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The Divinity and compassion of Maha Periyava are remembered on his 23rd Aradhana

The institution that owes its existence to his blessings and Will paid homage to the Maha Periyava on the occasion of his 23rd Aradhana, on 26th December 2016, at its main premises. The evening started on a mellifluous note with the rendering of ‘Pallandu Divya Prabhandam’ by Ms Sahana Narayan, daughter of Dr Nividetha Narayan.

Chief Guest of the Day Dr Kala Tawker, Retd  professor and HOD Tamil Dept and scholar from the World Tamil Research Foundation regaled the audience with golden moments of the living god, she observed that his detachment was so total that he even considered food as an earthly temptation, often refraining from it, The learned professor recalled how the Jagadguru cured a paralytic and dementia patient with his divine grace and concluded her talks with an example of the  astounding memory of the guru who enquired about her father referring to him by his surname ‘Bhatta’.

The highly charged event left a deep impact on the audience and filled them with memories of the God who lived during our times amongst our midst.

Senior Cornea Consultants from Sankara Nethralaya shine in major topical meet

Keracon the high power annual meet of Cornea specialists was held  on the 15th, 16th and 17th of December 2016. The event titled Keracon-2016 opened to a packed hall at the Lavasa International Convention Centre at picturesque Lavasa City, Pune. The three day session witnessed intense deliberations, debates and exchange of latest developments in the field of Cornea including recent diagnostic and treatment modalities, by experts in the field.

We take great pleasure in sharing that senior Cornea consultants and Cornea Fellows from Sankara Nethralaya made their and their institution’s presence felt at the meet with their highly interesting and informative presentations.

Dr. Geetha Krishnan Iyer, Senior Cornea Consultant and expert in Modified Osteo odonto Keratoprosthesis (MOOKP) presented a paper titled ‘100 ookp’s – The long and the short of it’ in the first free paper session which was very well received, her video presentation titled ‘Melt Medley’ won the first prize in its category. The second prize in this category was bagged by researcher and Cornea fellow Dr. Arusha Anil Kumar Goyal for her presentation titled ‘Boston type 2kpro surgical technique’. Dr. N. Radhika, Senior Cornea Consultant presented an absorbing and informative video on subconjuctival parasite titled ‘Catch me if you can’ which had a good impact on the audience. She was also a part of the winning 5 member team ‘Microbial terminators’ which won the Keracon film challenge, contested by four teams consisting of Cornea specialists from all over India. Cornea Fellow Dr. Anuja Ketan Desai presented a well researched paper titled ‘Oomycete Keratitis – Pythium insidiosum case series’ which provided a lot of food for thought to the audience.

The Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its hearty congratulations and good wishes to the participants.

Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s session on a niche topic receives enthusiastic response

Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s much awaited session on Neuro-Optometry was held on 27th November, 2016 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, the event witnessed a large attendance of 185 participants comprising of Optometry Interns, candidates pursuing fellowship, PG students and experienced practitioners assembled to explore a new field. The session started with an introduction to the topic by Sr. Optometrist, In-charge of the BV clinic and Chief Resource Person for the daylong event Ms. Rizwana. This was followed by a very engaging session on Neuro Optometry titled, ‘The need – A Neuro ophthalmologist’s perspective’ by Dr. Smita Praveen. Ms. Revathy, Ph.D Scholar and ex-Optometrist from Sankara Nethralaya who is currently based in Australia conducted a Skype session on components of Neuro-Optometric assessment which was well received by the participants.

The well attended event with a record numbers of registrations saw the students lapping up the presentations and hands-on training sessions ably coordinated by Ms. Rizwana and her team. “I have a good idea about the field of Neuro-Optometry, but I want such discussions to go on for at least 2-3 days. Overall very good interactive and enjoyed” said D. Meenakshi a participant from Chennai.

“It was a wonderful experience, lots of knowledge about neuro-optometry and will be remarkable for the rest of my life. Everything was perfect in my view but just one suggestion that it would be good to conduct the session for more than one day”, gushed Susan Joseph – Optometrist from LF Eye Hospital, Angamaly, Kerala.

The session ended with a concluding talk by Anuja R Singh on the selection process for Neuro Optometry fellowships.

Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s much awaited session on Neuro-Optometry was held on 27th November, 2016 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, the event witnessed a large attendance of 185 participants
comprising of Optometry Interns, candidates pursuing fellowship, PG students and experienced practitioners assembled to explore a new field. The session started with an introduction to the topic by
Sr. Optometrist, In-charge of the BV clinic and Chief Resource Person for the daylong event Ms. Rizwana. This was followed by a very engaging session on Neuro Optometry titled, ‘The need – A Neuro
ophthalmologist’s perspective’ by Dr. Smita Praveen. Ms. Revathy, Ph.D Scholar and ex-Optometrist from Sankara Nethralaya who is currently based in Australia conducted a Skype session on components
of Neuro-Optometric assessment which was well received by the participants.

Senior Sankara Nethralaya consultant wins prestigious award and rich accolades for lifelong and exemplary contributions to his field of specialization

It gives us immense pleasure and pride to share that Dr. Jyotirmay Biswas one of our senior most Consultants and Head of the Uveitis Department has been conferred with the highly prestigious ‘Dr.G.Venkatsamy Endowment Award’ for the year 2016. The award was conferred on him at a glittering ceremony organized at the annual meet of the Uveitis Society of India, on the 26th and 27th of November at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The awarding committee has cited Dr J.Biswas’ outstanding contribution in the field of Uveitis and Ophthalmology for being chosen for this high distinction.

The felicitation plaque accompanying the award lauds the pioneering and passionate Uvea expert from Sankara Nethralaya as an exemplary teacher, mentor, leader, role model and one who has made his mark in the field of Ocular inflammation and Uveitis not only in India but the entire world. The award and tribute are something that every member of Sankara Nethralaya can be proud of, let us express our collective congratulations and good wishes by putting our hands together for a standing ovation!

Hats off to you Sir!

The American Academy of Optometry confers its Fellowship on Sankara Nethralaya’s Contact Lens Head

We take great pleasure and pride in sharing that Dr. Rajeswari Mahadevan,  Head of Contact Lens Department, Sankara Nethralaya and Assistant Professor, Elite School of Optometry has been conferred with a Fellowship by one of the world’s most prestigious seats of optometry training namely the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Rajeswari participated in the 95th Annual meeting of the glorious institution held at Annaheim, California between the 9th and 12th of November 2016. The meeting witnessed 250 hours of Continuing Education (CE) Courses, Scientific presentations and 150 exhibits and recorded an attendance of more than 7,700 Optometrists, Vision care professionals and Vision Scientists from across the world. The Fellowship which signifies the highest professional standards in optometry was awarded to Dr. Rajeswari on the basis of her extensive written work and oral examination reviewed by leading Vision Scientists and Optometrists, a process cleared by a meagre 10% of aspirants.

A leading seat of knowledge and education recognizes its achievers

The 28th Annual graduation ceremony of the Elite School of Optometry, the CU Shah institute of ophthalmic sciences and the Vidyasagar institute of bio medical science was held on 25th November at the Sri VD Swamy Auditorium. Speaking on the occasion Shanthi Swaroop Bhatnagar awardee, Institute Chair Professsor and Professor of Chemistry at the IIT Dr T.Pradeep gave a simple and absorbing account of various filtering processes that has resulted in the availability of a huge amount of potable water, benefiting 7.5 million people. His talk a mixture of chemistry and poetry enthused the students to learn and practice what they learn. He encouraged the students to create opportunities through innovation as technology can change the world.

The philanthropy of Padmasri Iravatham Mahadevan, founder of VIBS who was chosen for a doctorate by the Tamil University was recalled. The graduating students were cheered with gusto by the audience making it a most memorable day in their life.

‘Technology’ can be the ‘human element’ in Medicare reiterates high power symposium at Sankara Nethralaya!

As an institution with a firm belief that Information Technology and its various manifestations are as vital to dispensing of quality healthcare as clinical expertise and best practices, a fact underlined by the institution being selected twice as  the ‘ Best IT user in Healthcare’ by NASSCOM with KPMG and CNBC TV, Sankara Nethralaya took a major initiative in exploring new vistas in the field of IT in healthcare by organizing a symposium titled ‘Transforming Eye Care through Information Technology’ (TIET-2016) at the  Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium at its main campus on the 19th of November 2016. The event was in keeping with the institution’s avowed and founding principle of disseminating knowledge for the common good and gave a deep insight and perspective on the role of IT and its scope for the future to healthcare professionals, administrators and IT personnel in healthcare and was well received by a packed hall of attendees. The seminar was addressed by an array of luminaries and high profile professionals from diverse backgrounds like Dr.Sumanth Raman, Domain Consultant Healthcare TCS, Dr.S.B. Bhatacharya, Head Health Informatics and Member National EHR Standardization Committee, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Dr. Ramamurthy, President AIOS, Mr. Ravi Viswanathan, President TCS, Dr. John Picconi from IBM Watson, Dr. Rahul Ali, Country Head, ORBIS, Dr. Vijay Narayanan, Head of Data Science and Director Algorithm, Microsoft Corporation, Dr SS. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya and Dr. Sathya Venkatraman, Consulting Partner, Asia Pacific IBM to name a few.

Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer,  Sankara Nethralaya Shri Chandramouli welcomed the gathering and gave an interesting genesis of his institution’s tryst with technology dating back to two decades and its pioneering role in storage and retrieval of data. Addressing by remote Dr.John Piccone took the audience on an enchanting trip on how his company IBM Watson Health deployed advanced Cognitive computing to enhance human experience and decode unstructured data, interpret natural language and interpret a worldwide database for better diagnosis and understanding of ailments. Dr. Sumanth Raman from TCS reiterated the same with his observation that the role of IT is not any more confined to storage and retrieval of data but as a dynamic, proactive and predicting mechanism taking healthcare from its role of illness management to wellness management. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Sudhir, Senior Consultant and Head of Sankara Nethralaya’s Electronic Medical Records (EMR) gave a detailed account of his institution’s real time experience with EMR and how the training, implementation cost and challenges were made worthwhile by the benefits that accrued from the same.

Shi Ravi Viswanthan President, TCS congratulated Dr.Sudhir and his team for their role as pioneers in implementing EMR and hailed TCS and Sankara Nethralaya as partners in progress, he underlined the role of Information Technology in dispensing healthcare in a highly populous nation like India and hailed Dr.SS.Badrinath as a true visionary and EMR as his long term vision. Dr. Vijay Narayanan Head of Algorithm and Data Science at Microsoft gave an interesting account on a rather esoteric and surreal topic titled ‘Unreasonable effects of Algorithm’ and his organization’s interesting engagement in preventive healthcare with L.V.Prasad Eye institute deploying the same.

The first hand experience shared by senior doctors like Dr. Rajiv Raman, Senior Consultant Sankara Nethralaya and several Medico-IT professionals in terms of accurate interpretation of images to helping in case studies drove home the point that Information Technology was not alien or inimical to dispensing healthcare as it is being construed but indispensable to the same and helped in underlining that technology far from replacing the human touch was actively enhancing personalization and the one to one engagement in healthcare delivery. The symposium on IT in healthcare also dwelt on more mundane topics like online payments, cyber safety and the leveraging of the web to engage and reach out the services of a hospital to its users.

Sankara Nethralaya’s contribution to quality assurance and its head’s magnanimity come for high praise

Year 2016 marked the transfer of the Indian Association of Medical Microbiologist’s (IAMM) External Quality Assessment Scheme’ (EQAS) back to the CMC Vellore where the initiative began in a small way more than two decades ago. The October issue of the IAMM’s newsletter shared an eventful two decades of the EQAS with its readers, tracing the beginning of the initiative under Dr Mary V. Jesudason (co-ordinator), Dr T. Jacob John (President) and Dr SS.Badrinath, Seccretary. The national EQAS under the IAMM moved to the L&T Microbilgy research centre, Sankara Nethralaya with Dr HN.Madhavan, Dr Lily Therse and Dr J.Malathi joining the team. The IAMM’s EQAS for the North and North East began to function at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.

When the need to move the EQAS southern chapter to a more spacious premises was felt the CMC Vellore volunteered to run the same. The handing over ceremony took place at the Sri. VD  Swamy Auditrorium , the yeoman service rendered to the quality initiative by past presidents, secretaries and executive members were recalled with gratitude and Dr SS.Badrinath’s spontaneous acceptance to hand over the process back to CMC was highly praised.

World sight day celebrations by Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya in association with ORBIS India

World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment, and is held on the second Thursday in October each year. This year it has fallen on the Thursday 13th October.

As the day began this year, hundreds of eye care professionals across the country stood up to the commitment of “Stronger together”, the global theme for this year’s WSD. As the day beautifully dawned, it was a wonderful sight to witness hundreds of Optometry students, and optometrists of the Elite School of Optometry along with the school children rising up to the occasion of the World Sight Day through various eye care awareness activities. Six schools in and around the Kooram village of the Kanchipuram district were involved in the WSD initiatives of the Elite school in partnership with ORBIS India, coordinated by the humanitarian minds Mr. Raman from NGO Dassya and Mr. Anbu from NGO Vizguthugal.

The ’Refractive Error Among Children’ (REACH) Program supported by the Orbis India Country Strategic Plan (CSP) under the umbrella of its India Childhood Blindness Initiative (ICBI) and the South Asia Comprehensive Child Eye Health Initiative (SACCHI) at the regional level, is focused at screening 300,000 children between July 2016 – June 2019 in southern India. Elite School of Optometry & Sankara Nethralaya, Units of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai has partnered up with Orbis in this initiative along with 5 other partner institutions across India. The team lead by ESO carried with them the theme “Eye Health for ALL” as the mission statement for 2016 World Sight Day initiatives. On the 13th October, vision screening activities, human chain of school students and optometrists carrying placards on eye care awareness, and drawing competitions on “VizhiyeNalama” to ignite the young minds on the need for eye and vision care were carried out. 609 children were screened in six schools of whom 4 needed spectacles, 4 referred for colour vision defects, 5 for vision therapy and 5 for other ocular problems.

Elite School of Optometry, a unit of Medical Research of Foundation, has established a strong school children outreach model and has covered more than 200,000 children in the last 5 years. Every year, on occasion of the world sight day, innovative ideas on eye and vision care awareness have been implemented by the team to reach out to the general public at large, and this year as well the team stands socially committed to the cause of “Eye health for all”. The ongoingplans for this year’s WSD include a spectrum of eye and vision care awareness activities involving primary, middle and higher secondary school students in and around the Kanchipuram district with plethora of themes addressing every age. The activities that are carried out under the theme include drawing competition on “VizhiyeNalama” (on eye health), slogan writing competition on ” Spectacles – our stylish choice” to drive the need for compliant spectacle wear, Vision club inauguration at selected schools, Installation of plaques that read “ Free from vision impairment” on the premises of 6 schools that have been screened by the team, Vision ambassador training for the school students, Quiz competitions, vision screening activities, listening to eye care stories, interacting with eye and vision care experts, Human chain and walk around the school premise in the village locality and many more!

The celebrations have begun on the13thOctober, and will be continued till the third week of October. The results of the competition would be announced during last week of October along with distribution of winner trophy and prizes.

Through the initiative of REACH and the World Sight day this year, the commitment of Elite school of Optometry and Sankara Nethralaya to serve the underserved children of rural southern India is taking a giant leap and serves as an exemplary example to the social accountability initiatives of this pioneering institution.

Let us all raise up to the cause of this unique initiatives of Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya and ORBIS, India by spreading the message on “Eye health for all” and “Stronger Together” build a nation free from vision impairment.

For volunteering activities, please contact Elite School of Optometry 044-22316658.

Fellows from Sankara Nethralaya’s Orbit and Oculoplasty department exhibit high levels of subject matter expertise and understanding at key national meet on the niche specialty

The Oculoplasty Association of India (OPAI) the umbrella organization representing and administering the field of Oculoplasty in the country, conducted its 27th Annual Conference at Baroda on the 4th of October 2016.The event witnessed the active participation of students and senior professionals in the field from all over the nation.

We take great pride and pleasure in sharing that an insightful illustration by Dr. Vathsalya Vijay titled “Prostaglandin Associated Periobitopathy: The Orbital Angle” won the ‘Dr.C.Gupta Award’ for the ‘Best Poster’ and a well researched presentation titled ‘Orbital Abscess- A 15 year review at a tertiary eye care centre’ by Dr.Varsha Backiavathy won the ‘Dr.M.Subramanyam Award’ for the ‘Best Paper’ at the prestigious event. Dr.Varsha Backiavathy also exhibited a quick grasp of the subject with her speedy responses and won the 1st prize in the quiz contest titled ‘Plasty Pariksha’.

Let us join in expressing our Hearty Congrats!! to the winners and wish them many more recognitions and accolades in their professional journey!