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WO Voices

Author: Jobson Healthcare

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Welcome to WO Voices, a podcast series from Women In Optometry, featuring women ODs and others who talk about some aspect of practice, business, career choices, family, volunteer interests, leadership in the profession and more. Hosted by WO editor Marjolijn Bijlefeld, WO Voices is a chance to share ideas within the WO community and beyond. It’s another platform to bring women’s voices in the profession to the fore. If you’d like to join us on a podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you.
122 Episodes
In this episode, Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA,  and optometrist Ukti Vora, MBA, MOptom, FAAO, talk about how teleoptometry and where it's going. Ukti Vora, host of the podcast Nerdy Optometrist, shares the experiences of doctors who use it highly effectively to see more patients each day - in a way that's convenient for both doctor and provider. 
Ray Corbin-Simon, OD, of In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare in Piscataway, New Jersey, is on the Neurolens Advisory Board. Here, she talks about how  contoured prism helps her own symptoms of headache and fatigue and the tools that ODs have available to help patients with these surprisingly common symptoms. 
Kara Ramsey Foster, OD, opened EyeCare for You in Apex, North Carolina, in 2015. A few years later, she was stressed by the feeling like she was working for managed vision companies rather than herself. So she changed to a direct care, fee for service model. Hear her explain how she did it and how she's sharing the idea with other doctors through her website and program. 
For the first time in SECO's 100-year history this year, an outgoing female president will hand the gavel to an incoming female president. SECO President Christine Cook, OD, FAAO, and President-elect Michelle Cooper, OD, talk about the changing demographics of the profession, the need for representative leadership and how SECO is revitalizing its live education meeting after the pandemic. SECO will be held March 1-5 in Atlanta. Learn more here. 
Christine Howard, a licensed dispensing optician and optical manager at Eyes on Plainville, in Plainville, Massachusetts, details how this practice has created a superior handoff process. From practice goals on optical metrics, learning from EssilorLuxottica representatives and leaning into brand recommendations in the exam room, Howard shares tips for making the transition from exam lane to the optical smooth and efficient. 
Vision Source members Cheryl Chapman, OD, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Cristina De La Pena, OD, of Houston, Texas, are headed for the annual Vision Source meeting, The Exchange, in April. Dr. Chapman has been going for years, while Dr. De La Pena went for the first time in 2022, shortly after joining Vision Source. Both go to learn and exchange ideas - and here they share tips on how they make the most of the meeting, whether it's an attendee's first time or 30th. 
Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, is dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. In this WO Voices podcast, she talks about the career choices she's made, balancing marriage, motherhood and an impressive legacy of research, writing and inspiring students -- as well as her love for quilting, her creative outlet. Hear her describe her influences and the moments where doors opened and her path forward became suddenly crystal clear. 
Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, FNAP,  Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group at EssilorLuxottica North America, shares her passion for lifelong learning and how EssilorLuxottica is powering ECP education through its Leonardo platform.  Dr. Knight explains what's on the platform, how it can be used to fit the needs to doctors and staff members where they are, and how she would have loved to have access to this kind of a platform when she was in private practice. 
Acquiring a turnkey independent practice has allowed Whitney Territo, OD, and her husband and co-owner John Manard, OD, to focus on growth and enhancing their business skills. Being part of the Vision Source network and using Vision Source NEXT has supported them at every step, she says. Hear her discussion her evolving goals from acquisition, transition and beyond. 
Today, Jill Saxon, OD, FAAO, is executive director, professional strategy at Bausch + Lomb. But she started her career in the U.S. Navy, leaving after eight years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves.  WO asked Dr. Saxon to reflect on the enduring lessons and experiences she gained from being an OD in the military. This episode was broadcast around Veteran's Day 2022; WO thanks all ODs who served and serve as a member of the Armed Forces for their service. 
Alexis Meyer, entering her third year at University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, won the Optometry Divas scholarship in the summer of 2022. The scholarship -- open to women OD students -- requires that applicants develop a detailed plan. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Alexis wants to start her career in corporate optometry - and learned much more about it through this process. That was precisely Dr. Lauretta Justin's idea in creating this CEO of You scholarship. 2023 candidates can apply now at
Ukti Vora, MBA, M. Optom, FAAO, is director of clinical affairs at Eyecare Live and the host of the Nerdy Optometrist podcast. She joins WO Voices to talk about the advances in telemedicine and what that might mean for optometry. As patients become more tech-savvy, they will expect their practitioners to accommodate more remote and hybrid visits.  
When Ann Rhea Miller, OD, opened Visual Eyes in Lima, Ohio, in 2014, she was bringing a former practice back to life and knew she needed practice management guidance to make it successful. “I knew optometry but I didn’t know anything about running a successful business. I wanted to join a community of successful mentors who could share their tips and strategies,” she says. Between Vision Source and support and programs from Elite vendors like Essilor, she continues to build her thriving practice. 
Lisa Hornick, OD,  FAAO,  of Rocklin, California, received the Thought Leader Award at a recent Optometry Divas meeting for her proactive approach to dry eye. As a dry eye sufferer herself, she understands the quality of life issues. Lauretta Justin, OD, CEO and Founder of Optometry Divas, notes that as she was looking to add services to her Orlando, Florida, practice,  it quickly became clear that dry eye was the number one complaint patients had. Hear their discussion here. 
When Gabrielle Szwajca-Drewniak, OD, graduated with $153,000 in student debt - with $20,000 of that compounded debt while she was in school. When mortgage brokers told her she couldn't qualify for a mortgage loan without a co-signer, she came up with an aggressive repayment plan. Last year - about two years after graduation, she had zeroed those out and opened Opt Vision Studio in Chicago, along with the first floor of the building. Minimizing student debt allowed her to jump at the opportunities that came her way, she says. Hear how. 
When Wynde Ashman, OD, of Family Vision Care in Muncie, Indiana, was asked to challenge herself to present Varilux progressive lenses to patients by name, she accepted it. The 30-day challenge changed some of her habits. hear how she's presenting this option to earlier-stage presbyopes and what it has done for patient loyalty and sales. 
Hear the panel discussion on how optometrists can help advance access to health care and the profession . This session, moderated by Dr. Dorothy Hitchmoth, joined by Dr. Kristen Brown, Dr. Maria Sampalis and Dr. Breanne McGhee, was recorded at the Women's Leadership Conference, held in conjunction with the American Academy of Optomery in Boston on Nov. 2, 2021. Platinum sponsors of the conference were Alcon, Allergan, CooperVision and EssilorLuxottica. Supporting sponsors were RVL Pharmaceuticals, Tarsus and Zeiss. 
Melissa Bailey, OD, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, received the Dr. Gertrude Stanton Innovation Award during the 6th annual Theia Awards of Excellence at the WO Women's Leadership Conference. Dr. Bailey thanks those who have inspired, mentored and stood by her for every new idea she has wanted to explore. 
Sherrol Reynolds, OD, FAAO, was honored with the Dr. D. Elva Cooper Leadership Award at the 6th annual Theia Awards of Excellence, presented during the WO Women's Leadership Conference in Boston on Nov. 2, 2021. Dr. Reynolds, who served two terms as president of the National Optometric Association, speaks here about how the COVID-19 pandemic experience shines a light on the disparities in the health care system. Hear her charge for the profession.
Anna Marie Fernandez, OD, of Staten Island, New York, received the Dr. Mae Booth-Jones Mentoring Award at the Theia Awards of Excellence ceremony during the WO Women's Leadership Conference in Boston on Nov. 2, 2021. Hear Dr. Fernandez tell the powerful story of how her own struggles to become the first college graduate in her family have inspired her to support and mentor the students at SUNY College of Optometry, providing them with guidance that she did not have herself. 
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