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Heart of America: A Great Annual UMSL Tradition


The 56th Annual Contact Lens & Primary Care Congress presented by the Heart of America Contact Lens Society was, once again, a great success and represented a great opportunity for College of Optometry students and residents to network, present posters, receive high quality continuing education, and help as monitors and graduates to have the opportunity to see their classmates and enjoy, not only the expansive exhibit hall but also customize their education based upon the five tracks of courses given simultaneously.  The faculty included two UMSL graduates, Drs. Rebecca Wartman(‘87) and Shane Kannarr(‘00) and Assistant Dean, Dr. Ed Bennett.  Likewise, the Heart of America Board of Directors had a significant UMSL presence with Drs. Sean Mulqueeny(‘91), Wes DeRosier(‘96) and President Craig Brawley(‘01).  Dr. Delaram “Deli” Shirazian(’16), currently completing the Kansas City Veteran’s Administration Medical Center residency program, was a recipient of a $2,000 grant from the Heart of America.. In addition, six members of the UMSL “family” were lead authors on scientific posters.  This included :

1)    Liesl Amon, OD (’16):  A Case of Cystoid Macular Edema Following Nd:YAG Capsulotomy
2)   Jamie Weiser, OD (’16):  Bilateral Idiopathic Panuveitis in a Pediatric Patient
3)   Jessica Jose, OD (’16):  Treatment and Management of Bilateral Alkaline Ocular Burns
4)   Delaram Shirazian, OD (’16):  A Closer Look at Epiretinal Membrane in a Patient with Hypotony
5)   Allison Schafers, OD (’16): Choroidal Neovascular Membrane in African-American Population
6)   Jaclyn Leonhardt, OD (Cornea and Contact Lens Resident): Troubleshooting Lens Intolerance with EyeprintPRO


Finally, the annual alumni reception provided an opportunity for both students and alumni classes to relax and enjoy an evening of camaraderie.  All attendees received a new “Eye Chose UMSL” T-Shirt and the new Patient Care Center was highlighted during this event.
Dean Larry Davis, Katie Loock (’17), and Assistant Dean Ed Bennett


The alumni reception would not be same without these two exceptional graduates from the Class of 2001: Drs. Rebecca Robinson and Kristin Ham.


(Left to Right): Elizabeth Phillips, OD (’16), Katie Loock (’17), Jessica Jose, OD (’16), Mandy Longoria (’17), and Kelsey Haugen (’17)


(Left to Right):  Drs. Bryan Larson (’15), Nick Wenande (’15), Liesl Amon (’16), Alex Permann (’15), and Brad Collins (’15)


(Left to Right): Yousef Ibrahim (’17), Elias Toubia (’17), and Ramya Natarajan (’18)


(Left to Right): Drs. Emily Williams (’15), Elizabeth Phillips (’16), Delaram Shirazian (’16), Kelly Durst (’15), and Casey Hamm (’15)


(Left to Right): Ramya Nararajan (’18), Kristen Reynolds (’18), JoAnn Adams ('18), Theresa Crowley (’18), and Dr. Elizabeth Crowley ('89)

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