Danny ngo

OCOS Spotlight: Danny Ngo shows why he is a COA Young OD of the Year!

The COA Young Optometrist of the Year is awarded to doctors who show remarkable leadership skills when serving their profession, patients, and their community. Our very own OCOS doctor and board member, Danny Ngo, was recently awarded this prestigious honor. Dr. Ngo is currently serving as the Chief of Service at Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park. He is a past president of the OCOS and currently serves on the OCOS board as part of the public relations committee. He is also dedicated to giving back to the community through volunteer optometry with One Sight Optometry Clinic and the Lions Club. Dr. Ngo is an active advocate for the profession of optometry and participates in COA House of Delegates as well as COA Legislative Day. Here, Dr. Ngo speaks on his involvement in the local and state associations, as well as his passion for myopia control.


Why do you think it is important to get involved in your local/state association?

Optometry is changing rapidly and it is important to stay involved to protect the profession. There is strength in numbers and you risk the demise of optometry if you sit idle on the sidelines. Organized optometry has seen a tremendous change in scope in the last 15 years including the ability to treat glaucoma and perform non-invasive procedures. I believe that optometrists are the primary gate-keepers and will continue to provide more and more medical exams. Patients should only be referred to ophthalmology for ocular surgery. Who knows, we might even perform surgical procedures in the future as the need for eye care continues to rise. Optometry is in a very exciting place so join your local society and be involved in the fun!

Can you provide us with a memorable patient?

I have recently developed a passion for myopia control. Pathological myopia is truly an epidemic and needs our immediate attention. In China and Korea, over 90% of children are myopic. In America, we are approaching 50%. Currently at Kaiser, we are prescribing atropine, bifocals, and/or ortho-k lenses. It is a relatively new service for us and I am starting to see returning patients. My most memorable patient so far is a child who wears CRT lenses nightly. He showed myopia progression of -0.50 to -1.00 diopters every year until his first full year of CRT use. He was excited to be able to see clearly throughout the day without any correction, played sports, and had a huge smile on his face. His mom was also happy that we stopped his myopia progression. In fact his mom was so happy with his outcome that she decided to get ortho K herself!

Check out Dr. Ngo’s contribution to educating parents on the importance of pediatric eye exams at http://www.dadswhodiaper.com/2015/08/8-simple-ways-to-protect-your-childrens-eyesight/.




Sarah Blackwelder, OD

OCOS Public Relations


Tribute to Dr. Harue Marsden

With a heavy heart, we want to inform all OCOS members that Dr. Harue Marsden passed away after an extended fight against cancer on Thursday Feb 2. She passed away in the comfort of her own home. There will be a memorial service next Friday, February 10. For those wish to attend it will be at Marshall B. Ketchum University and you can check out the Ketchum Website for more details soon.

Harue was an amazing woman, a great mentor to her students, and dedicated so much of herself to the profession of optometry. Incredibly devoted to OCOS, she attended virtually every meeting and even our board meetings to help guide and nurture the future leaders of our society. I think it was her favorite thing to do, to inspire and develop young people to achieve more of the potential she saw in them. I remember seeing her just a couple weeks ago and she was fired up to discuss topics for our upcoming house of delegates meeting. She was always so excited to be an instrument of change, because for her, it symbolized the steady upward march of optometric progress. And it’s why she loved so much to talk to young people who were unburdened by the past—who couldn’t wait to seize the future.

I personally experienced this as she was my contact lens mentor and later friend on the OCOS board. I remember like yesterday at one of our OCOS meetings 3 years ago, she won a VISA gift certificate courtesy of one of our sponsors. A SCCO student had pulled her winning ticket. She strolled up to collect her prize, but once she got to the front she took the gift and handed it to the student who pulled her ticket with a smile. I’ve never seen anyone else do that, but that was just who Harue was.

So I ask of OCOS to honor the memory of Harue. To be worthy of her life’s work and for our part actively promote our wonderful profession. To say “yes” to those emails and calls from pre-optometry and optometry students who want to visit us in practice to learn. To break bread, share a good drink, and create lasting relationships with your optometrists colleagues. We’ll certainly miss her. We lost a good one and may she rest in peace.

Thanh Mai, OD
OCOS President


December is Safe Gifts and Toys Month

As a parent of two young children, I know all too well the trials of the holiday season. First of all is the challenge of getting my kids to appreciate giving as much as receiving. And, despite the best intentions of friends and family, I need to be diligent in inspecting that all toys are safe and appropriate. In 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 254,200 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms. Most of these involved lacerations, contusions or abrasions (41%) and most affected the head and face area (45%). In response to this problem that poses such a significant risk to our children’s eyesight, Prevent Blindness America has declared December “Safe Toys and Gifts Month”.

Prevent Blindness America recommends the following guidelines when purchasing gifts:

  • Only buy toys meant for the child’s age and maturity level
  • Purchase toys that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards
  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods or dangerous edges
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off

They also recommend the following guidelines when your children are at play:

  • Keep an eye on your children while they play
  • Keep young children away from toys meant for older children
  • Supervise children’s art projects (particularly those involving glue and scissors)
  • Have children wear the right protective eyewear when playing with toys
  • Store toys properly to prevent slips and falls
  • Fix or throw away broken toys

By following these simple guidelines, we can substantially reduce the number of toy-related injuries and make sure that this is a happy, festive holiday season with less trips to the emergency room.

-Steven Wang, OD