news & updates

Make Your Year-End Gift to the VAF!

Please consider making a year-end contribution to the ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation (VAF)!

To make a donation click here

The organization continues to expand programming thanks to the kindness and generosity of so many committed volunteers, corporate sponsors, partners and supporters like YOU!

In 2018, the VAF’s activities included the following:

  • Awarding a grant of $29,974 to Dr. Hans Westermeyer, North Carolina State University, for his two-year study, “Predicting the onset of intraocular pressure rises and retinal damage in primary angle closure glaucoma in dogs” and three grants, totaling $14,785, to ABVO residents.
  • Issuing a Request for Proposals for the newly created Founders Clinical Research Grants, in honor of the founders of the ACVO.  The goal of this initiative is to promote clinical research by ACVO board-certified diplomates in private practice or academia.
  • Launching the Canine Glaucoma Consortium to further advance research in this area.
  • Partnering with Bausch + Lomb to offer an Advanced Phacoemulsification Course. The VAF continues to work with Bausch + Lomb with the goal of providing future CE courses.
  • Hosting the “Purple Rain Party” fundraiser at the ACVO Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The VAF’s 5th annual event raised more than $55,000, including $38,500 in corporate sponsorship.
  • Developing a new Strategic Plan that will guide the organization’s activities in 2019-2021.

Thank you in advance for your consideration!

VAF Purple Rain Party Raised $55,751!

The Purple Rain Party on September 28th in Minneapolis raised a record $55,751 to benefit the ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation (VAF)’s grant making programs.  The VAF thanks all who joined in the ‘80’s style fun at the Walker Art Center and those who contributed items to the live and silent auction.

The VAF is grateful for the support of the following sponsors:

Hero ($5,000): Eye Care for Animals, Stokes Pharmacy, VCA Canada and VCA

Best Friend ($2,500): Animal Eye Guys, Dr. Dan Lorimer and Taylors Pharmacy

Companion ($1,000):  An-Vision, BluePearl Specialty & Emergency Pet Hospitals, Diamondback Drugs, I-Med, Iridex, MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets, Ocu Glo Vision Supplement, OcuScience, Sontec Instruments, Spot On Specialties and Veterinary Eye Care/Dr. Susan Nelms

The organization also thanks Dr. Terah Webb for serving as the announcer for the “Heads or Tails” raffle game, sponsored by Dan Scott & Associates, and Dr. Bill Miller for his service as the auctioneer.

The Purple Rain Party was organized by the fantastic VAF Auction Committee: Dr. Rachel Keller Vaughan (Chair) and Drs. Heather Kaese, Claire Latimer, Danielle Paglia, Caryn Plummer and Susan Nelms.



VAF Issues RFP for Clinical Research Grant

The VAF is now calling for proposals for a Founders Clinical Research Grant in honor of the founders of the ACVO. The goal of this initiative is to promote clinical research by ACVO board-certified diplomates in private practice or academia. The award will be a maximum of $10,000 (indirect costs are not allowed). All meritorious grant proposals will be considered for funding.

In addition, in recognition of the challenges of conducting the high quality clinical studies that are the target for this program, the timeline for grant reporting has also been revised.

Projects must now be completed by and presented to the ACVO Conference in 2022, instead of the previous 2021 deadline, with an interim progress report to the VAF by May 2021.

Grant applicants are due by February 28, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. Funding decisions will be announced by May 2019.

For more information click here

2018 Resident Grant Award Recipients Announced

The ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation (VAF) is pleased to announce the 2018 Resident Grant Award recipients:

2018 Resident Grant Award Winners

Dr. Kayla Banks
The University of Missouri
$5,000 (12 months)
Comparison of cleaning and sterilization protocols for diamond burr tips used in diamond burr debridement for canine superficial chronic corneal epithelial defects

Dr. Braidee Foote
Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
$4,785 (15 months)
Clinical and histologic effects of MicroPulse transscleral cyclophotocoagulation in the normal equine eye

Dr. Maggie Jinks
The Ohio State University
$5,000 (24 months)
Establishing the role of extrinsic forces on lens cell mitosis

SARDS Grant Update

An update from Dr. Freya Mowat, recipient of the VAF’s large grant award for SARDS research:
Our first paper has been published by Veterinary Ophthalmology and is in peer review. To read the paper click here.
Freya Mowat, BVSc. Ph.D Dipl. ECVO Dipl. ACVO

VAF Announces Grant Award for Canine Glaucoma Research

The ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation (VAF) is proud to announce that our 2017 Canine Glaucoma grant, in the amount of $29,974, has been awarded to Dr. Hans Westermeyer, North Carolina State University, for his proposal, “Predicting the onset of intraocular pressure rises and retinal damage in primary angle closure glaucoma in dogs“. This two-year study will begin next week.

VAF Hosted Canine Glaucoma Think Tank November 2016

On Saturday, November 5th the VAF hosted a Think Tank focused on “Surgical Techniques for the Treatment of Canine Glaucoma”.  The results of this meeting will be published in a White Paper and recommendations will be used to prepare an RFP to fund research on this topic.  Thank you to VAF Board member Dr. András M. Komáromy for organizing this event.

Participants were:
Dr. Dineli Bras, Centro de Especialistas Veterinarios de Puerto Rico, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Dr. Douglas Esson, Eye Care for Animals, Tustin, CA
Dr. Ronald Fellman, Glaucoma Associates of Texas, Dallas, TX
Dr. Larry Kagemann, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pittsburgh, PA
Dr. András M. Komáromy,Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Dr. Sakoyo Moroi, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. John Sapienza, Long Island Veterinary Specialists, Plainview, NY
Dr. Eric Storey, South Atlanta Animal Eye Clinic, Fayetteville, GA
Dr. Leandro Teixeira, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Dr. Carol Toris, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Dr. Terah Webb, MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets, Columbus, OH


VAF Announces Recipient of SARDS Grant Award

The ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation (VAF) is pleased to announce that Dr. Freya Mowat of North Carolina State University has been selected as the recipient of the organization’s grant award for research to address Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARDS).

The title of the proposal is “Defining the effect of immune-mediated damage to the pineal gland in the etiopathogenesis of sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) in dogs”.  It is a two-year project, with funding to be awarded in the amount of $29,948.

Co-investigators are: Drs. Katherine Lunn, Natasha Olby, and Gianluca Tosini.

SARDS White Paper Published!

Congratulations to Dr. Andras Komáromy and the VAF Think Tank participants on the publication of the following article in Veterinary Ophthalmology:

Komáromy AM, Abrams KL, Heckenlively JR, Lundy SK, Maggs DJ, Leeth CM, MohanKumar PS, Petersen-Jones SM, Serreze DV, van der Woerdt A. Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS) – a review and proposed strategies toward a better understanding of pathogenesis, early diagnosis, and therapy. Vet Ophthalmol. 2015 Jun 20. doi: 10.1111/vop.12291. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26096588.

To view the abstract, click here

The full article can also be accessed from this site. Those who do not subscribe to Veterinary Ophthalmology will need to pay a fee.

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