CAO Congress 2017
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Congress 2017 - Speakers

Click on links to read speaker bio, or scroll down to see all bios.

Dr Richard Adler
Dr Kashif Baig
Dr Justin Bazan
Dr Andrew Biondo
Dr Etty Bitton
Dr Jenna Brig
Dr Mile Brujic
Dr Barbara Caffery
Dr Laurie Capogna
Sonja Cheung
Dr A. Paul Chous
Doug Cook
Dr Derek Cunningham
Harold Feder, LL.B.
Dr Andrew Gurwood
Dr Bernard Hurley
Dr Lyndon Jones
Dr Valerie Kattouf
Gary Katz, CPA, CA
Dr Andrea Lasby
Dr David E. Lederer
Dr Daniel Lelli
Dr Derek MacDonald
Dr Sarah MacIver
Dr Richard Maharaj
Dr Langis Michaud
Dr Scott Mundle
Dr Marc D. Myers
Terry O'Reilly
Dr Lisa Prokopich
Dr Dennis Ruskin
Dr Leo Semes
Marilyn Smith
Dr Chris Wroten

Dr Richard Adler
Dr. Adler graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the University Scholars Program. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Adler completed his Ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. He subsequently completed a fellowship at Wilmer in Corneal, Refractive, and External Disease.  Dr. Adler is board-certified in Ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology. In addition, he’s a Diplomat of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Adler is a nationally-recognized speaker on topics related to Dry Eye Disease.

Dr Kashif Baig
Dr Baig is a Cornea, Anterior Segment, and Refractive Surgeon providing tertiary-level care at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute. He currently serves as the President of the Canadian Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery Society. Dr. Baig an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Pediatric Cornea Consultant at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Clinical Investigator in Regenerative Medicine at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Director of Clinical and Research Fellowships in Cornea, Anterior Segment, and Refractive Surgery.   He completed his medical and residency training at McGill University in Montreal, MBA (specializing in Health Services Management) at McMaster University in Hamilton, and Fellowship training in the United States. Dr. Baig has a strong interest in the development and implementation of surgical innovations in corneal and anterior segment surgery.

Dr Justin Bazan
Dr Bazan graduated from SUNY State College of Optometry in 2004 and currently practices at Park Slope Eye in Brooklyn, New York. He has been an active social media user since the early 90s. Professionally, he has been using social media channels like Wordpress, Yelp, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Foursquare since 2007. His business has gained popularity due to integrating social media into his business strategy – he estimates approximately 20% of new patients are gained as a result of their social media efforts and the annual revenue acquired from those patients is well into 6 figures. Park Slope Eye’s Facebook Page has over 3,600 fans, their YouTube channel has nearly 70 videos with over 25,000 views, their Yelp page maintains a 4.5 Star rating with 200+ reviews and their Twitter handle has 3,300 followers. Dr. Bazan is a recognized international speaker, with an emphasis on practice management, both media in the eyecare industry and small business world.

Dr Andrew Biondo
Dr. Biondo works in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri. He fits a wide variety of specialty contact lenses, but his focus is on scleral lenses for patients with keratoconus, corneal transplants, severe dry eye disease and other corneal abnormalities. Dr. Biondo also specializes in the treatment of severe dry eye syndrome related to systemic disease, namely graft-versus-host disease, and helped pioneer the use of amniotic membrane transplantation by optometrists in Missouri. He is an executive board member of the St. Louis Optometric Society, as well as a member of the Missouri Optometric Association, the American Academy of Optometry, the Scleral Lens Education Society and the AOA. He is also an adjunct clinical professor for the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry where he mentors fourth year students on specialty lenses and anterior segment disease. Dr. Biondo lectures nationally on scleral lens fitting and practice management.

Dr Etty Bitton
Etty Bitton, BSc, OD, MSc, FAAO, FBCLA est diplômée de l’École d'optométrie de l’Université de Waterloo (OD — 1988). Elle poursuit ses études à l’École d'optométrie de l’Université de Montréal complétant, en 1994, une maîtrise en optique physiologique axée sur la physiologie du film lacrymal.Dr Bitton est professeure agrégée et Directrice des stages externes à l’École d'optométrie de l’Université de Montréal. Elle est membre de plusieurs organismes professionnels nationaux et internationaux. Ses champs d’intérêts sont l’évaluation du film lacrymal, la sécheresse oculaire et le port de  lentilles cornéennes. En 2012 elle inaugure et devient la Directrice de la clinique de Sécheresse oculaire à l’École d'optométrie, Université de Montréal, une première dans une école d’optométrie en Amérique du nord. En 2015 elle a était invitée par le Tear Film Ocular Society (TFOS) afin de participer au TFOS-Dry Eye Workshop II, une initiative globale afin de redéfinir la sécheresse oculaire.

Dr. Bitton completed her Optometry degree at the University of Waterloo (1988), followed by a Master’s in Physiological Optics (1994) from the Université de Montréal (Montreal, Canada) in the area of tear film clinical physiology and its relevance in patients exhibiting dry eye. She presently holds the rank of Associate professor and is the Director of the Dry Eye Clinic. Dr. Bitton is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and the British Contact Lens Association as well as a member of several regional and international professional organizations. Her research interests include tear film evaluation, dry eye and its effect on contact lens wear.

Dr Jenna Bright
Dr Bright is an Optometrist practising in Waterloo, Ontario. She graduated with her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science in 2011. Prior to her Optometry training, she completed her Bachelor of Science in 2005 and Masters in Vision Science in 2007, also at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Bright has been involved in a number of research projects and teaching initiatives focusing on patient-centered communication, interprofessional collaboration and ethical practice. Dr. Bright continues to provide support to the Canadian Association of Optometrists through her contributions as a subject matter expert and editor for the newly revised CCOA curriculum.

Dr Mile Brujic
Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO is a 2002 graduate of the New England College of Optometry.  He is a partner of Premier Vision Group, a successful three location optometric practice in Northwest Ohio.  He practices full scope optometry with an emphasis on ocular disease management of the anterior segment, contact lenses and glaucoma.  He is active at all levels of organized optometry.  Dr. Brujic is on the editorial board for a number of optometric publications.  He has published over 250 articles and has given over 1300 lectures, both nationally and internationally on contemporary topics in eye care..

Dr Barbara Caffery
Barbara Caffery graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 1977. In 2009, she completed her PhD programme in Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. Barbara presently practices at Toronto Eye Care in downtown Toronto. She also participates in two hospital based clinics:  the University Health Network Multidisciplinary Sjogren’s Syndrome Clinic and the Therapeutic Contact Lens Clinic at Kensington Eye Institute. Barbara has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Optometry since 2006 and is presently the president elect. She has also served on the Board and the Medical Advisory panel of the Sjogren’s Society of Canada since 2008.

Dr Laurie Capogna
Dr. Capogna is the founder of Eye Wellness, a new concept centre that brings together eye care and nutrition. She has also co-authored three books, Eyefoods, Eyefoods for Kids and Cooking with Eyefoods: Recipes to Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light. In addition to writing numerous articles on the topic of nutrition and eye health, Dr. Capogna speaks frequently about these topics to fellow doctors in and the public. Her mission is to inspire and educate eye care professionals and the public about the power of ocular nutrition and prevention.

Sonja Cheung
Sonya grew up in Saskatchewan, and currently works in an optometric clinic in Saskatoon, from where she graduated both high school and university. Sonya became a Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant in 2010. That same year she became involved as a workshop coach and later as a student mentor and a content writer for the CCOA Program. Sonya has backgrounds in instruction, customer service, and management and enjoys contributing to the development of eye care professionals, as well as volunteering as a CNIB Vision Mate. She likes to spend her free time with her 3 dogs and 2 cats.

Dr A. Paul Chous
Dr. Chous completed his undergraduate education at Brown and UC Irvine, and then received his Masters and Doctorate of Optometry degrees from UC Berkeley. Paul has a private practice specializing in diabetes eye care and education in Tacoma, WA. He is the author of Diabetic Eye Disease: Lessons From a Diabetic Eye Doctor , which was included in the “Top 12 Diabetes Books” by Diabetes Update magazine in 2004. He is editorial advisor to Review of Optometry and Optometry Times, AOA representative to the National Diabetes Education Program, Primary Investigator for the Diabetes Visual Function Supplement Study (DiVFuSS), and an adjunct instructor at NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry.

Doug Cook
Doug is a registered dietitian and nutritional consultant with over 18 years of experience in a wide range of settings serving diverse needs. His practice ranges from clinical nutrition at St Michael’s Hospital, St Joseph’s Health Centre, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, to writing for the public, patients and other health professionals. He served as the nutrition expert for the Ontario Ministry of Health’s former website, Healthy Ontario. Doug is very passionate about nutrition and believes that a diet based on nutrient-dense, whole foods can help heal and restore health. He practices an integrative and holistic approach to nutritional counselling that provides evidenced-based guidance and the judicious use of natural health products, where appropriate

Dr Derek Cunningham
Dr. Cunningham is the Director of Optometry and Research at Dell Laser Consultants in Austin, Texas.  He is a founding member and chair of the Integrated Ophthalmic Managed Eyecare Delivery Task Force by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.  He was the founding chief medical editor of Optometry’s only pathology based publication – Advanced Ocular Care.  He is also the author of The Surgical Minute column in Review of Optometry and the host of Innovations in Clinical Practice video series on Eyetubeod.com. Dr. Cunningham’s research spans from the retina, through dry eye and all the way to neural processing.  His research has been presented at every major eye meeting and featured in key publications. 

Harold Feder, LL.B.

Dr Andrew Gurwood
Dr. Gurwood is a Professor of Clinical Sciences, an attending optometric physician and Chief of Suite 3 of The Eye Institute of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University and a member of the clinical staff of Albert Einstein Medical Center, Department of Ophthalmology.  He has lectured and published nationally and internationally on a wide range of subjects in the arena of ocular disease.  His areas of active research include diseases of the anterior and posterior segment. Doctor Gurwood earned a Diplomate from the American Academy of Optometry in the Section of Primary Care. 

He currently serves the profession at large through participation on the Editorial Boards of Review of Optometry and Clinical and Experimental Optometry (Aus).  Other accomplishments include being a founding member of The Optometric Retina Society, a member of The Optometric Glaucoma Society, a Charter (Founding) member of The Optometric Dry Eye Society, a former abstract writer for Optometry: The Journal of The American Optometric Association,  Diagnostic Quiz Columnist for Review of Optometry Journal and Chair, Case Reports Section, Review of Optometry Journal .   

Dr Bernard Hurley
Bernard R. Hurley, BSc, MD, FRCSC is an Assistant Professor at The University of Ottawa Eye Institute where he is also the residency program director and the fellowship program director.  He has received awards for top clinical instruction in the department in 2016, 2013 and 2011.  He completed his post-graduate medical education with a Retina Fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia where he was twice awarded the Outstanding Fellow Award. He has written several chapters and has been the author or co-author of many peer-reviewed publications. He has received research support from the E.A. Baker Foundation.

Dr Lyndon Jones
Lyndon Jones is a Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University Research Chair and Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research at the University of Waterloo. His research interests primarily focus on the interaction of novel and existing contact lens materials with the ocular environment, dry eye and ocular drug delivery. He has authored over 300 refereed and professional papers, one text-book and given over 900 invited scientific and continuing education lectures at conferences worldwide, in over 40 countries.

Dr Valerie Kattouf
Dr. Kattouf is a 1995 graduate of Illinois College of Optometry. Upon graduation Dr. Kattouf completed a residency in Pediatrics and Binocular Vision at the State University of New York. Dr. Kattouf is currently Chief of the Pediatrics and Binocular Vision Service at the Illinois Eye Institute. Dr. Kattouf’s career focus is teaching courses in the areas of Strabismus and Amblyopia and Infant and Toddler Vision Care. Dr. Kattouf is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and the College of Optometrists in Visual Development.

Gary Katz, CPA, CA
With extensive involvement with owner/manager businesses of varying sizes and complexities, Gary has invaluable insight to pass on to clients. He delivers solutions to challenges related to a range of activities, including corporate taxation, Canadian and US personal taxation, estate and succession planning, and owner/manager advisory services. Gary has developed specialized know-how in the areas of corporate tax planning for businesses based in or with facilities in the United States.

Dr. Andrea Lasby
Dr. Andrea Lasby graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, in 2013. She then went on to complete a Cornea and Contact Lens Residency at Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry in 2014. After returning back to her hometown of Calgary, she joined Mission Eye Care, continuing to fit all types of contact lenses for both normal and diseased eyes. Dr. Lasby is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry as well as the Scleral Lens Society. She is currently President of the Calgary Society of Optometrists and serves as Chair of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Canada. She was editor of the recent Canadian Journal of Optometry Supplement on Contact Lens Designs for Irregular Astigmatism, released in March, 2016. Dr. Lasby is passionate about teaching on both didactic and clinical perspectives regarding eye care. She regularly supervises fourth year Optometry students as well as Family Medicine Residents from the University of Calgary.

Dr. David E. Lederer
Dr Lederer has genuine passion for eye care education and a knack for translating that into accessible, engaging training that delivers practical skill building. Dr. Lederer is a Clinical Associate at Eye Health MD in Montreal and has served as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at McGill University Faculty of Medicine as well as the Director of Tele-Ophthalmology (2011-2013). He has published numerous articles and abstracts and garnered many honors and awards. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he received his M.D. at Tufts University School of Medicine, performed his residency at McGill University in the Department of Ophthalmology and completed a Medical Retina Fellowship at Duke University.

Dr Daniel Lelli
Dr. Lelli is an Assistant Professor in Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Ottawa. He completed an engineering degree (2000) and worked briefly in the field producing several patents and helping to teach undergraduate engineering courses. In 2005 he changed career paths and completed medical school (McMaster 2008), neurology residency (University of Ottawa 2013), and pursued a Neuro-Ophthalmology fellowship at the University of British Columbia until June 2014. He joined The Ottawa Hospital afterwards, with a clinical focus in neuro-ophthalmology, neuro-otology (co-founder of the TOH Multidisciplinary Dizziness clinic) and stroke (emphasis on vascular visual loss). Dr. Lelli has maintained a strong commitment to education throughout his early career, and is a graduate of the Healthcare Education Scholars Program at uOttawa. His research interests lie in neuro-otology and medical education.

Dr Derek MacDonald
Dr. Derek MacDonald graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 1992, and began full-scope private practice in Waterloo with special interest in ocular and systemic disease. He served a two-year term as OAO President between 2005 and 2007, was elected to the Council of the College of Optometrists of Ontario in 2010, re-elected in 2012, and retired in 2016. Dr. MacDonald is a founding member of the Eye Health Council of Ontario, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (where he sits on the AAO International Admittance Committee), and a member of both the Optometric Glaucoma and Optometric Retina Societies. His research, lecturing, and writing are primarily focused on glaucoma and retinal vascular disease.

Dr Sarah MacIver
Dr MacIver earned her Doctor of Optometry degree at the Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science. She completed residency training in ocular disease at the SUNY State College of Optometry in New York City and is currently an associate clinical professor at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science. She is the head of the Health Sciences Optometry Clinic, a satellite clinic integrated with the McMaster School of Medicine.  She maintains a patient base in glaucoma, dry eye disease and other ocular disease. She won the OAO President’s award in 2013 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

Richard Maharaj
Dr. Richard Maharaj is the Clinic Director at eyeLABS Optometry and Center for Ocular Surface Disease and Senior Optometrist at York-Finch Ophthalmology, Toronto.  Dr. Maharaj is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is an  Clinical Adjunct Faculty at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry.  He continues to develop new techniques and devices for non-surgical clinical care of the meibomian glands and ocular surface.  He is an international speaker on primary management of eye diseases, a published author on ocular surface disease, current Editor-in-Chief for Clinical & Refractive Optometry Journal, and Chair for the Canadian Association of Optometry's Section for ocular surface diseases.

Dr Langis Michaud
Dr Michaud is graduated from Université de Montréal in 1986 where he obtained his Master’s Degree in 1998. Since 2001, Dr Michaud is working there as a full professor. He is Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry, Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association and of the Scleral Lens Education Society. He is a member of the European Academy of Optometry. Dr Michaud authored many articles published in peer-reviewed or professional journals and had been invited to speak around the world.  He is an editorial board member of Journal of Contact Lens Research and Science, a board member of the Scleral Lens Education Society and is president of the Quebec College of Optometrists.

Dr Scott Mundle
Dr. Mundle is well known to optometry in Canada and around the world for his commitment to the future of the profession and the importance of providing eye care to all people. He delivers talks in a very friendly way and also shares his experiences and insights on practice management, contact lenses and patient care during peer to peer meetings.

Dr Marc D. Myers
Dr. Myers is a graduate of The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, class of 1999. He successfully completed a residency in primary care optometry at The Eye Institute of PCO. He is an optometrist at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Dr. Myers serves as a clinical consultant at The Eye Institute and lectures in the area of Anterior Segment Disease within the curriculum at PCO since 2003. He has lectured at continuing education seminars throughout North America and participates in the International Master of Science in Clinical Optometry program at PCO. In addition to authoring numerous publications, he serves on the editorial review board and reviewer of manuscripts of multiple optometric and ophthalmologic publications. Dr. Myers also serves as a credentialed reviewer for the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).

Terry O'Reilly
In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television, specializing in audio production for radio and television commercials. Pirate has grown to include 8 recording studios in Toronto and New York City. Terry has won a few hundred national and international awards for writing and directing. Marketing Magazine named him one of Canada’s “Most Influential” marketing people. He was chosen as the first Canadian judge for the inaugural year of Radio at the Cannes Advertising Festival in France.                                                                 

When he’s not creating advertising, he’s talking about it, first as the host of the award-winning CBC/Sirius/WBEZ Chicago radio series, “The Age of Persuasion” - with close to a million listeners a week in Canada alone. The Age of Persuasion podcast was chosen as the “Best New Podcast of 2011” by iTunes, and was awarded the Grand Prize trophy at the New York Radio Festivals in both 2011 and 2012.

Dr Lisa Prokopich
Dr. C. Lisa Prokopich undertook Residency training at The Eye Institute of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, now Salus University, before returning to the University of Waterloo. Dr. Prokopich is currently a Clinical Professor at the School of Optometry & Vision Science in the Ocular Health Clinic, specializing in ocular disease diagnosis and therapeutic management. Dr. Prokopich has lectured widely and published in ocular disease and therapeutics, including section editor and author in Bartlett and Jaanus’ Clinical Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics and co-author of the 2014 Canadian Dry Eye Guidelines. Dr. Prokopich is the Vice-President of the Sjogren’s Society of Canada.  

Dr Dennis Ruskin
Dr. Ruskin has been an appointed advisory member to various committees within the provincial government, College of Optometrists of Ontario, Ontario Association of Optometrists, pharmaceutical corporations. He is a past president of the College of Optometrists of Ontario and currently serves as chair of the clinical practice committee of the college. As well, he has had a clinical affiliation with the Vision Institute of Canada and has served as examiner for the Canadian Examiners of Optometry. He lectures to eye care professionals in North America. Dr. Ruskin has as interest in nutrition and its impact on ocular and systemic disease. He is a founding board member of the Ocular Nutrition Society, past chair of the Ocular Nutrition Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and a member of the Nutrient, Disease Prevention and Wellness Special Interest Group of the AAO.

Dr Leo Semes
Dr Semes earned his OD from PCO and completed residency at The Eye Institute of PCO. He is former Professor of Optometry at UAB. He has authored or over 230 articles, book chapters and posters.  He is a fellow of the AAO, as well as an active member of the AOA.  Dr. Semes is a founding member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society and a founding fellow of the Optometric Retina Society.    In 2015, he was recognized as one of the 50 “most influential individuals in eye care” by Optometric Management magazine and received the Educator of the Year award (2015) from the Alabama Optometric Association. Recently he was recognized with the Dean’s Distinguished Service award (2016) from the UAB School of Optometry.   He is an editorial board member for Review of Optometry.  Dr. Semes completed a 37-year academic career on June 1, 2016 and now works in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. 

Marilyn Smith
Marilyn has been a Registered Optician since 1981. After working in the retail optical industry she was offered an opportunity to join the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry staff in 1988.  She was promoted to Manager of Optical Services in 1991 & was invited to join the Faculty as a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry & Vision Science in 2004.  In her time with UW, Marilyn has lectured, taught labs, supervised in the Optical Services clinic & been involved in a variety of research projects. Marilyn retired from UW in June 2016. Marilyn has been hired by the Canadian Association of Optometrists to be the lead instructor in their distance education program, Canadian Certified Optometric Assistants program.  She also continues to offer individual consultation and in-office training and workshops for ECPS.

Dr Chris Wroten
Chris Wroten, O.D., is a graduate of Southern College of Optometry (SCO) prior to completing a Residency in Hospital-based Primary Eye Care at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  After 2 years on staff at West Tennessee Eye in the greater Memphis area, Dr. Wroten returned home to Louisiana in the summer of 2005 to become a partner in what is now the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinics, with 3 offices in southeast Louisiana.  He serves as the clinic’s Chief Operating Officer, and supervises its Family Practice Residency and Optometric Externship Programs, both of which he founded.  In that capacity, he has held appointments as Adjunct Professor at 3 schools and colleges of optometry, including SCO, UAB, and UIW-RSO.   

Dr. Wroten has twice been elected President of the Optometry Association of Louisiana, and still serves on its Legislative and Education Committees, co-chairing the latter.  He also currently serves on the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners, the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Federal Relations Committee, moderates the AOA’s Presidents’ Council meetings, and has received numerous state, regional, and national professional awards.  He also serves on numerous optometry- and non-optometry-related boards and committees, including for the Southern Regional Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO).  Dr. Wroten has participated in clinical research, authored clinical case reports and eyecare articles, lectured as a continuing education speaker, and presented educational posters and workshops at regional and national optometric conferences.  In addition to primary eye care, his special areas of interest lie in the treatment and management of ocular disease and contact lenses.