Esq, along with the executive committee, J. Andy Corley; David Cox; Steven Dell, MD; John Doane, MD; Eric Donnenfeld, MD; Adam Krafczek Jr, Esq; Trudy Larkins; William Link, PhD; Robert Maloney, MD; Kerry Solomon, MD; William Trattler, MD; Steven Vold, MD; John Vukich, MD; and Eric Weinberg. A nonprofit group, ACOS has become a respected organization of leading anterior segment surgeons, ophthalmic industry executives, select venture capitalists, and inventors of technology.
ACOS now has more than 200 members in the United States and Europe. The goals of ACOS are education, advocacy, and innovation. In 2012, ACOS put on four successful meetings, including one prior to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Summer Deer Valley, Winter Aspen, and our European meeting in Cannes, France. ACOS is especially encouraged by the success of the meeting in Europe and is looking at future work there. To reflect reality, in 2012 ACOS changed its name to the American-European Congress of Ophthalmology. Also in education, ACOS, along with Bryn Mawr Communications, successfully published Laser Refractive Cataract Surgery, the first textbook on this topic.
In advocacy and innovation, ACOS' FDA crosslinking trial, a unique clinical trial sponsored by an ophthalmic society, now has 90 sites across the United States, providing this potentially extremely beneficial treatment for keratoconus and ectasia, much to the benefit of our patients. Ophthalmology has suffered reimbursement cuts and rising expenses, and 2012 continued this unfortunate trend. Thus, I am especially happy that ACOS was at the table with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to clarify and add to our options, in this case for femtosecond laser cataract surgery. I believe it is important for our patients to be able to access technologies that are not covered by Medicare. My baby boomer patients, the ones who would fight to the death for a better school for their kids, a nicer seat at a restaurant, and the best “toys,” will not pass on better health care. I am especially pleased that ACOS is continuing to work with the FDA on a new initiative. I hope we will be able to report our progress soon.
Perhaps I am saving the best for last: Trudy Larkins has accepted the role of executive director of ACOS. Trudy has helped numerous companies and early technologies on their path to success, working with both doctors and industry leaders, including Chiron, B + L Refractive, IntraLase, and LenSx. Her abilities are the best possible fit for this position.
Finally, I thank CRST for the space to write this piece.