SARASOTA, FL, – October 10, 2011 – The Macular Degeneration Association (MDA) announces Adam Berger, M.D. as the newest member of the Association’s medical board. Dr.Berger is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in diseases of the vitreous and retina. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York, Brooklyn, NY. Dr.Berger is a recognized expert in new therapies for retinal and macular Diseases.

Dr. Berger is a retina specialist with the Center for Retina and Macular Disease.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Retina Specialists.

“Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 55 years of age. Unfortunately, too many macular patients are not afforded the opportunity to learn about new advances in the field,” said Larry Hoffheimer, founder and chairman of the Sarasota-based Macular Degeneration Association, “we are excited to welcome Dr. Berger as an integral member of our team, as he will only enhance our efforts to further educate macular degeneration patients all across the world.”

 About the Macular Degeneration Association (MDA)

The Macular Degeneration Association (MDA) is a nonprofit health organization dedicated to educating and empowering age-related macular degeneration patients all across the world.

Age-related macular degeneration is an increasingly prevalent degenerative eye disease, affecting millions of aging seniors. The mission of MDA is to educate patients on the latest advances in treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, the focus extends far beyond diagnosed patients. The MDA is committed to the senior population at large, those most at risk of developing macular degeneration.

The goal of the Macular Degeneration Association is to provide information about risk factors, genetic predisposition, and proper diagnosis, as well as preventative efforts and treatment options that will likely reduce the most adverse effect of AMD, blindness.

The MDA is passionate about funding and developing sophisticated patient education and advocacy programs designed to improve macular patients’ quality of life. This is accomplished through the Association’s patient education conferences and seminars held nationwide.

The Association honors its commitment to prioritizing patient education by aligning itself with experts in the macular field, investigating retina-related scientific breakthroughs, and disseminating new scientific advances to macular patients across the world.

The MDA strongly believes that providing support, education and empowerment to the millions of people living with age-related macular degeneration will improve patient quality of life, and energize the retina field to develop advances in treating AMD. It is their hope that encouraging knowledge and awareness will ultimately lead to a cure.

The money raised by the foundation funds research, information programs, advocacy and awareness efforts that will support the over 9.1 million people with macular degeneration in communities across America. For more information, please visit their website.

Center for Retina and Macular Disease will again sponsor a Low Vision Support Group the second Wednesday of each month this fall. Each meeting is held at our Winter Haven Location at 250 Ave. K, SW, Ste. 200, from 3:30-5:00PM.

The meeting schedule is listed below with the topics.

September 14 3:30-5:00PM Keeping Fit: Fall Prevention and Exercise for Older Adults
with Vision Loss- Presented by Anne Riddering with Visual Rehab and Research Center, Henry Ford Health Center.
October 5 3:30-5:00PM Emotion and Adjustment – with Julia Kleinshchmidt, PhD, Director, Patient Support Program, Moran Eye Ctr. Note this meeting is the 1st Wed. of the month.
November 9 3:30-5:00PM Hallucinations and Low Vision: Understanding Charles Bonnet Syndrome – Liz Trauernicht, Director, MD Foundation
December 14 3:30-5:00PM New Technology for Low Vision- Electronic Readers and More –
Ike Presley, American Foundation for the Blind

To reserve your seat, please leave a message at 863.297.5400, ext. 2019.

Dr. Karen Gehrs has co-authored research entitled, “Clinical Validation of a Genetic Model to Estimate the Risk of Developing Choroidal Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration.”

Dr. Gehrs is very involved with genetic research and collaborated with ten other experts.
Their study was published in July/August 2011 issue of Human Genomics, a well known ophthalmology journal.

Dr. Michael Tolentino is the program chair for a Summer Educational Seminar on Saturday, July 16, 2011. The event will be held in Dothan, Alabama.

Dr. Tolentino, a retina specialist with CRMD, is also a featured speaker at the seminiar entitled, “Can My Vision be Saved?”

Guest speakers will be Dr.Marnix Heersink, a well-known ophthalmologist at Eye Center South, Dothan, Alabama, and Dr. Joseph Fontenot, Medical Director of Community Services for Vision Rehabilitation, with offices in Mobile, Fairope and Montgomery, Alabama.

The Summer Educational Symposium will cover all the latest treatments and information about macular degeneration, including genetic testing. Genetic Testing will be available for those individuals that show signs of macular degeneration or have been diagnosed with this disease.

For more information and details about registration, visit the Macular Degeneratation Association (MDA) website.

The Macular Degeneration Association (MDA) is pleased to announce Dr. Sonya M. Braudway as the newest member of the MDA Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Braudway received her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Corpus Christi State University and her doctorate from the University of Houston College Of Optometry.

Dr. Braudway completed a fellowship in low vision rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Braudway is a board certified optometric physician in Winter Haven, Florida, and is active in several professional organizations including the American Academy of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, the Florida Optometric Association and the Florida Division of Blind Services. Her current research interests include outcome studies in vision rehabilitation.

As a member of the MDA Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Braudway will help to develop a comprehensive low vision resource that will be added to the MDA patient education website.

“It’s an honor to welcome aboard a distinguished doctor and low vision specialist. Dr. Braudway will fulfill a great need for many of the patients MDA works hard to serve,” said Chairman, Lawrence Hoffheimer, “we look forward to working with her.”

About the Macular Degeneration Association (MDA)

The Macular Degeneration Association is a nonprofit health organization dedicated to educating and empowering age-related macular degeneration patients all across the world. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an increasingly prevalent degenerative eye disease, affecting millions of aging seniors. The mission of MDA is to educate patients on the latest advances in treating AMD. However, our focus extends far beyond diagnosed patients. The MDA is committed to the senior population at large, those most at risk of developing macular degeneration.

MDA’s goal is to provide information about risk factors, genetic predisposition, and proper diagnosis, as well as preventative efforts and treatment options that will likely reduce the most adverse effect of AMD, blindness. MDA is passionate about funding and developing sophisticated patient education and advocacy programs designed to improve macular patients’ quality of life. This is accomplished through the Association’s patient education conferences and seminars held nationwide.

The Association honors its commitment to prioritizing patient education by aligning itself with experts in the macular field, investigating retina-related scientific breakthroughs, and disseminating new scientific advances to macular patients across the world. The  Association strongly believe that providing support, education and empowerment to the millions of people living with age-related macular degeneration will improve patient quality of life, and energize the retina field to develop advances in treating AMD.

It is MDA’s hope that encouraging knowledge and awareness will ultimately lead to a cure.

For more information, please visit the MDA website at.

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