Speaker & Session Information
GWCO 2023 Congress

October 19 - 22, 2023 | Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon

Review the list of qualified speakers below by clicking on their link below, and begin exploring the topics they will be covering at the 2022 GWCO Congress.



Dr. Julie Helmus, OD


Session Schedule

Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM
OD: Private Practice Horror Stories

 Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM
OD: Boots on the Ground Marketing

 Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
OD: Extreme Private Practice Make-Over

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 11:00 am - 12:00 PM
OD: What to Expect When You're Expecting An Associate

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM
OD: Love It or List It: Private Practice Optometry

Dr. Julie Helmus is a 2nd-gen “thoroughbred” optometrist, born and raised in VCP-heavy California by two UC Berkeley School of Optometry alumni. A precocious first-born, she’s been working in the family business since the age of eight. Dr. Julie graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry with distinction in 2015.Since her parents’ retirement, Dr. Julie is the sole owner of Helmus Optometry, a “super-single” private practice in the college town of Davis, California. Going on 37 years strong in the same downtown location, Helmus Optometry employs 25 full-time staff and 5 associate optometrists, performing approximately 175 comprehensive exams weekly across a five-day work week. Dr. Julie expanded the clinic to a second floor in 2020 and completed a major remodel in 2021. She no longer has regular clinical hours, but enjoys connecting with patients on an as-needed basis. Thanks to a stellar leadership team, she has been able to step away from the practice on “sabbaticals” for up to 3 months at a time. She is seeking to acquire a second location in 2024.“The village” that helps raise her two energetic young boys affords Dr. Julie the time to “geek out” on all things eye care. She's lectured on Practice Management at various large national conferences, including Vision Expo in New York and Las Vegas, Heart of America Eye Care Congress, PERC, GWCO, IOP and more to come. She's also published several articles in Review of Optometric Business. She looks forward to developing more practice management content.

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Dr. Lori Grover, OD

Session Schedule

 Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 am
OD: Heath Economics and Patient Outcomes of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty vs. Meds

 Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 10:00 - 12:00 PM
OD: Vision Screening, US Population Health, and Health Policy: What You Need to Know

 Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM
OD: Evidence-Based Optometric Care: The High Value of Eye Care for Health

 Thursday, October 19, 2023 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM
OD: US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) Update for Primary Care and Population Health

Lori Grover, OD, PhD is Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Eye and Health Outcomes at SCO, Memphis. Dr. Grover received her PhD in Health Policy and Management/Health Services Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with certificates in health economics and health informatics. She received her Doctor of Optometry degree from ICO and is certified in advanced surgical and laser procedures. In addition to establishing private practice and hospital based care programs focused on treating chronic vision impairment, Dr. Grover served on the medical staff and as faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her clinical research focuses on population health, and includes access to health care, patient-centered outcomes, integrated care delivery, and shared clinical decision making. She is a volunteer and Trustee for the AOA for over 30 years and served as Dean and faculty for optometric and other academic institutions. Dr. Grover was appointed to the U.S. Committee on Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM; formerly Institute of Medicine) and is an author of the landmark report “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow”. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Optometric Surgeons and is a Fellow of the Institute of Medicine - Chicago, Distinguished Practitioner of the National Academies of Practice, and Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry. She authored multiple nationally recognized and awarded evidence-based optometric clinical practice guidelines. She has served on the Vision Health Initiative Strategic Planning Committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NIH/NEI National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) Planning Committee. A past Chair of the Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors of Association of Schools and Colleges in Optometry (ASCO), she also was Chair-Elect of Professional Development and Education Committee of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and Councilor, Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). She is a national and international lecturer, published researcher, textbook chapter author, health equity advocate, health policy consultant, investigator and writer focused on improving the nation’s health through access to primary and comprehensive health care.

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Dr. Oliver Kuhn-Wilken, OD


Session Schedule

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM
The Ultimate Guide to Intraocular Lenses

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
One Eye on the Grave:
5 Ocular Findings that Mean Your Patient's Life is in Danger

Oliver Kuhn-Wilken, OD practices as a staff optometrist at Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute in Tualatin, Oregon, primarily doing pre- and post-operative care for cataract and refractive surgery. He received his doctor of optometry degree from Pacific University, and completed a residency in geriatric optometry, low vision, and ocular disease at the American Lake VA Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. Away from work, Oliver enjoys trail running, rowing, reading, hiking, and having adventures with his wife and two kids.

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Dr. Matthew Pearce, OD

 Session Description

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 8:00 - 9:00 AM
Is Cultural Competency a Necessary Optometric Skill?
 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Mental Illness as an Optometric Concern
 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Should Optometry Support Fat Acceptance?

Matthew considers himself a public health professional who happens to provide optometric care. His interest in population health was broadened while he completed his optometric education at Pacific University. He further developed knowledge and skills in community health and development during his MPH training at Emory University and then his DrPH education at the University of Hawai'i. He provides full-scope optometric care at Kaiser Permanente in metro-Portland, Oregon and helps manage a private optometric practice with his wife in West Linn, Oregon. While clinical care takes up most of his professional time, he has research and policy interest in the intersection of health systems-strengthening and non-governmental organizations, the training and support of mid-level eye care providers, the translation of public health science to clinical care, and ways to provide culturally humble eye care. Prior to starting at Kaiser, his career included teaching, lecturing, conducting research, and providing clinical care in the United States, Palestine, Thailand, and in Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

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Dr. James Fanelli, OD


Session Schedule

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 8:00 - 10:00 AM
An Organized Approach to the Patients with Acute Vision Loss and Transient Visual Obscurations

 Friday, October 20, 2023 |10:00 - 12:00 PM
Simplifying Neuro Op Afferent and Efferent Visual System Defects

 Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 7:30 - 9:30 AM
An Organized Approach to Differentiating Papilledema from Pseudo Papilledema

 Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
A Brief Overview of Common Indications for Lab Studies

Dr. Fanelli is originally from suburban Philadelphia, and attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He has been in private practice since that time in coastal North Carolina, specializing in ocular disease management. He is the founder and clinical and medical director of the Cape Fear Eye Institute in Wilmington NCHe has lectured extensively around the globe on a wide variety of topics dealing primarily with advanced diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. He has developed a course for certifying OD’s in the use of injections in primary eye care that has been used by several states, and was the first optometrist to teach injections procedures at national meetings in the USA. Dr. Fanelli is a Contributing Editor for Review of Optometry, and is the author of the bi-monthly Glaucoma Grand Rounds column.He is a past President of the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry. He is also a past Trustee of the North Carolina State Optometric Society, where he served as Continuing Education Chairman. He serves as chariman of the EyeSki Optometric Conference and the CE in Italy/Europe Conference. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Western University of Health Sciences and UAB School of Optometry.His email address is: [email protected]

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Dr. Jessica Steen, OD

Session Schedule

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 10:00 - 12:00 PM
Therapeutic Innovations: The Game Changers

 Friday, October 20, 2023 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
When Good Retinal Surgery Makes Glaucoma Go Bad

 Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 11:00 - 12:00 PM
Pregnancy and the Eye: What to Expect

 Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Problem Solving in Glaucoma Management

 Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Maximizing OCT in Glaucoma

Dr. Jessica Steen is an Associate Professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry where she serves as Director of the Glaucoma Service and as an attending optometric physician at the College’s Eye Care Institute. Dr. Steen teaches the courses in glaucoma and ocular pharmacology at NSU. Dr. Steen also serves as the Primary Care with Emphasis in Ocular Disease Residency Coordinator. Dr. Steen graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science and completed her residency in Primary Care with Emphasis in Ocular Disease at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Steen’s main clinical interests include glaucoma, retinal disease, neuro-ophthalmic disease with an emphasis in medical and surgical management. Dr. Steen’s research interests are centered on artificial intelligence applications in the management of glaucoma. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and is Past President of the Palm Beach County Optometric Association.

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Dr. Matt Lampa, OD

Session Schedule

Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 7:30 - 9:30 AM
Soft Contact Lenses: New Insights New Understandings
Saturday, October 21, 2023 |11:00 - 12:00 PM
Management of Irregular Astigmatism - Outside of Scleral Lenses
Saturday, October 21, 2023 |  2:00 - 3:00 PM
Changing Lives with Scleral Lenses
Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Scleral Lens Essentials
Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Topography of the Ocular Surface

Matthew Lampa received his Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR. After graduation he completed a residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses at Pacific University College of Optometry. He is currently a Professor at Pacific University College of Optometry where he is involved with specialty contact lens fitting, contact lens instruction, and clinical research. He is also currently an associate in a private practice in Silverton, Oregon.

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Dr. Andrew Steele, OD

More Information Coming Soon!

Session Schedule

Sunday, October 22, 2023 | 8:00 - 10:00 AM
Surgery for the Optometric Physician

Sunday, October 22, 2023 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Ocular Effects of Cancer Treatment

Sunday, October 22, 2023 |  11:00 - 12:00 PM
Beyond Lumps and Bumps: Surgery for he Optometric Physician


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