GPLI FIRST with Education




This newsletter will highlight contact lens correction of keratoconus. This includes highlights from Dr. Stephanie Woo’s excellent webinar on this topic as provided on July 20th. In addition, GPLI resources highlighting contact lens management of keratoconus are featured.
Finally, on July 19th, the contact lens industry lost a true giant with the passing of former President of both TruForm Optics and the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association, Naomi “Jo” Svochak. A tribute is provided to someone who was truly beloved by so many of her industry colleagues.


"Contact Lens Management
of Keratoconus"

Stephanie L. Woo, OD, FAAO, FSLS

Dr. Woo is a graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry where she was awarded the GPLI Award for Clinical Excellence upon graduation. I had the privilege of working with her for one year as she completed her Cornea and Contact Lens Residency at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry. After integrating specialty contact lenses into a three practice based in Lake Havasu, Arizona, Dr. Woo recently opened the Contact Lens Institute of Nevada in Las Vegas. She is a Fellow and past President of the Scleral Lens Education Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and an Advisory Board member of the GPLI. She is also a popular author and speaker and recently started a very popular educational platform entitled Woo University. The GPLI will be a silver sponsor for their six hour “Scleral Lens Soiree” program to be held, Sunday, October 24th. It is free to attend and the link to register is: 

Her presentation was a very good overview of not only the types of contact lens options and their applications but how to manage a keratoconus patient in general. Each type of contact lens option was accompanied by a representative case to illustrate how that specific design can be successful. Highlights included the following:

1)     How to manage a keratoconic patient, including the initial diagnosis and explanation of the disease, examination and special testing, and communication of the options.

2)     Making it work in your practice, including efficiency, billing and payment, handling lenses and lens returns, and communicating with local MDs, ODs, and opticians.

3)     The importance of a comprehensive case history, what questions should be asked, and how to reassure a patient’s concerns about their condition.

4)     Important in-office factors such as: How do you get fitting sets and which one’s should you get? What equipment do you need? What does my staff need to know?

5)     Custom soft lens and hybrid applications, fitting, and a representative case report.

6)     Corneal GP applications, fitting, and a representative case report.

7)     Scleral lens applications, corneo-scleral topography, fitting, and a representative case report.

8)     Your medical contact lens agreement which describes the cost of services and contact lenses as well as payment plans, definition of the fitting process, and what to expect if a successful fit is not achieved.

9)     Very useful resources to accompany this talk are Dr. Woo’s webinars on specialty lens coding and billing (under the resident and students tab on home page: April, 2019) and “How to Build a Specialty Contact Lens Practice” with Elsie Kramer (under the webinars tab: April, 2020).

Resource Spotlight:

Contact Lens Management
of Keratoconus

The GPLI has a number of resources pertaining to the contact lens management of keratoconus. Dr. Woo’s webinar is the 18th such program since 2018 that pertains directly or indirectly to contact lens management of the keratoconic patient. These can accessed via the “Webinars” tab on the home page. Under the “Education” tab is an excellent series of lectures pertaining to keratoconus from Dr. Christine Sindt. The part 2 lecture on topography and keratoconus is especially outstanding. 



Naomi “Jo” Svochak
1937 – 2021
“Heaven Gains a Rose”

On July 19th, Naomi “Jo” Svochak, beloved long-time President of one of the most successful family-owned contact lens laboratories – TruForm Optics, Inc. – passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness surrounded by her loved ones. There are few words that truly can describe Jo other than the enormous care and compassion she felt for family and friends and the love that everyone felt for her.

She was the Matriarch of one of the great families in the history of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA). She met her husband Frank Svochak when they both worked at Revere Copper and Brass in Newport, Arkansas. Frank started Tru-Form Optics in 1976, and promptly joined the CLMA while Jo continued to assist while keeping her job at Emery Air Freight. After Frank passed away in 1982, she became a single mother of four children – aged 13 – 20; the oldest, Jan, discontinued his college and career pursuits to help Jo with the family business. She was determined to keep the family business going among many obstacles. She proceeded to bury herself in her work and was committed to the industry and family business. As a result of her determination and work ethic, accompanied by the dedication and contact lens technical and manufacturing knowledge provided by Jan, Tru-Form Optics began a growth period which continues to this day. Jo stayed very active as President, a role she held until two years ago.

In many ways Jo was a pioneer in the contact lens industry. She was the first female to hold the position of President of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association. Likewise, she was a recipient, in 2013, of the CLMA Trailblazers Award for outstanding achievement in product development for the enhancement of the contact lens industry. It is notable that of the 30 individuals to have received this award after it’s inception in 1987, Jo Svochak remains the only female to be so honored. As President and later in the important position of GP Committee Chair, Jo was a very popular and respected leader and for as long as I have known her, a very strong advocate of GP lens education and the GP Lens Institute.

(Pictures below are Jo Svochak in 2013 receiving the CLMA Trailblazers Award)

The last time so many of us had the pleasure of seeing Jo was at the CLMA Meeting in Las Vegas in January, 2018 where she and many members of her family were able to see Jan Svochak very deservedly honored with the Leonardo da Vinci Award for vision in establishing the focus of the CLMA and dedication to the achievement of it’s goals. When heaven recently called Jo, she was waiting patiently, with the knowledge that she left this world a better place than when she emtered it and she left with the love and respect from everyone she touched . . . from everyone privileged enough to have the opportunity to have known her.


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2021 GPLI Upcoming Webinar Series
Dawn Lam, MS, OD, FAAO
Erin Rueff, OD, PhD, FAAO

2021 GPLI Upcoming Webinar Series

July 27, 2021

Student Webinar

Troubleshooting Corneal GP Lenses


August 17: Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO
Myopia Management Update

September 21: Renee Reeder OD, FAAO, FSLS: Custom Soft Lens Update for Healthy and Irregular Cornea Patients

October 19: Jason Jedlicka OD, FAAO, FSLS:
Software Applications for Specialty Lens Designs

November 16: Greg DeNaeyer OD, FAAO, FSLS: Beyond the Basics: Advanced scleral lens design

December 21: Maria K. Walker OD, MS, FAAO, FSLS: GP Material Update


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GPLI FIRST in Educating

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Edward S. Bennett, OD, MSEd, FAAO, FSLS
Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri St Louis College of Optometry
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