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Optometry faculty receive expanded certifications

November 10, 2015 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Several University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry faculty have received expanded therapeutic certification. Donald Egan O.D., FAAO, Roya Attar O.D., Eilene Kinzer O.D., M.Ed. VFL, FAAO, and Donnie Akers O.D., completed a rigorous course in the application of lasers and minor surgical procedures, including hands-on laboratory techniques.

Following completion of the course, each optometrist successfully passed an examination demonstrating these skills. Kentucky state law is among one of the few to allow optometrists properly credentialed to perform primary care surgical procedures, such as removing lesions around the eye in addition to laser procedures including YAG capsulotomy used to treat cloudy lens implants following cataract surgery and selective laser trabeculoplasty used to treat some forms of glaucoma. Following completion of the course, optometrists wishing to perform the procedures must be certified by a state board of optometry approved preceptor. This certification allows faculty members of the Kentucky College of Optometry to help patients in Eastern Kentucky as well as in the education and training of future optometrists.

Cliff M. Caudill, O.D., FAAO, became the first faculty member at the Kentucky College of Optometry to be fully certified in the use of therapeutic lasers in the treatment of eye problems. In addition to completing the course and examination, he also successfully performed procedures on several patients under the supervision of a state board of optometry approved preceptor and has been granted approval to perform these procedures, a first step in meeting the mission of the Kentucky College of Optometry to bring access to eye care and health care education to rural Kentucky.

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. In the process of applying to the American Council for Optometric Education for pre-accreditation status, the University of Pikeville would be the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. Construction has begun on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class for a total of 240. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country.

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