SightMD Renames Semi-Annual Optometric Educational Symposium To Honor The Life & Career of Dr. Frank S. Verdone

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In a lasting tribute to honor the life and medical career of Long Island optometrist, Dr. Frank S. Verdone - who recently lost his battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – the partners at SightMD today announced a title change of their long-standing semi-annual educational symposium for optometrists to the ‘Dr. Frank Verdone Symposium for Optometrists.'

In a lasting tribute to honor the life and medical career of Long Island optometrist, Dr. Frank S. Verdone - who recently lost his battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – the partners at SightMD today announced a title change of their long-standing semi-annual educational symposium for optometrists to the ‘Dr. Frank Verdone Symposium for Optometrists,’ according to Jeffrey Martin, MD, FACS, Chief Executive Officer of SightMD. This year’s 15th semi-annual continuing education event for optometrists will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2018, at the Huntington Hilton, where leading optometrists from across the region will receive six Continuing Education credits approved for both New York and Florida doctors.

Dr. Frank Verdone was a Long Island native who grew up in Farmingville, NY and passed peacefully on Thursday, January 4, 2018, after a lengthy battle with ALS. He decided to become an optometrist because he always wore glasses as a child and contact lenses as an adult. Dr. Verdone studied biology at SUNY at Stony Brook, and graduated with his BS degree in Biology in 1982. From there, he studied optometry and graduated from SUNY State College of Optometry with a Doctor of Optometry in 1986. Dr. Verdone's office won numerous "Doctor of the Year" awards from LensCrafters based on customer satisfaction surveys. He was a member of the Suffolk County Optometric Association, the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA) as well as the American Optometric Association (AOA).

According to Dr. Martin, the decision to honor Dr. Verdone by naming the symposium after him was unanimous among his colleagues at SightMD. “We have known Dr. Verdone since he began practicing optometry in 1987,” said Dr. Martin. “My colleagues and I are proud to honor his life as a father, husband, eye care professional, and dear friend to all who met and worked with him. We are deeply saddened by his passing, but hope his legacy will live on in memorial under our symposium’s new name.”

After practicing for nearly 30 years in Suffolk County, Dr. Verdone was diagnosed with ALS three years ago. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that controls voluntary movement. ALS typically causes the muscles in the body to become progressively weaker, resulting in eventual paralysis and death. “In the last 75 years, there has been very little progress in a cure or even a treatment for this fatal disease,” said Dr. Martin. “SightMD will continue to help raise awareness and funding in an effort to make a major impact on a treatment for this devastating disease.”

Dr. Martin said the goal of their educational symposiums is to present the latest breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the most common vision-threatening conditions to our optometric partners. “The more closely we can co-manage patient care with our optometric colleagues like Dr. Verdone, the more seamless that care becomes for patients. And that is what we strive to do at SightMD by providing a seamless quality of care to patients who are referred from our optometric partners.”

In similar fashion to the partnership in care he enjoyed with Dr. Verdone over the years, Dr. Martin pointed out that the focus at SightMD is to work closely with optometrists to ensure that proper credentialing and educational requirements are met in a timely and professional manner. “My partners and I are passionate about this educational opportunity and enjoy catching up with our primary eye care colleagues every six months to discuss the latest breakthroughs in treatment in our respective fields.”

This year’s event is, once again, being held at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, NY on Sunday, January 21, 2018, where an experienced faculty will lecture on a wide variety of topics, including: Post-Operative Cataract Patient Management; Advanced Glaucoma Management; Enhancing Cataract Outcomes; Eyelid Reconstruction; Surgical Correction of Droopy Eyelids; New Cataract Treatment Options; Advances In Retinal Care; Surgical Treatment of Corneal Issues; and Secondary Glaucomas.

A total of 6 credit hours of continuing education – approved in both New York & Florida – will be presented. Faculty for this year’s event includes Dr. Martin, who will Emcee the event and lecture on the latest updates on cataract removal, lens implantation and laser cataract surgery. Other faculty members include Dr. Lawrence Buono, Dr. Alana Nattis, Dr. Richard Nattis, Dr. Michael Savetsky, Dr. Andrew Bainnson, Dr. Faye Knoll, Dr. Edward Marcus, Dr. Aaron Avni, Dr. Raju Sarwal, Dr. Samuel Baharestani, Dr. Brad Kligman, Dr. Neil Nichols, Dr. Craig Richter, and Dr. Doug Devries.

“Dr. John Mauro will open this year’s symposium with an interesting lecture entitled, ‘Tales of the Unhappy Cataract Patient,’” said Dr. Martin. His co-instructors are Craig Richter, MD and Aaron Avni, MD. At 9 AM, Dr. Baharestani will lecture on ‘Surgical and Non Surgical Treatment of Eyelid Disorders.’ His co-instructors are Neil Nichols, MD and Alanna Nattis, DO.

After a brief morning break with medical vendors, Dr. Doug Devries will present on ‘Peri-Operative Management for Achieving Premium Refractive Cataract Outcomes.’ At 11:15 AM, Michael Savetsky, MD will give a corneal update on diseases and degeneration. His co-instructors will be Brad Kligman, MD and Faye Knoll, MD.

During the scheduled lunch break, attending optometrists will have an opportunity to interface with medical vendors, attending ophthalmologists and faculty members. Following the 45-minute lunch break, Dr. Martin will lead off the afternoon lectures with an in-depth discussion entitled, ‘Current Concepts in Cataract Surgery.’ Serving as co-instructors with Dr. Martin are John Passarelli, MD, Lawrence Buono, MD and Richard Nattis, MD.

Following a short break, Dr. Sarwal will present the final lecture on glaucoma management and treatment entitled, ‘Secondary Glaucomas.’ His co-instructors for the afternoon session will be Dr. Andrew Bainnson and Dr. Edward Marcus.

“My colleagues and I at SightMD are proud of the continued growth of this prestigious continuing education symposium,” Dr. Martin said, “and we remain committed to providing our optometric partners a professional and convenient way to earn their Continuing Education credits each year.”

Dr. Martin pointed out that the goal for these symposiums is to ensure that the optometric community has access to the latest trends in eye care and that the continuity of care between ophthalmology and optometry remains seamless.

With 24 practice locations across the greater Long Island area - and now expanding into the city - the growing SightMD team of physicians and specially trained staff are dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of patient care. SightMD is New York’s fastest growing integrated ophthalmic provider group, offering patients the convenience of 24 locations from the east end of Long Island to Manhattan and access to over 50 ophthalmic surgeons and specialists. It was originally formed with the merger between North Shore Eye Care and Long Island Eye Surgical Care.

The doctors and staff of SightMD represent Long Island’s most established, full-service comprehensive eye care provider. SightMD is the official LASIK Provider of the New York Mets. Many of their physicians have been voted ‘TOP DOCTORS’ in the New York Metro Area by Castle Connolly and SightMD has earned ‘Best Of Long Island’ honors for the past few years.

SightMD maintains offices in Amityville, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Deer Park, Garden City, Hampton Bays, Hauppauge, Hempstead, Holbrook, Huntington, Little Neck, Manhattan, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Rockville Center, Sayville, Smithtown, Southampton, Southold, and West Islip. They specialize in cataract care, LASIK laser vision correction, glaucoma management, diabetic eye disease, ocular plastic surgery, retinal care, and audiology. For more information about SightMD, please contact Heather Dall’Aste at 1-855-295-4144.

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