R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu



Friday, March 23, 2012

Irvin M. Borish, OD, FAAO 1913-2012

Dr. Irvin M Borish, author of the famous book “Clinical Refraction” passed away on March 3, 2012.

Irvin M. Borish was born on January 21, 1913 in Philadelphia, Penn. After graduating from Liberty High School in 1930, Borish enrolled in the arts and sciences program at Temple University, but soon recognized that the Great Depression limited career opportunities for liberal arts students. At the suggestion of an uncle who was an optometrist, Borish enrolled in Chicago's Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. After graduating with honors, he accepted a faculty position at the Northern Illinois College of Optometry to remain near his future wife Beatrice who was completing her degree in immunology at the University of Chicago. By 1942, he was named Assistant Dean.

In 1944, Dr. Borish started a successful private optometric practice in Kokomo, Ind. In 1973, he retired from private practice and returned to teaching at Indiana University's Optometry School. Borish retired from Indiana University in 1982, at which time he assumed the Benedict Professorship of Optometric Practice at the University of Houston. The Benedict Professorship was the first endowed professorship in the country supporting a member of an optometry school faculty. This position can only be filled by someone who sets and meets high standards of quality in ophthalmic materials provided and other aspects of patient care as well as instilling ethical behavior. University of Houston later established the Irvin M. Borish Chair in Optometric Practice, an endowed chair with more than one million dollars of support. In 1995, Indiana University honored him by establishing the Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research.

Over his career, Dr. Borish authored the first of numerous editions of "Clinical Refraction", a standard textbook for optometry students. He lobbied for the establishment of an optometry school in Bloomington, Indiana, wrote nearly one hundred articles, delivered numerous lectures, served as a visiting professor to at least nine optometry schools, and patented Hard Toric (for the treatment of astigmatism) and bifocal contact lenses. He was active in the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, coauthored the original manual used to accredit optometrists, and helped set standards for the safe manufacture of contact lenses. William R. Baldwin wrote a book about Dr. Irvin Borish through the years, as well as becoming "Optometry's Architect", entitled "Borish."

Dr E Vaithilingam - Easwaramoorthi Vaithilingam, MA, DROpt, PhD, FAAO

Dr. Easwaramoorthi Vaithilingam, Head of the Elite School of Optometry, Medical Research Foundation, Chennai, India affiliated to the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India died in his sleep on March 16, 2001 at his home in Chennai.

Dr. Vaithilingam became the Head of the Elite School of Optometry on February 27, 1991. He was the chief director of clinics, contact lens consultant and Head of the Low Vision Services at the Sankara Nethralaya C.U. Shah Rural Eye Hospital, and exclusively attached to the Elite School of Optometry since 1991. Prior to his position as head of the school, he held a faculty position at the Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Medical Science, Banares Hindu University, Varanasi, India, for 25 years.

He was twice the President of the Indian Optometric Association, an Executive Council Member of the Indian Contact Lens Society, the first person from India to become a Fellow of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators in 1996, and the first person from India to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 1998. He was an Executive Committee Member of the Indian Optometric Association and Member of the Editorial Board of the Indian Contact Lens Journal. In 1992, he started Optometry Day, a yearly event aimed at increasing eye care awareness in India that continues to garner increased participation. He was an ardent researcher with over 100 publications to his credit.

Dr. Vaithilingam was known for his technical expertise, innovation, and enthusiasm in the field of optometry. He was the mainstay of the Elite School and it is to his credit that the Elite School of Optometry, India, has obtained an international reputation over the past decade. He was a dynamic Head of School until his death. It is fair to say that Dr. Vaithilingam was one of the pioneers of modern optometry in India. Professor Jay Enoch, who sat in on a number of his enthusiastic lectures and participated with him at Board of Studies Meetings, and came to know him as a good friend, writes: He tried hard, so very hard to build and to strengthen the Elite School. He was so proud of the new clinic and teaching facilities. He was also pleased with the connection with Birla, the formal degrees and the graduate program. He was a very good man, one who gave his entire efforts to the School. I am proud to have known him, and my wife and I are saddened by his untimely death. We offer our condolences to his family and you all.

Dr. Vaithilingam was highly respected by his colleagues both in India and all over the world, and deeply admired by his students, who will cherish his valuable guidance for many years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. A trust fund has been established in the memory of Dr. Vaithilingam to further the development of low vision services at the Rural Eye Hospital, Chennai.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Accreditation of Sankara Nethralaya by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH)

The Accreditation of Sankara Nethralaya by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare providers (NABH), the highest recognition in the healthcare industry was celebrated with great fanfare at the Sri V.D Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya Main campus on Monday 12th, March, 2012. The Accreditation certificate was presented to Dr.S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya by the Chief Guest Shri R.Seshasayee, Executive Vice-Chairman, Ashok Leyland in the presense of Shri TV. Subramanian and Shri MS.Jayaraman the Total Quality Management (TQM) gurus of Sankara Nethralaya and representatives of ACME the consulting agency who were largely instrumental to the accreditation, Dr.SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus and Dr.TS.Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya.

The event witnessed inspiring speeches underlining the need for quality by the Chief Guest and the senior management members of Sankara Nethralaya and on its interesting journey to NABH Accreditation.

In labour, mom may pass on cancer virus to kids

Is the virus responsible for cervical cancer in women causing eye cancer in their children?

The department of biotechnology has given Rs 3.5 crore to Vision Research Centre of Sankara Nethralaya to study if human pappiloma virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer in women is responsible for retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina found in children below the age of six. Many of the tumours in such children's eyes were found to have the virus. Researchers suspect that the virus may be pushed into the child from the mother during delivery, something which has been proven in the case of HIV.

Sankara Nethralaya will work with experts from Institute of Bioinformatics, Bangalore, and Johns Hopkins University in the US on the project that may help doctors prevent and treat retinoblastoma in children better. About 1,500 cases of retinoblastoma are reported every year in the country, mostly in children in the 1-2 age group. Many cases are treatable, but 60% of the cases are detected late, forcing surgeons to remove the eye to save the child.

It is believed that retinoblastoma is caused by a genetic mutation, but more than half the cases don't have a family history of eye cancer. Hence, HPV becomes a suspect. Dr Sangeetha B Desai, author of the study published in the medical journal Pediatric Blood Cancer last month, says the findings strengthen the hypothesis that HPV plays a role in development of retinoblastoma.

"We want to know why we are seeing HPV in eye tumours," said Sankara Nethralaya deputy director (research) S Krishnakumar, who will head the retinoblastoma project. Studies by Sankara Nethralaya in 2009 had also showed the presence of HPV in eye tumour samples. HPV 16 was detected in 12 out of 21 tumors. They found that children younger than 18 months were significantly associated with the presence of HPV DNA, compared with children above 24 months.

That gives enough reason for scientists to suspect that the virus is pushed to the baby from the mother when the uterus contracts during labour. "While passing through the cervix, the baby has chances of picking up the virus from the uterine fluids. The virus may later cause mutations that lead to uncontrolled cell division," Dr Krishnakumar said. Oncologist Dr Vikas Ketan hopes that such fundamental research will help find important answers. "In most cases, we try to save the eye. But it becomes impossible in many cases. We hope a new treatment helps," he said.

To greatly improve the quality of life of people with visual impairment

The Lion’s Club of Central Madras have exhibited their concern for the visually impaired not only through their generous donations but also with some very thoughtful devices and gestures, readers would recall the gifting of the CCTV a wonderful assistive apparatus to the Low Vision Care Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya by Ms Viji Dileep a member of the club in the month of August in year 2011.Once again the members of Sankara Nethralaya family and the Lion’s Club of Central Madras assembled at the board room of Kamal Nayan Bajaj Research Centre on the auspicious evening of 9th March 2012 for a noble reason. The meeting was arranged for gifting three latest beneficial assistive devices to the Low Vision Care Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya, jointly by the Lion’s club of Central Madras and Ms. Viji Dilip daughter of Shri VD Gopal, who is a donor of Sankara Nethralaya for many years.

Lion. Andal Rajaram gave the welcome address. Lion. Hari Narayanan explained the need for Low vision care. Ms. Sarika Gopalakrishnan, Optometrist incharge of Low Vision Care Clinic gave a brief note about the functionalities and benefit of each assistive device to a person with visual impairment. The details of the devices are as follows:

1. Computer Screen magnifier for 19 Inch Screen
2. RNIB PenFriend Voice Labeling System
3. Pocket Size Talking Calculator

Dr. L. Srinivasa Varadharajan demonstrated the use of BPL Studylite and how it would help patients with low vision to discharge their work better. These lamps will be designed to work with the help of a solar panel which will be more beneficial to all the students when there is shortage of electricity. Chairman Emeritus Dr S.S. Badrinath thanked the members of Lion’s Club of Central Madras and Ms. Viji Dilip for their noble gesture, which would greatly improve the quality of life of people with visual impairment.

Diabetic Retinopathy screening camp and award presentation ceremony at the Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan on the 29th of February, 2012

The Lion’s club of Central Madras organized a diabetic retinopathy screening camp and award presentation ceremony at the Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan on the 29th of February, 2012. The function held under the auspices of the Governor of Tamil Nadu who inaugurated the camp and presented the prizes was attended by Lion G.V Raman, Lion Andal Rajaram, Lion Harinarayanan who was instrumental in organizing the function and also played the role of the co-coordinator and compeer of the day’s function and other senior members of the Lion’s club of Central Madras and Dr.SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.S.Bhaskaran, Chairman and Dr.K.S.Vasan, Managing Director, Sankara Nethralaya.

The camp drew good response and staff members of Raj Bhavan and their family members turned up in good numbers to avail the screening facility. His Excellency Shri K.Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu thanked the Lion’s club and Sankara Nethralaya for their role in the battle against blindness and creating awareness on the critical need for blood donation. Speakers recalled the yeoman service of the Lion’s club of Central Madras and its dedicated members towards fighting blindness and creating awareness on blood donation and their long association with Sankara Nethralaya. Awards instituted in the names of illustrious past members of the club were presented to individuals and institutions for their significant contribution to these two critical areas of healthcare. The Lion’s Club honoured Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya with a special ‘Service to the people’ award. Dr.S.Bhaskaran felicitated the winners of the awards and thanked the Lion’s Cub of Central Madras for its long and unstinting support of Sankara Nethralaya’s initiatives. The function concluded with a vote of thanks by Lion S.Rajendran and rendering of the National Anthem.