First-of-its-kind online medical resource to provide ophthalmologists globally with the latest clinical information for treating children’s eye diseases and disorders
The American Academy of Ophthalmology today announced a new partnership with the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) to establish the first online medical resource center dedicated to children’s eye care. Made possible through a generous grant from KTEF, the virtual skills transfer center will provide ophthalmologists globally with the latest clinical information for treating children’s eye diseases and disorders.
The creation of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center (KTEF Education Center) is an important step toward addressing a large and growing burden of vision loss. An estimated 19 million children worldwide under the age of 15 are visually impaired, 1.4 million of whom are blind.  Many cases of childhood blindness could be avoided with interventions using existing knowledge.
The KTEF Education Center aims to help prevent pediatric blindness by supporting the lifelong learning needs of pediatric ophthalmologists and the on-demand learning needs of comprehensive ophthalmologists. Regardless of location and formal training, it will allow ophthalmologists to have access to the most current surgical and clinical guidance and instruction. The KTEF Education Center’s content will address the needs of residents and fellows, mid-career practitioners as well as physicians training in less-developed countries. Resources will include:
- Urgent diagnostic and treatment guides – Reference quick guides on diagnostic and treatment criteria for children in critical and emergency situations.
- Video guides – Watch demonstrations on surgical techniques, symptomology and diagnostic approaches particular to childhood eye disorders.
- Expert clinical advice from peers – Share and find expert clinical advice on certain cases or general clinical challenges.
- Latest developments and standards of care – Review the latest in evolving standards in diagnosis and treatment, both medical and surgical, and access evidence-based preferred practice patterns based on peer-reviewed literature.
- Guidance for pediatric practice management – Learn how to understand and navigate the changing health care environment as it pertains to childhood eye care.
The KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center is expected to launch in 2015. The executive editor will be Faruk Örge, M.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and vice chair of clinical affairs at the University Hospitals Eye Institute, Case Medical Center. The deputy executive editor will be K. David Epley, M.D., a past president of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
The center will be housed within The Ophthalmic News & Education Network®. The Academy’s ONE® Network is the world’s largest online source of peer-reviewed, high-quality news and education for ophthalmologists. Funded by the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (FAAO), the ONE Network provides more than 50 interactive cases and courses, full-text access to nine leading journals, self-assessment questions, practice guidelines, and thousands of videos and clinical images. It also provides summaries of the Academy’s practice guidelines in eight languages and is used by ophthalmologists in more than 140 countries.
“The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is a tremendous partner for ophthalmologists and our patients, and this grant is an extraordinary gift for the profession,” said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “The KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Education Center will ensure a strong educational foundation for current and future generations of ophthalmologists. It will speed the adoption of new knowledge, technology and treatments, and will eliminate a lack of ophthalmic education as a contributor to global blindness. No such resource currently exists.”
“We are proud to expand our relationship with the Academy and contribute to the advancement of ophthalmic education through this innovative new resource,” said KTEF President David D. Goodwin, who also serves on the FAAO Advisory Board. “The KTEF Pediatric Ophthalmology Center will provide a real opportunity to make a difference and improve the outcomes in eye care for children worldwide.”
Incorporated in 1956, KTEF is a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, a Masonic fraternal organization. Their mission is “to improve vision through research, education, and supporting access to care.” For the last 19 years, the KTEF has been a key supporter of the FAAO’s public service program EyeCare America, which provides sight-saving services to the medically underserved across the United States.
About the Knights Templar Eye Foundation
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, incorporated in 1956, is a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of the six elected officers of the Grand Encampment, all Past Grand Masters of the Grand Encampment, and six trustees-at-large elected from and by the membership for a term of nine years. It is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions made to the Foundation are deductible by donors.
The original mission of the Foundation was “to provide assistance to those who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin provided they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources and to provide funds for research in curing diseases of the eye.”
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.
The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.
About the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Established in 1980, the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology raises financial support and implements programs that advance ophthalmic education resulting in the best possible eye care for the public. Funds raised by the Academy Foundation are used to develop new Academy educational products and services and to preserve the history of ophthalmology and that of the Academy. Since its inception, the Foundation has worked to advance ophthalmic education and provide better care for the public. More information can be found at www.faao.org.