Hello COVD Family!

Today, I would like to highlight the efforts of the International Examination and Certification Board (IECB) of COVD. It would be my pleasure to acknowledge this group with a toast and a handshake for their accomplishments this week, and I look forward to that moment in Denver next year!

The IECB is an autonomous board from COVD’s governing board and is responsible for all aspects of board certification for doctors and therapists. The IECB lives by a rigorous set of standards which maintains the quality of the certification and maintenance of certification process. The IECB is a critical component to help realize COVD’s mission of “Improving lives by advancing excellence in optometric vision therapy and rehabilitation through education and board certification.”

The IECB is comprised of some of the brightest FCOVDs and COVTs in our COVD family, supported by Katie Kirschner, MS, CAE from the COVD International Office.

The current members are:

  • Chair: Kristi Jensen, OD FCOVD
  • Vice-Chair: Ilana Gelfond, OD FCOVD
  • Secretary: Susan Oh, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Carl Hillier, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Jennifer Simonson, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Carole Hong, OD, FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Deborah Amster, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Robin Price, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Hadassa Rutman, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Esther Han, OD FCOVD
  • Reviewer: Erin Pedersen, COVT
  • Reviewer: Lori Griffith, COVT
  • Credentialing Director: Katie Kirschner, MS, CAE

All of these people deserve special recognition for the amazing work that they have accomplished, notably for this year’s candidate class.

Each year, the IECB members put in many volunteer hours in order to process the growing number of candidates and to conduct the business of the board. This year, under these special circumstances, the IECB board was under intense pressure to adjust the policies and procedures in order to allow the certification candidates to complete the process. The easy decision would have been to delay the process until the next in-person meeting. But this board did not hesitate to roll up their sleeves, worked day and night in order to pivot to virtual oral interviews. Please join me in commending the members of IECB for their dedication to the candidates, to COVD and to our field.

In addition, this group also held their annual board meeting virtually. The board meeting for the IECB is when we see the election of the office slate and the appointment of reviewers and new members.

Of special note I would like to congratulate Dr. Kristi Jensen who has completed her maximum number of terms as IECB Chair. I would like to congratulate Dr. Susan Oh who has completed 9 years on IECB serving as reviewer, secretary and vice chair; and I would like to congratulate Dr. Robin Price for his service to IECB over the past 2 years. Each of you have made invaluable contributions to IECB during your terms and we look forward to honoring and celebrating you in person at next year’s meeting in Denver!

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 officer slate of IECB:

  • Chair: Ilana Gelfond, OD FCOVD
  • Vice Chair: Jennifer Simonson, OD FCOVD
  • Secretary: Hadassa Rutman, OD FCOVD
  • Past Chair: Kristi Jensen, OD FCOVD

Welcome to the newest IECB board members:

  • Jarrod Davies, OD FCOVD
  • Kimberly Walker, OD FCOVD
  • Theresa Ruggiero, OD FCOVD

Thank you to the following IECB members for your continued service:

  • Carole Hong, OD FCOVD
  • Carl Hillier, OD FCOVD
  • Deborah Amster, OD FCOVD
  • Esther Han, OD FCOVD
  • Erin Pedersen, COVT
  • Lori Griffith, COVT

In addition to the IECB Board members there are many committees and volunteers from the COVD Family that support the process, mission, and candidates that I would like to take time to acknowledge as well.

First, to the mentors and sponsoring doctors that selflessly assisted the candidates through their certification journey. Second, to Dr. Lynn Hellerstein for providing a visualization session for FCOVD and COVT candidates before their interviews. Third, to Dr. Kavita Malhotra for presenting the Road to Fellowship lecture and to Robert Nurisio, COVT for presenting the Road to COVT on the iHeartVT platform. There were over 40 live attendees for each presentation and many more that have viewed the recording.

On behalf of myself, and the COVD Board of Directors, thank you.

In closing, I hope that you have all had an opportunity to visit COVD’s virtual exhibit hall which launched on Wednesday of this week. I have had a smile on my face due to all of the great videos that have been shared on the COVD and VTOD’s on Facebook pages regarding favorite moments from past COVD meetings. Robert Nurisio deserves a lot of credit for starting the challenge! To the past attendees, do not wait to be tagged! Post your memories and tag them #mycovdmemory.

And finally, stay tuned as we are very excited to introduce the new 2020 FCOVD’s, FCOVD-A’s and COVT’s!  29 Fellows and 44 COVTs completed the Oral Interviews, and on Saturday we have 4 FCOVD-A’s who will participate in the Oral Interviews.

I would like to personally give an advanced congratulations to my dear friend, associate and new Fellow, Vesna Simic, OD, FCOVD and to one of my awesome vision therapists, Melanie Bradshaw for successfully completing her oral examination!

With love and respect,

Daniel Press, OD FCOVD