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Ophthalmology Surgery Center of Dallas

OSCD Scene

News and views from the fourth floor of the Eye Institute of Texas

Smoking linked to increased risk of eye disease

Smoking linked to increased risk of eye disease

Cigarettes are often associated with lung cancer and heart disease. Did you know smoking also causes blindness?

Studies show that smoking may lead to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome. Many of these smoking-related eye disorders can result in permanent vision loss. Nonsmokers living with smokers are also at risk.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD begins as a loss of central vision that increases significantly over time. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is the most common.

In dry AMD, fatty deposits form under the retina, the cells in the back of the eye that sense light. Vision loss in dry AMD usually gets worse gradually. In wet AMD, tiny blood vessels under the retina rupture. The resulting scar tissue changes your vision and the damage occurs more quickly than with dry AMD.

Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop AMD than nonsmokers. Nonsmokers living with smokers almost double their risk of developing AMD.


Cataracts occur when proteins inside the lens breaks down, causing the lens to become cloudy. It happens naturally with aging and often gets worse gradually as we get older.

Heavy smokers (15 cigarettes/day or more) have up to three times the risk of cataract as nonsmokers. Furthermore, smoking can increase your chances of developing diabetes. Cataracts related to diabetes can form much faster that age-related cataracts.


Glaucoma causes a gradual break down of the cells that make up the optic nerve. As the nerve cells die, vision is slowly lost, usually beginning with side vision. Loss of vision may not become noticeable until significant nerve damage has occurred. As many as half of those with glaucoma may be unaware that they have it.

There is a strong link between smoking and high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes, which are all risk factors for glaucoma.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, causes tiny blood vessels of the retina to break down, leak or become blocked, resulting in a gradual loss of vision. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, serious damage to the eye can occur when new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.

Smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes. It can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Complications of diabetes made worse by smoking include retinopathy, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems and many others.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome appears as damaged blood vessels in the eye. This can lead to eye irritation, itchy and scratchy eyes, and burning sensation of the eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome is more than twice as likely to impact smokers as non-smokers.

Kicking the habit can significantly decrease your risk of eye disease. Many smoking cessation programs are covered by insurance and Medicaid. Talk to your doctor about what medications and programs may be best for you.

NYS Department of Health


OSCD contributes to fight against Fuchs’ Dystrophy

Dr Mootha and his team

Recent in-service training workshops presented by Dr. Vinod Mootha of UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dr. Walter Beebe of Cornea Associates of Texas provided the OSCD team with information regarding Fuchs’ Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy, a corneal disorder that causes blurry vision.

Dr. Beebe, a cornea and refractive surgery specialist at Cornea Associates of Texas in Plano and a surgical partner at OSCD, presented a comprehensive overview of Fuchs’ Dystrophy and the latest developments in treatment of the corneal disorder.

Dr. Mootha is the Paul T. Stoffel / Centex Professorship in Clinical Care at UTSW. He leads a team at UTSW Medical Center researching Fuchs’ Dystrophy. He and his team shared their ongoing research, including the importance of the tissues and blood samples collected by OSCD to their work.

We are grateful for Dr. Beebe and Dr. Mootha’s work with OSCD and for the opportunity to contribute to research that may someday bring an end to Fuchs’ Dystrophy.

Dr. Walter Beebe
Dr. Beebe presented OSCD staff with an overview of the latest developments in the fight against Fuchs’ Dystrophy
Dr. Beebe
Dr. Beebe
Dr. Vinod Mootha shares his research on Fuchs’ Disease 
Featured photo: Dr Vinod Mootha and his research team from UTSW Medical Center
Dr. Vinod Mootha shares his research on Fuchs’ Disease 
Featured photo: Dr Vinod Mootha and his research team from UTSW Medical Center

Featured photo: Dr Vinod Mootha and his team from UTSW Medical Center conduct ongoing research on Fuchs’ Dystrophy

OSCD names Blake Peart as new CEO

New CEO Blake Peart

After an extensive search, OSCD has named John “Blake” Peart, formerly of Kindred Healthcare in Mansfield, Texas, as its new Chief Executive Officer. In January, Blake accepted the position left vacant by Andrew “Andy” Summers, who died unexpectedly in May.

The months-long interview process did not deter Blake, who said the thorough search reassured him that finding “the right fit” was as important to OSCD as it was to him, especially under the circumstances.

“Not long after I accepted the position, I read through Andy’s memorial,” Blake said. “I could tell his loss was deeply felt, so first and foremost, I want to I extend my condolences to everyone at OSCD.”

Blake’s first day in the office was Tuesday, February 5. He said it has been a busy transition, and he looks forward to working with and getting to know the OSCD team and staff.

Blake has 18 years in senior management experience in healthcare. Most recently as CEO of Kindred Healthcare, he was recognized for “Best Hospital” for Employee Retention and Employee Satisfaction in 2018 from the Organization of LTACH Hospitals. Under his leadership Kindred Healthcare was awarded the 5K Hospital Quality Award for 2017 and 2018.

“As a new member of our team, Blake brings a wealth of knowledge from his experiences in hospital administration, business development, academic administration and as a respiratory therapist,” said Tim Szott, Vice President of Operations for Surgical Care Affiliates. “Blake is a valuable addition to our leadership team and I look forward to his future successes with OSCD.”

In addition to the quality accolades received at Kindred Healthcare, Blake increased physician recruitment by 27% over an 18 month period and increased the total number of procedures performed at the facility by approximately 32%.

Blake began his healthcare career in 2003 as a licensed respiratory therapist. After receiving his certification from Louisiana State University in Alexandria, Blake worked at Rapides Regional Medical and later became its Director of Cardiopulmonary. In 2007, he took a teaching position at LSU-A as a Respiratory Therapist Clinical Instructor. In 2008, Blake graduated with honors from University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona with a bachelors degree in Healthcare Administration. The next year, Blake was named Program Director at Pima Medical Institute in Mesa, Arizona. In 2015, Blake and his family returned to Texas where he was named Director of Operations and Business Development at Kindred Healthcare in Arlington. He was later promoted to Hospital Administrator.

While the path may seem unconventional, Blake said his roles as a caregiver, teacher, director and administrator have shaped his approach to leadership and provided him with a unique perspective.

“In my career, I have had the privilege of working as a clinician and operator in health care,” he explained, “These hands-on experiences have given me a deeper understanding of outpatient services and how to better serve our patients needs.”

Furthermore, Blake emphasized, he is not the kind of administrator who spends most of his time in an office. “When possible, I prefer to be on the floor, interacting with the staff and meeting them where they are. In fact, I’ve been exactly where they are.”

When he is not in the office or on the floor at OSCD, Blake enjoys golfing, traveling, snow skiing and spending time at home in Arlington with his wife and 11-year-old daughter.

“I look forward to working with the OSCD team and our physician partners to support the quality care OSCD provides,” he said.

MIGS: The New Age of Glaucoma Surgery

The goal of glaucoma surgery is to reduce damage to the optic nerve by lowering the pressure inside the eye. Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery, or MIGS, achieves this using microscopic instruments to make very small incisions in the eye.

Although traditional glaucoma treatments are effective, they are also associated with many risks. As a result, surgeons often delay invasive procedures like trabeculectomy and drainage devices until other less invasive options have been unsuccessful and the patient’s condition is worsening.

“The main theme and priority of MIGS is patient safety,” explains Davinder S. Grover, MD MPH at Glaucoma Associates of Texas and physician partner at Ophthalmology Surgery Center of Dallas. “While no surgery is without risk, MIGS provide improved safety while usually providing mild-to-moderate IOP lowering.”

In the article MIGS: The New Age of Glaucoma Surgery for Glaucoma Research Foundation, Dr. Grover explores how micro-invasive glaucoma surgery is revolutionizing the way surgeons approach surgical glaucoma for patients:

The traditional glaucoma surgeries (trabeculectomy and glaucoma drainage devices), while very effective, are associated with risks such as double vision, devastating eye infections, exposure of a drainage implant, swelling of the cornea, and excessively low IOP. Although these risks are relatively infrequent, they make most surgeons delay glaucoma surgery until all other less invasive treatment options are maximized (medications and laser treatment) and the patient has definitive glaucoma worsening.

Fortunately, the MIGS revolution has allowed us to change our approach to surgical glaucoma for many patients.


(Source: Glaucoma Research Foundation)

Davinder S. Grover, MD, is an Attending Surgeon and Clinician at the Glaucoma Associates of Texas and surgical partner at Ophthalmology Surgery Center of Dallas, located in Dallas, Texas. He specializes in the medical and surgical management of complex glaucoma as well as cataract surgery.

Remembering Andrew Summers, OSCD CEO

OSCD continues to recover from the sudden loss of CEO Andrew “Andy” Summers, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack on May 17. He was 47.

Andy often talked of how much he loved his job and the people he worked with at OSCD. He had recently celebrated his one-year work anniversary. Andy was excited about this facility, proud of his accomplishments and looking forward to the future.

Left to right: Andrew Summers, CEO; Valerie Anthamatten, Business Office Manager; Jimmy Garcia, Materials Manager; Melody Hargrove, Director of Nursing

During his time at OSCD, Andy approached leadership with an emphasis on advocacy and collaboration. His focus on teamwork was one of the hallmarks of his time here. While he loved attention, he often side-stepping compliments and gratitude with self-deprecating humor – although he was quite fond of occasionally reminding colleagues that he was “kind of a big deal.”

One of the many things that made Andy special was the way he connected with and supported his team. Even on the busiest days, he often found time to stop and chat.

“The best part of the day was when he made his rounds to check in and say hello to everyone,” recalled Jennifer Martin, Pre-Op/PACU Manager at OSCD. “He knew every staff member by name and he also knew something special about each one. We always left his office with smiles and confidence about the future of OSCD.  Andy was our biggest cheerleader. He will be missed by so many.”

Andy meeting with “CEO Emma”

As many of us know, Andy was a world class storyteller who had a tale for every occasion. “Some might say Andy was ‘verbose,'” said Melody Hargrove, Director of Nursing. “He was working on that. Even though it was short lived, Andy was such a gift to this facility. If only we could have one more word.”

His affable, larger-than-life personality made him an excellent networker who literally made friends wherever he went. He nurtured his extensive personal and professional relationships and relied on them for support and guidance.

The day before he died, Andy had lunch with his friend and mentor Debbie Hay to celebrate her retirement. In a memorial, she wrote:

“I am so proud of all that Andy accomplished. He was so proud of his recent work at OSCD. And with good reason. His leadership abilities really had a chance to shine. And shine he did. In a text he sent me on Wednesday he said, ‘I will miss you, Chief.’ (It’s) not right that I now have to say: I will miss you, Andy.”

Andy believed hard work could accomplish anything. In addition to achieving his goals at OSCD, he had been working hard to reclaim his health. Under the care of a doctor, he started exercising and eating well. He had made significant progress and was immensely proud.

Nothing made him prouder than his family. Andy was a devoted husband and father who adored his wife of 18 years, Mary Huye Summers, and their two children, Drew (15) and Anna (13). He enjoyed doting on Anna and watching Drew develop his skills in baseball. He was incredibly proud of his children and cherished the life he and Mary had made together.

Hundreds attended Andy’s visitation and funeral. The outpouring of support and respect comes as no surprise to those who worked with Andrew Summers.

After all, he was kind of a big deal.


Registered Nurse CEU Requirements for OSCD RNs

Attention OSCD RNs: Please see the following to make sure that you are completing all CEU requirements for your license.

Mandatory CNE Requirements

There are several mandatory continuing education requirements that nurses must meet. These requirements are detailed in this section. A nurse is required to retain continuing competency records for three licensure renewal cycles at a minimum [Board Rule 216.7 (c)].

Nursing Jurisprudence and Nursing Ethics. All licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are required to complete at least two contact hours of CNE in nursing jurisprudence and ethics prior to the end of each third two-year licensure renewal cycle for licensure cycles beginning on or after January 1, 2014. The course is required to contain information related to the Texas Nursing Practice Act, Texas BON Rules, Texas BON Position Statements, principles of nursing ethics, and professional boundaries [Board Rule 216.3(g)]. This course counts as part of the 20 required contact hours; however, certification cannot be used to fulfill this mandatory requirement [Board Rule 216.3(g)].

Older Adult or Geriatric Care. Any LVN, RN, or APRN whose practice includes the older adult or geriatric population is required to complete at least two contact hours in every licensure cycle beginning on or after January 1, 2014 [Board Rule 216.3(h)]. The content must include information relating to elder abuse, age related memory changes and disease processes, including chronic conditions, and end of life issues [Board Rule 216.3(h)(1)]. A nurse may choose to complete more than one course in order to cover all content required in the rule.

If you have any questions, see Michelle Onofrio-Thompson.

OSCD Values Hero: Valerie Anthamatten

When patients consider quality of care, they may think of doctors, nurses and other members of the medical staff. Administrators and support personnel also play a vital role by keeping everything moving smoothly as patients travel through the system, from pre-registration to post-op recovery.

Valerie Anthamatten has managed the business office at OSCD for the last eight years. Her hard work and dedication, built on 14 years of experience in an ambulatory surgery center setting, reflect the mission and values that OSCD shares with its partner Surgical Care Affiliates. As an integral part of our team, Val was chosen as the 2018 OSCD Values Hero.

“I take pride in knowing I can make a difference, even if I’m not physically taking care of a patient,” she said. “I am contributing to their well-being and providing ease with their understanding on the administrative side of their experience, such as registration, insurance benefits, and overall quality of care at OSCD.

“Being a the OSCD Values Hero means that I am working with an amazing, supportive team,” Val explained. “They drive me to do my best and I strive to keep moving forward and grow. It is such an honor to be associated with OSCD teammates and physicians.”


Hargrove Named Finalist for AAAHC Quality Improvement Award

Melody Hargrove, OSCD Director of Nursing, was one of two 2017-2018 Surgical/Procedural Finalists for The Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award. Her presentation, Reducing Immediate Use Steam Sterilization, received top honors at the AAAHC Achieving Accreditation Conference in March.

“Mel was one of the top finalists for this national award,” said Andrew Summers, OSCD CEO. “Her hard work ethic and attention to detail are well known here. We are proud of her achievement.”

The prestigious Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award recognizes AAAHC-accredited organizations that successfully implemented meaningful changes in their operations to boost quality of care, patient safety and overall efficiency.

Representatives from the winning organizations received “The Bernie” – named for Bernard A. Kershner, a leader in ambulatory health care and distinguished past Chair of the AAAHC Institute Board of Trustees – at the 2018 Achieving Accreditation conference on March 17 in Tampa, Fla.

In the primary care category, the winner, Winslow Indian Health Care Center, implemented a comprehensive study to improve medication reconciliation during the transition of care process from hospital to ambulatory care and reduce readmission rates. The surgical/procedural care winner, Danbury Surgical Center, conducted an efficiency study to reduce pharmaceutical costs while maintaining quality of care.

(Source: Health Exec)

Employee of the Quarter: Helen Vu

Congratulations, Helen Vu, OSCD’s Q1 Employee of the Quarter! Helen has been with OSCD for seven years. Her responsibilities as a Business Office Clerk put her at the forefront of patient care and customer service. She greets patients and their family members, maintains order in the lobby, manages patient check-in, assists with insurance and billing, generates reports, and handles pathology and medical records.

Helen was nominated by Veronica Salas based on the OSCD values, integrity and teamwork. Here is what Veronica had to say about Helen:

[Helen] continues to extend of the hand of what SCA is all about, patient care. She always helps to do the work that needs to be done by the end of the day: getting charts done for the next day, taking payments over the phone and counter. She has great phone skills and a very pleasant voice. Helen assists with daily work flow with coworkers, office manager, etc. She helps with future quotes and great customer service to all our patients, coworkers, management and all personnel.

“I enjoy working with patients and their families,” Helen said. “I love working with all the departments at OSCD. Everyone is helpful and I really enjoy everyone’s different personalities.”

Helen is a longtime resident of Richardson. She lives with her husband and three children, Taylor (18), Kaitlin (16) and Charlie (8).

Thank you for all your hard work, Helen!

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