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Special Honours

Lancaster Award 2012, AACO, U.S.A

Congratulations to Katherine Fray who was awarded the Lancaster Award for meritorious contribution to orthoptic excellence at the recent American Association of Certified Orthoptists annual meeting. This award  is the most esteemed honor given by the American Association of Certified Orthoptists (AACO). The award recognizes individuals distinguished for outstanding service and commitment to the AACO organizational mission.

The Birgitta Neikter Lecture, Sweden
The Swedish Orthoptic Association held its Annual meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden on the 1st-2nd October. Seventy-eight orthoptists attended the well organised and interesting event.
For the first time a lecture in honour of the late Birgitta Neikter was held, and very appropriately, the lecture was given by Elizabeth Caines, our past IOA president.
She started by telling us about Birgitta, her colleague and friend for many years; of how Birgitta had encouraged her when she first came to Sweden as an orthoptist, and how a close friendship developed while they worked together to establish the Scandinavian School of Orthoptics. She talked about their mutual involvement in international orthoptics and how it developed into that which we all know is close to her heart, the IOA.
Elizabeth continued by talking about her interest in a long-term prospective study of children born with Arnold-Chiari syndrome and treated at the University Hospital of Uppsala, the hospital to which Elizabeth has been faithful since she moved to Sweden in 1968. Elizabeth has been part of the multi-disciplinary team working with these children.
Arnold–Chiari malformation is a malformation of the brain. There are several types of Chiari syndrome, the classical form is “Arnold Chiari II” which is accompanied by a myelomeningocele and frequently hydrocephalus. In the group of patients Elizabeth has followed:
- 52% developed strabismus before the age of 4 years
- 81% had significant refractive error, mostly hypermetropic
- generally there was a delayed maturation of distance visual acuity
- 50% had subnormal near point of accommodation (but normal near visual acuity)
- 43% had nystagmus
 - all had normal near vision, normal colour vision and full field of vision.
These patients spend many days in hospital during their childhood and a great number of professions are involved in their care. Our joint efforts are of great importance in optimizing their quality of life. Thank you, Elizabeth, for a moving and interesting talk.

Royal Award, The Netherlands
Mrs. Kathleen Lantau, received on 30 April 2012 a royal award: she was made a Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau.
She received this award for her work in youth health care. We would like to congratulate her to this appointment, whose application was supported also by the NVvO.

Richard G. Scobee Memorial Lecture
Katherine J. Fray was selected to present the 43rd Richard G. Scobee Memorial Lecture at the 2012 national meeting of the American Association of Certified Orthoptists. This annual keynote lecture is given by a pediatric ophthalmologist or an orthoptist in tribute to the man who has been referred to as the “father of American orthoptics”. Dr. Scobee’s passion for strabismus, teaching and research lead him to write his textbook “The Oculorotary Muscles” in 1947 and 1952 and author over 60 articles before his death at the age of 37 years. In addition, his dedication to the field of orthoptics was evident when Dr. Scobee became the founder and first editor of the American Orthoptic Journal. The AOJ publishes the Richard G. Scobee Memorial Lecture each year. It is a great honor to be added to the long list of prominent Scobee lecturers.  

The Princess Marianne Bernadotte Prize, Sweden
Dr Agneta Rydberg, orthoptist and associate professor at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, has received the Princess Marianne Bernadotte Prize for outstanding contributions to clinical pediatric ophthalmology research. Agneta Rydberg is awarded the prize for her research on visual functions and visual development in children, and for her contributions to orthoptic research nationally and internationally. Congratulations!

The Lunn Award, Canada
Karen McMain, has been invited to give the 2nd Lunn Lecture at the next meeting of the Canadian Orthoptic Society in Vancouver, June 2011. The Lecture is funded by the Canadian Orthoptic Council and is awarded to a Canadian orthoptist every two years. The inaugural lecture was given in 2009. Catherine Lunn was "the mother of Canadian orthoptics" and was a founding member of the Canadian Orthoptic Society in 1967.
It is a great honour to be chosen to receive this award given to a Canadian orthoptist who has made major contributions to the profession of orthoptics. Karen fits this description on so many levels.

BIOS Fellowship, United Kingdom
The British and Irish Orthoptic Society awards "Fellowships" of the Society to deserving members and professionals who have furthered the profession of Orthoptics. One of the recipients of the 2010 awards was Gail Stephenson, Chairman of the Congress Scientific Programme Committee for the forthcoming IOA Congress in Toronto, Canada, 2012. Gail is a highly regarded academic and clinical educator, responsible for the establishment of the undergraduate orthoptic education programme at the University of Liverpool, UK. Congratulations!
Congratulations also to Rosie Auld, Patricia Blackburn, Bronach Cooper, Valerie Brown, Helen Davies, Sarah Shea and Jean Voller whose contribution to the orthoptic profession was also acknowledged by BIOS Fellowship awards.

A first for Orthoptics in the UK.
Congratulations to Helen Davis who has been awarded a personal chair by the University of Sheffield. Helen developed the undergraduate course in Sheffield and has been an active member of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, sitting on several committees.  A fellow of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, she has been actively involved with the BIOS, notably with Education, and has been a member of the Council of the Health Professions Council, currently sitting on their Education and Training committee.  Helen has presented at many national and international meetings; delivered the Roger Trimble lecture at the British Isles Strabismological Association meeting in 2006; co-authored one of the core Orthoptic text books used in the UK and worldwide; and is well known for her work on the development and use of the FD2.
The promotion to Professor of Orthoptics shows recognition of Helen‘s personal and professional achievements.