Your Newsletter 
November 2015, Volume 6
What Does "Refract" Mean, Anyway?
Phoroptor Device

When you call to set an appointment for an eye exam, or even when you hear about eye exams in general, you'll almost always hear about getting a "refraction". Even with Oregon iLASIK, the full name of this practice is call Oregon iLASIK & Refraction. So what in the world does "refraction" mean anyway? In this column we answer that question thoroughly. 

What Is a Refraction Test?
A refraction test is usually given as part of a routine eye examination. It may also be called a vision test. This test tells your eye doctor exactly what prescription you need in your glasses or contact lenses.
Normally, a value of 20/20 is considered to be optimum, or perfect vision. Individuals who have 20/20 vision are able to read letters that are 3/8 of an inch tall from 20 feet away.
If you do not have 20/20 vision, you have what is called a refractive error. A refractive error means that the light is not bending properly when it passes through the cornea and retina of your eye. The refraction test will tell your doctor what prescription you should use in order to have 20/20 vision.
Why Is this Test Used?
This test is normally given as part of a routine eye examination. It tells your doctor if you need prescription lenses, as well as what prescription you need to use in order to see properly. The results of the test can also be used to diagnose, or help diagnose, a wide variety of pathologies
Who Should Be Tested?
Healthy adults who are not experiencing vision problems should have a refraction test every three to five years. Children should have a refraction test every one to two years, starting at no later than three years of age.
If you currently wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, you should have a refraction test every one to two years. If you are having problems with your vision between exams, you should see your eye doctor for another refraction test.
Individuals who have diabetes should have an eye examination every year. A number of eye conditions are associated with diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are at a greater risk for blindness than other Americans. (ADA)
Individuals over 40 or those with a family history of glaucoma should also have a refraction test every year. Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up in the eye, damaging the retina and the optic nerve.
What Happens During the Test?
Your doctor will first assess how light bends as it moves through your cornea and the lens of your eyes. This test will help your eye doctor to know what type of prescription you need, or it might determine that you do not need corrective lens. He or she may use a computerized refractor for this part of the test, or simply shine a light into your eyes.
In the computerized test, you look through a machine, and it measures the amount of light reflected by your retina.
Your doctor may also do this test without the help of a machine. In this case, he or she shines a light into each of your eyes and looks at the amount of light that is bouncing off your retina to measure your refractive score.
Afterwards, your doctor will need to determine exactly what prescription you need. For this part of the test, you will be seated in front of a piece of equipment called a Phoroptor. This looks like a large mask with holes for your eyes to look through (see graphic above). On a wall about 20 feet in front of you will be a chart of letters. For children who cannot yet identify letters, your doctor will use a chart with small pictures of common items.
Testing one eye at a time, your eye doctor will ask you to read the smallest row of letters that you can see. Your doctor will change out the lenses on the Phoroptor, asking you each time which lens is clearer. If you are unsure, ask your doctor to repeat the choices. When your eye doctor is finished testing one eye, he or she will repeat the procedure for the other eye. Finally, he or she will come up with the combination that most closely gives you 20/20 vision.

Our Latest Technology - The Femtosecond Laser!
We began administering laser cataract surgeries using LENSAR femtosecond technology just this last month. #3 of our Organizational Values clearly states " To work with the most cutting-edge technology and to continuously advance our knowledge and understanding of world-class eye care." Dr. Haines has been at the forefront of providing the most advanced eye care on the market for over 20 years. In fact, The Eye Center  is the very first practice in all of Lane County to offer PERMANENTLY INSTALLED femtosecond laser technology in a surgical suite!

To learn more about this amazing technology, watch the highly educational video below.

New Collaboration with Natural Grocers!
We are very proud to announce that we have recently formed a simple collaborative relationship with Natural Grocers (201 Coburg Road)! This collaboration represents part of a larger initiative in which we educate our patients and general public how proper nutrition not only has profoundly positive effects on eye health and brain function, but leads to a happier, healthier, longer-lived life overall! Periodically on our Facebook pages, our doctors will post relevant information about what kinds of nutrition provide which kinds of specific health benefits. For instance, did you know that Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are two forms of carotenoids found in certain kinds of vegetables, can have significant benefits to the eyes if consumed in moderate quantities? To read more about this, click here

An additional aspect of this collaboration is where we periodically use the fantastic meeting space at Natural Grocers to host informational get-togethers where one or more of our doctors talks about the links between great nutrition and eye health/brain function.

And why did we choose to collaborate with Natural Grocers instead of other highly worthy food stores in the Eugene area? Quite simply, Natural Grocers is a mission driven organization, just like The Eye Center and Oregon iLASIK. These values are clearly communicated at the entrance of Natural Grocers, as well as on their website. To boil it down, Natural Grocers' mission, or their Five Founding Principles, includes educating the public about the profound health benefits of a high nutrition diet, as well as providing a vast array of fresh, high quality food choices that contribute to this lifestyle at a reasonable cost. We were totally inspired by this mission and feel it harmonizes very well with our own values (listed below). To read more about Natural Grocers' Five Founding Principles, click here

Dr. Karren Becomes a Grandfather!
Dr. Karren very recently welcomed his very first grandchild into the world! Kade
Dr. Karren
(Dr. Karren's son) and Lindsay Karren brought Emery Mae Karren (pictured below) successfully into the world. If you know Dr. Karren personally, or the next time you have an appointment with us, do make sure to offer him your sincere congratulations. He'll be thrilled to tell you all about the feeling of being a first-time grandpa!
Emery Mae Karren

Our November Philanthropy
Starting this up-and-coming week, both The Eye Center and Oregon iLASIK will serve as drop-off points for canned or packaged foods for donation to local food shelters.

We have one simple request to anyone kind enough to bring food to donate: As was clearly stated in the above article about our collaboration with Natural Grocers, we firmly believe that 
all people deserve good nutrition. As far as we're concerned, this is a human right. If you do bring food to contribute (which we're so happy if you do), if at all possible kindly bring something that is healthy and nourishing. If you have any questions about this, or need ideas, you can easily call (541 345 3300) or drop by Natural Grocers. There, simply ask for Jaakov who is the head nutritionist there. He will gladly help you in any way that he can. Of course, make sure to tell him hello from us at The Eye Center and Oregon iLASIK!

With that in mind, we wish everyone in our community a fantastic Thanksgiving and good (and healthy) eatin'!
  1. To treat each and every patient with the respect and care that we would provide our own dearest loved ones.
  2. To facilitate an organizational culture that helps all of our staff reach their highest personal and professional potential.
  3. To work with the most cutting-edge technology and to continuously advance in our knowledge and understanding of world-class eye care.
  4. To vigorously engage in activities that serve the greater good (aka Philanthropy), whether here at home or abroad.
November History - Did You Know?
November 1, 1950 - President Harry S. Truman was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt by two members of a Puerto Rican nationalist movement.
November 3, 1948 - Dewey Defeats Truman banner headline appeared on the front page of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Harry Truman actually defeated Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey for the presidency.
November 4, 1979 - About 500 young Iranian militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Iran, and took 90 hostages, including 52 Americans that they held captive for 444 days.
November 4, 1995  - Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv.
November 5th  - Remembered as Guy Fawkes Day in Britain, for the anniversary of the failed "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I in 1605.
November 8, 1519  - Cortes conquered Mexico. After landing on the Yucatan Peninsula in April, Cortes and his troops had marched into the interior of Mexico to the Aztec capital and captured Aztec Emperor Montezuma.
November 9-10, 1938  - Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass) occurred in Germany as Nazi mobs burned synagogues and vandalized Jewish shops and homes.
November 13, 1956  - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.
November 19, 1942  - The Russian Army began a massive counter-offensive against the Germans at Stalingrad during World War II.
November 24, 1859  - Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was first published, theorizing that all the living creatures descended from a common ancestor.
November 26, 1789  - The first American holiday occurred, proclaimed by President George Washington to be Thanksgiving Day, a day of prayer and public thanksgiving in gratitude for the successful establishment of the new American republic.
November 30, 1782  - A provisional peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and the United States heralding the end of America's War of Independence. The final treaty was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783. It declared the U.S. " be free, sovereign and independent states..." and that the British Crown "...relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof."

Dr. Haines to the Rescue!
Before recounting this "rescue" story, Dr. Haines was very clear in saying that he did not want a big deal to be made of what happened. Humility is understandable so we won't go overboard with a colorful prose of the events that took place on an airline flight last week. We'll just report the facts. Here we go:

On a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Chicago last week, Dr. Haines and his wife, Joy, were looking forward to a well-deserved week's holiday. Shortly after take off, Dr. Haines became aware that a man was lying on the floor of the cabin and being tended to by flight attendants. He got up to ask one of the flight attendants what the issue was. He was asked if he was a physician, to which he replied that he was. With that he was informed of the situation - that the man was conscious, very pale and experiencing shortness of breath. Dr. Haines requested a blood pressure pump. Upon taking the man's blood pressure the result was 60/0 at which point they elevated his legs and administered oxygen, while reassuring the man that he was being taken care of. Soon after, the man's blood pressure improved to 90/60 and the pulse became a little more regular. As a precautionary measure, Dr. Haines asked for a defibrillator kit and one was produced immediately. Dr. Haines was very pleasantly surprised as to the thoroughness of whoever had stocked this defibrillator kit, which was obviously a medical advisory, and felt a huge sense of 'we can do this properly if things go south'.

Over the next 3 hours Dr. Haines and the flight attendants kept constant contact with the pilots as to the man's status. If that status were to have suddenly worsened, Dr. Haines would give the word and the flight would make an emergency landing at the nearest airport.  Luckily, this did not come to be the case. 

When the flight was nearing Chicago and was ready to land, due to federal regulations the man was required to be seated. When Dr. Haines and the flight attendants tried to sit the man on the seat in an upright position, his blood pressure dropped immediately. The solution to this was to get the man to seat row in front of the bulkhead and lie him down with his legs propped up against the window. With all three seat belts fastened, the flight landed on time in Chicago. 

Upon landing, the plane was given emergency clearance on the tarmac to proceed immediately to the nearest gate where an EMT team was standing by to rush onto the plane and take over from there. Of course, Dr. Haines and Joy were thrilled to hear later that the man had survived the ordeal! Of course, this was a team effort and Dr. Haines was very clear to communicate that the flight attendants were incredibly well trained for this eventuality and the airline itself was fully prepared to deal with the situation by having a steady supply of oxygen on hand, as well as a state-of-the-art defibrillator.

With this fantastic story of people working together as a team to help another human being through a life-or-death situation, and thus delivering him safely into the arms of his family, friends and loved ones, we can all raise our glasses to a job very well done.
Update - 'Organization of Excellence'  Initiative
Improving Our Patient Waiting Time
One of our major challenges in making sure we live up to Value #1 (" To treat each and every patient with the respect and care that we would provide our own dearest loved ones") is keeping our patient wait times to a minimum. This is actually a monumental challenge, as when we run behind schedule, and patients are waiting longer than we are comfortable having them wait, frustrations can elevate and we're stuck apologizing for running behind.

There is actually a very significant reason for why we can run behind schedule - our doctors want to make sure to give each of our patients their most dedicated attention (back to Value #1) so that they know we deeply care about their needs and eye care! In all too many medical centers, one can often feel that they are just a number, and we want to avoid our patients feeling this at all costs. We are hyper aware that it is never a fun feeling, for anyone, patient or otherwise, to feel as though they are just a number in a long line of other numbers waiting to see a doctor who seems to be rushed for time. And this is the monumental challenge - to keep a tight schedule while making sure patients feel fully validated in their needs and to rest assured that they are getting the highest quality, most empathetic care one can possibly receive. It's a challenge we strive to meet every single day.

Another reason why we may run behind is if, during a routine eye exam, it may become obvious that a patient needs far more time with one of our doctors due to unforeseen circumstances.

All that said, with the fantastic leadership of our Administrator (Donnie Hammers) and Assistant Administrator (Kim Matthews), we are highly focused on creating a scheduling method that provides the smoothest, and most timely patient flow that we can possibly offer. We might not always succeed, but please know that we are continuously aware of current patient wait times, as well as putting forth significant time and effort to refine our system so that we run consistently on time, all the time. 

A monthly column brought to you by Ginevra Ralph of The Shedd Institute

Ginevra Ralph, Co-founder and Director of Education at The Shedd Institute
Over the past dozen years, we at The Shedd Institute Community Music School have been researching what cultural and societal features exist that both throw up barriers to lifelong amateur music-making and, conversely, what "enablers" might there exist to support it.
We have asked hundreds of people: "Did you take music lessons? Do you still play? If not, why not?" From their stories we have identified six types of barriers that lead people to say "I quit because..." We will spend some time with this column over the next few months to tell you about these barriers and the types of programs and policies we have developed at the Music School to prevent them. But I hope that you will extend that thinking to other endeavors both in the arts and to other areas of your life.
Those six barriers are:  Finding the right "fit" with your instructor, with your instrument, and/or with the style(s) of music you are playing; different sorts of "access" problems; performance issues; and, the toughest one of all to overcome, "not enough time". I will tell you some of the stories that I have heard that illustrate each of these barriers, as well as our efforts to overcome or prevent them. You may recognize your own experiences - and I just want to say "It's never too late to come back to making music." So come have some rediscovered fun!
Co-Creator of the Month!
Gina Widoff, Refractive Coordinator at Oregon iLASIK
Gina Widoff has been with The Eye Center since June of 1998, or 17.5 years. Before she joined our team all those years ago, Gina was a previous director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. One day 17+ years ago, w hile meeting with clients, she caught the attention of a previous Eye Center employee who was highly impressed with how Gina treated people with such genuine authenticity. She suggested that Gina meet with Dr. Haines to talk about a traditional LASIK surgery  position. Dr. Haines was sufficiently impressed at that first meeting, so that he gave Gina a whole host of VHS tapes about lid and traditional LASIK surgery to see if she could pick up the necessary knowledge for how to teach and promote LASIK to potential patients. Gina was a natural and soaked up every bit of knowledge she could. The rest is history. 

For this publication, we caught up with Gina after a busy clinic to ask her the following questions:

Gina, what inspires you about working at iLASIK?
"The reason I took a position within this practice is because I could learn as much as what I wanted to learn, and grow as much as I wanted to grow. This was a great opportunity for me because I do not have a college degree and I saw a fantastic chance to really grow within a fantastic organization. 

I also feel so fortunate to work with a doctor (Dr. Haines) who has been willing to invest so much financial capital over the years into the most cutting-edge technology one could hope to work with and provide our patients.  I've actually grown quite spoiled in this regard and c ould never work for another doctor who did not see the value in providing that latest in eye care advancements.

Finally, the culture of empowerment within this organization is fantastic and I will never take it for granted. Getting the space, all the resources, the amazing technology and the dedicated guidance to learn and grow is incredible. I am so lucky!"

What is your favorite patient story?
"There have been so many of them over the years, but one that stands out in my mind revolves around a young man, around 18 years old, who had downs syndrome and was one of the worst cases for nearsightedness we had ever seen. He could not see more than two inches in front of his face, which meant he could barely see himself in the mirror, much less his family, friends and loved ones. He even had difficulty feeding himself. 

His family could not afford the surgery that would give him the gift of sight that he deserved, and insurance would not cover the procedure. Dr. Haines took it upon himself to cover the costs of the surgery himself. At Mckenzie Willamette, and under general anesthesia (which made the operation even more costly than normal) Dr. Haines performed the procedure. When all was said and done, and our patient was able to finally see his family clearly for the first time, the look of absolute joy on his face was priceless. It reenforced why I love what I do and could never work for any other clinic."

As has been reported in previous newsletters, Dr. Haines and his team will head to Asia from February 19th - March 5th 2016 for the 25th annual cataract removal mission! This year's mission will be one of the most ambitious yet, as we will conduct surgeries for 3 full days in Thailand, and then head directly to Myanmar where we will conduct surgeries over 2.5 days. We will easily restore the sight of a few hundred fellow humans which makes us feel fantastic! 
Maggie Carlson

For now, we are in the planning process for this mission. If one  can imagine, each and every mission presents huge logistical challenges! Maggie Carlson, who is a senior RN at The Surgery Center and a member of the Board of Directors for the Give Me Sight Foundation (GMSF), is instrumental, and highly adept, in planning our missions down to the finest detail! 

Another GMSF Board Member, Matt Classen, is busy with planning the documentary project that will be filmed during this year's mission in Myanmar. It's quite an ambitious and tedious project, but we hope to put together a highly compelling piece of cinematic work that will A) Allow us to spread the word of the good work we do; B) Generate higher donations so we can serve even more people; C) Give our entire community something to cheer about as this is a team effort that we could never achieve without the dedicated attention and generosity of the beautiful people in our community. 

To keep abreast of latest news with GMSF and/or the progression of the documentary, click on the below Facebook icon to 'Like" us!

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