31st Annual Meeting

March 23-25, 2018, Tampa, Florida

Minutes of the business meeting:

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 8:05am.

After discussion, the following conclusions were drawn:

1)   A few members do not pay dues before the annual meeting. To encourage timely dues payment, consider reducing the meeting charge by $50 for members who pay dues before meetings and/or do not distribute meeting proceedings to members who have not paid dues.

2)   Emeritus status needs re-evaluation. According to the current by-laws, it is possible for some individuals to join the Society and immediately acquire emeritus status, which means they are exempt from ever paying dues.

3)   The by-laws should not specify a specific bank for the Society to use. Currently, Wells Fargo is specified as such.

4)   The 2020 meeting will be held in London per the kind offer of Richard Keeler to host it, and the French and German ophthalmic history societies will be invited. Dr. Albert Franceschetti can help in the latter regard.

5)   Holding an annual COHS meeting immediately prior to an annual AAO meeting probably would not enhance COHS meeting attendance. 

6)   The Society will cover the registration fee, but not travel expenses, of any resident who presents at a COHS meeting.


Treasurer’s Report(Chris Leffler):

There is ~$45K in the treasury, excluding the Tampa meeting expenses (~$22,800). Income for 2018 has been ~$28,100. This is an increase over 2017: ~$34K in the treasury before meeting expenses of ~$18,208; income of ~$22,561. From 2014 through 2016, the amount in the treasury before meeting expenses ranged from $23,403 to $33,46.  The fund established in May 2012 to subsidize attendance of trainees at COHS meeting has $15,202.

President’s Report(Pam Sieving):

It is of concern that dues are not paid in a timely manner by a significant number of members.

Presently, there are 48 dues-paying members and 22 emeriti, who are exempt from paying dues.

There are two new members: Maurice Luntz and Roland Neri-Vela.

Eight members have given valid reasons for not attending the Tampa meeting.

The following individuals passed away since the last meeting of the Society:

            William Tasman

            William Spencer

            Robert Drews

The death of Celeste Manley, wife of member Don Manley and major support during Don’s presidency, was also noted.

It was pointed out that:

1)   The appropriateness of the amount of current dues ($100/year) warrants discussion. 

2)   It is a challenge to control costs of the annual meeting.

3)   The endowed trainee fund has not yet been used and is available to cover the registration fee of trainees who give presentations at the COHS meeting.

It was noted that election of a new president and a new executive committee member is needed due to expiration of the terms of the members now in those positions. 

The following matters then were addressed:

1)   Special lectures: It was concluded that members who are recognized for providing extraordinary service to the Society with the occasional Special Achievement Award should be provided with the optional opportunity of giving a lecture at the Society’s annual meeting.  At this year's meeting, the society president also named a Presidential Lecturer; future presidents may continue this tradition at one of the meetings during their terms.

2)   Upcoming meeting venues: The 2019 meeting will be in Washington, DC and hosted by Wendy Gasch with Pam Sieving’s assistance. The 2020 meeting will be in London and hosted by Richard Keeler. David Parke, AAO president and CEO, has offered Academy space at headquarters in San Francisco for a meeting there, and this is tentatively scheduled for 2021.

3)   The Society’s web site: Its maintenance is the Society’s main expense, but it is not expensive. Currently, it is maintained by Pamela Sieving, with assistance of a contractor in New Hampshire for c$2200/year; there are additional costs for hosting the site on SquareSpace and domain name registration, totaling c$300/year.

4)   The web site includes the contact information, news, and publications of members. It also enables on-line payments. In addition is can facilitate research opportunities related to the history of ophthalmology. A brief discussion by those present concluded that including videos of talks at the COHS meetings would be problematic. SquareSpace indicates the geographic origin of the web site’s hits.

5)   Archival material related to the history of ophthalmology: Members were instructed to send such material to Jenny Benjamin, who maintains the Society’s archives at the Museum of Vision.

Many thanks were extended by Pam Sieving to Curtis Margo and Lynn Harman for organizing the 2018 meeting and to Chris Blodi for his four years of work on the executive committee. Those present noted that Pam Sieving deserves many thanks for the extensive time and effort she has devoted to the Society as president over the past three years. Also, George Bohigian thanked the executive committee for its work during the past year.

Bylaws Changes:

It was voted not to specify Wells Fargo as the bank to be used by the Society (proposal made by Chris Blodi, seconded by Jay Galst). This change will be the subject of a vote by all of the active membership, per the requirements of the Bylaws.


Danny Jokl was elected president of the Society and Albert Fanceschetti was elected to fill the Board position that Chris Blodi will vacate.

2019 Meeting:

The next meeting will be March 15-17, 2019, in Washington, DC at the conference center of Georgetown University. Saturday evening dinner will be at the Cosmos Club. At 3pm on the 15thmembers have been offered to attend a tour of the Library of Congress; there will be additional opportunities to take advantage of the cultural and historical setting of the meeting.


New Members:

Members were strongly encouraged to recruit new members from among attendees at appropriate meeting in Europe, via ARVO, from resident programs, etc.


The meeting adjourned at 9am.

Respectfully submitted,

Wendy Gasch