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West Virginia Gazette Mail

Section: Perspective

By: Phil Kabler

State ophthalmologists and optometrists have resumed their turf battle this session over who can and who can’t use lasers on people’s eyes – although in the Senate, ironically, the issue won’t be going before the Health & Human Resources Committee.

Well, maybe not so ironically, considering the legendary and ongoing feud between Health and Human Resources Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, and uber-lobbyist Nelson Robinson, whose long list of clients includes the state Optometric Association.

(In fact, the bill has only one Senate committee reference – Government Organization, which debated the issue without resolution for an hour last week in front of a packed-to-the-rafters crown of interested parties.)

Prezio was quietly fuming when I raised the issue of how a bill (SB230) affecting the public’s health could possibly bypass the health committee.

By Ry Rivard

Charleston Daily Mail Capitol Reporter

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As many as 4,800 West Virginia drivers failed a Department of Motor Vehicles eye examination last year, the agency estimates.

A year after a state law took effect mandating the exams for license renewal, about 400 of the 21,000 drivers who come into renew their license each month have failed, said Steve Dale, deputy DMV commissioner.

He said the numbers were a ballpark figure. There are about 1.3 million drivers in West Virginia.

WVU Expanding Eye Care Services to Rural Areas

The Charleston Gazette

January 21, 2010

By Veronica Nett

West Virginians have fairly convenient access to eye care services, but the issue in rural areas is providing specialized care that is generally centralized in Charleston and Morgantown, said Judie Charlton, chairwoman of WVU’s Department of Ophthalmology.

West Virginians face a “pending epidemic” when it comes to their eyesight, the chairwomen of West Virginia University’s Department of Ophthalmology says.

This rate of state residents with glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy is on the rise, Dr Judie Charlton, said Wednesday in an interview with the Gazette.

Both conditions can cause blindness if not treated early, and occur in conjunction with the aging population, smoking and diabetes, Charlton said. West Virginia has one of the oldest populations in the nation and also has some of the highest rates of diabetes and smoking.

Copyright 2009 Palo Alto Daily News

Palo Alto Daily News (California) 

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News 

November 14, 2009 Saturday 

SECTION: STATE AND REGIONAL NEWS 

ACC-NO: 20091114-PL-VA-hospital-1114 

LENGTH: 820 words 

HEADLINE: VA hospital: State requests probe of VA hospital \\?? 23 glaucoma patients suffered serious vision loss 

BYLINE: Jessica Bernstein, Palo Alto Daily News, Calif. 

BODY:

   Nov. 14--The state consumer affairs department has formally requested an investigation into the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where 23 glaucoma patients experienced significant vision loss while receiving treatment.

   California Department of Consumer Affairs Director Brian Stiger made the request in response to an administrative petition the California Academy of Eye Surgeons and Physicians, the American Glaucoma Society and the California Medical Association filed in September with his agency.

   "As the events at the VA hospital do concern consumers, I am formally requesting that the Board of Optometry, together with the Medical Board of California, investigate the occurrences at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Hospital regarding the eye

   care provided to veterans, including the role of optometrists and physicians in that care," Stiger wrote in a Nov. 10 letter addressed to Dr. James Ruben, president of the California Academy of Eye Surgeons and Physicians.

   "To the extent permitted by existing state and federal law, I am also requesting that those boards make public the findings of the investigation," Stiger said.

As he listened in a Bible study class, Dr. James Caudill felt as if the passages were directed at him.

In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, Jesus says: "I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me."

When people ask Christ when they had seen him in such dire conditions, he responds, "Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."

Special Supplement/Helping Hands – India Abroad

August 21, 2009

By Arthur J Pais

Dr Vadrevu K Raju has received many honors for his humanitarian work in saving the eyes of the poor not only in India but half a dozen countries ranging from Iraq to America – but the emotions he felt Srinu Muddula, who earned his doctorate in pharmaceutical studies from Rutgers University this year and began working for a major company, and who presented his first paycheck to the Eye Foundation of America that Raju started I n 1979, was transcendent.

It was in 1979 that Muddula had corneal transplants to both eyes, at the age of 2. His family had travelled to Morgantown, West Virginia, Raju’s home for more than three decades. The surgery was free and most of the other expenses were also born by Raju – now, it was time for Muddula to pay him back.

“You feel blessed when something like this happens,” he said, referring to Muddula’s gesture.

Muddula, who attended a fundraiser for the Eye Foundation of America last year which raised $750,000, declared: “If it wasn’t the foundation, I would not be here. I would not be talking to you. I would have been blind.”

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