President's Message

Rhonda Ullom

Hello ATPO Members,

Thank you for choosing to put your career on a professional level by becoming a member of ATPO. Since starting my presidency in August of 2022, ATPO has seen many changes and challenges. We have had several successes and are looking forward to a strong future in education and advocacy for our members.

ATPO had a very successful in person AAO 2022 Eye Can meeting at the Chicago Hilton. ATPO presented Train the Train on Friday, September 30. This was followed by an ATPO Reception and “Who Wants to be a Super Tech?” that night. ATPO’s Eye Can program was on Saturday, October 1, 2022. We were honored to have two of our ATPO Medical Directors speak at our meeting on Saturday, they were Andrew G. Lee, MD and Stephen Lane, MD. A total of 2 IJCAHPO CEs were offered on Friday night and 6 IJCAHPO CEs on Saturday. ATPO had sponsors for our meals and breaks. My sincere gratitude goes to those sponsors: Dr. Matthew Parker and Pact Matters, Susan Busch, COMT, Sergina Flaherty, COMT and Ophthalmic Seminars of San Antonio, BSM Consulting, and Alcon. Each event was successful and memorable.

The ATPO Train the Trainer faculty attended the OOS, Ohio Ophthalmological Society, meeting on February 25th, 2023. They helped with workshops, taught courses, and held ATPO’s first “Ask the Expert” round tables.

ATPO had members that taught at the KATPO, Kentucky Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, meeting on March 4th and at the WAEPS, Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, meeting on March 9th and 10th. Thank you to those dedicated and active ATPO Members!

The ATPO Train the Trainer faculty will be attending the CAOTP, Caribbean Association of Ophthalmic Technical Personnel, in Miami, Florida. They will be teaching the TTT course as well as other courses and workshops. The meeting is Thursday, July 13th – Sunday, July 16th at the Sheraton Conference Hotel. This will be held adjacent to and with the Bascom Palmer Ophthalmology Department.

ATPO Past President, Sarah Gill, COT, CTC, OCS has been very active in managing the ATPO webinar series that offers 1 IJCAHPO CE per webinar. There were a total of 6 webinars, resulting in 6 IJCAHPO CEs offered in 2022 at no charge to members of ATPO. There were close to 100 ATPO members that took advantage of this wonderful free CE opportunity. I hope that you will take advantage of these great webinars in 2023.

In April of 2022, our management organization, Agentis, decided to step back. Since that time, the members of the Board of Directors have been self managing with help from the Agentis staff. Everything that Agentis has helped us with and continues to help us with since April 1, 2022 is at no charge. All of us at the Board of Directors are eternally grateful to Agentis for their generosity that goes above the call of duty to help ATPO make the necessary changes to assure it’s future.

This year ATPO is going to go BIG and put on the AAO 2023 inaugural “Technician Track” during the Academy’s annual meeting in San Francisco. The ATPO 2023 academy committee has been working with AAO and AAOE’s representative to facilitate the speakers and program for this inaugural “Technician Track.” I hope that you will join us for all or part of this dynamic four day program that runs from Friday November 3rd – Monday, November 6th. This promises to be a new and exciting collaboration between ATPO, AAOE, and AAO. On behalf of myself, the ATPO 2023 Academy planning committee, and the ATPO Board of Directors, we are all very excited to bring this to you, our members.

The “Technician Track” will be at the Moscone Center where the AAO physicians and residents, exhibitors, and AAOE members are meeting. Now the technicians will be a part of this exciting event. As this meeting progresses and the planning is finalized, you will be first to get the news. Seating will be limited to 160 attendees this year, so register early and come be a part of history!

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors along with the help of Agentis and our ATPO attorney have been in negotiations for several months to help ATPO go in a stable and sustainable direction. This new direction will assure our mission “to support the exceptional delivery of physician-led patient care through education, training, career development, and advocacy for allied ophthalmic professionals” goes forward uninterrupted.

It is an honor to serve as your ATPO President. I do so with experience and humility. I’m nearing the end of five decades of working in ophthalmology, serving on boards, going on multiple missions, educating and training hundreds of technicians, scribes, and coders. There are a few things that I’m sure of, I will never know it all, I will learn something everyday, and I will enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.

Best Regards,

Past Presidents

Credentials listed were valid at the date the award was issued.

  • 2021 - Sarah R. Gill, COT, CTC, OCS
  • 2020 - Jacqueline Pullos, COMT, OSC, CTC
  • 2019 - M. Parker, PhD, LSSMBB, PMP, CTC, COMT, CST
  • 2018 - Jessica M. Barr, COMT, ROUB
  • 2017 - Amy Jost, BS, COMT, CCRC, CTC
  • 2016 - Sergina Flaherty, COMT, OSC
  • 2015 - Christine McDonald, COE, COA, ROUB, OSC
  • 2014 - Michelle Kaminski, COT, OSC
  • 2013-2014 - Bobbi Ballenberg, COMT
  • 2012 - Mona Carpenter, BS, COMT
  • 2011 - Martha Moos, BS, COMT, OSA
  • 2010 - Michelle Willis, COMT, OSA, COP
  • 2009 - Aaron Shukla, PhD, COMT
  • 2008 - Karen Susco, COMT
  • 2007 - Mary Kay Smit, COT
  • 2006 - Deborah McDonald, COT, CRA
  • 2005 - Carol J. Pollack-Rundle, COMT
  • 2003-2004 - Natalie Loyacano, COT, CSA
  • 2002 - Krissa Lyse B. Drentlaw, COT, CSA
  • 2001 - Deborah Diggins, COMT, CRA
  • 2000 - Lisa Rovick COMT, CO
  • 1999 - Donna Applegate, COT
  • 1997 - Debra Baker, COMT
  • 1996, 1998 - Ella Rosamont-Morgan, COMT
  • 1993 - Cynthia A. Dean, COMT
  • 1992 - Pamela D. Elder (Lichtenstein), COMT
  • 1991 - Helene G. Siegel, COMT
  • 1990, 1994 - Todd A. Hostetter, COMT
  • 1988 - Phyllis Fineberg (Goldsmith)
  • 1987 - Phil H. Weber, COMT, CRA
  • 1986, 1989 - Paul M. Larson, COMT
  • 1985, 1995 - Yvonne D. Fields Lamb, COT
  • 1984 - John (Jack) Taylor, Jr., COT
  • 1982 - Michelle Pett Herrin, COMT, CO
  • 1981 - Kenneth E. Woodworth, Jr., COMT
  • 1978, 1979 - Linda K. Hirte, COMT
  • 1977 - Norma Garber, COMT
  • 1975, 1976 - Andrea Olliff, COT
  • 1973, 1974 - Doris Clark Gaston, COMT
  • 1972 - Edward Christensen, COT
  • 1970, 1971 - Richard J. Augustine, COMT