Eyeworld Supplements

2024 50 Years of ASCRS Supplement

This is a supplement to EyeWorld Magazine.

Issue link: https://supplements.eyeworld.org/i/1516004

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Page 21 of 67

LEADING A REVOLUTION 22 | SUPPLEMENT TO EYEWORLD "ey said, 'Put together a budget.' I submitted a bud- get of $10,000. ey said, 'Absolutely not,'" Mr. Karcher recalled. Eventually, he convinced them to allow the direct mail campaign with Dr. Clayman, who was still president, saying he would pay the production and mail- ing fee if it wasn't successful. "We went from 1,800 members to 2,200 mem- bers within 30 days. Within 60 days, we doubled our membership; we went to 3,600 members," Mr. Karcher said of the campaign. As ASCRS was involved with working with the FDA on researching IOLs under the investi- gational device exemption, Mr. Karcher saw the need to have a presence closer to Washington, D.C., and it was decided in 1984 to move the headquarters of the society from Santa Monica, California, to Fairfax, Virginia, not far from the nation's capital. In conjunction with the move, leadership vot- ed to change the name to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery "to better re- flect exactly what our members were doing," Mr. Karcher said. Several members who were around at the time of the name change said it wasn't a universally accepted change. Some "thought we were over- reaching because of the refractive part of it," Dr. Obstbaum said. He said that leadership ulti- mately thought that the opportunity would be lost if the Society didn't adopt the refractive el- ement of anterior segment surgery. Once again, AIOIS, now ASCRS, was ahead of the curve. Growing a subspecialty society Membership increases and involvement opportunities expand In 1981, Mr. Karcher had le the Century Plaza Hotel and was forming a consulting firm. He was approached by the leadership of AIOIS, which was undergoing a reorganization at the time, to help run the Annual Meet- ing. Over the next few weeks, while helping answer the phone for AIOIS and performing other administrative tasks, Mr. Karcher said Dr. Clayman, who was president at the time, asked him to run the organization, to be- come its Executive Director. "at's where it all started. I went from the hotel busi- ness to meeting planning to association management," Mr. Karcher said. "I had absolutely no knowledge of ophthalmolog y." Aer 3 months on the job, Mr. Karcher had a clear picture of the Society, its trajectory, and knew it needed to grow. He suggested a direct mail campaign to some of the leadership, but they preferred phone invitations, which Mr. Karcher thought was time consuming. Manus Kraff, MD (le), Dr. Hoffer (center), and Mr. Karcher (right) Source: ASCRS What's in a name? In 1985, the American Intra-Ocular Implant Society's name was changed to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Dr. Obstbaum, who played a role in this renaming, said it was spurred on by intraoc- ular lens implantation being thought of as a refractive procedure and the rise of corneal refractive surgery. He said members wanted to make presentations on refrac- tive topics at the Annual Meeting. Dr. Lindstrom said adding the word "surgery" to the name was significant as well. "We were advocates for surgeons and surgery and fo- cused on the training and networking of surgeons with one another," he said.

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