July Spotlight 2020: President's Message, Committee Rotations, DEI Commitment, and other news



NANOS Spotlight is a Society newsletter that keeps NANOS members informed of what's going on in the Society, highlights member achievements, celebrates member successes and Society accomplishments, features NANOS volunteers and member resources, and much more. Enjoy our July 2020 issue and click here to check out our past issues.



Meet our July hero and NANOS 2020-2022 President, Dr. Valerie Biousse! 


Valerie Biousse, MD, NANOS President

Ophthalmology or Neurology? Both! Board certified in Neurology in France and then in Ophthalmology in the US

What was the best clinical pearl you learned in fellowship?
Do not trust the referring provider’s diagnosis and do not take short cuts; remain open minded and avoid premature closure by performing a thorough clinical evaluation instead of assuming a specific diagnosis.

What are the top 3 things you’ve learned over the last 5 years?
1) Don’t miss opportunities! Avoid backlog to always be available for new adventures
2) Spend more time listening to trainees and colleagues, and hear their concerns
3) Be flexible and creative to be most efficient and spare time for yourself: multitasking is the key to happiness!

Tell us about your involvement with NANOS! 
My involvement with NANOS coincided with the development and expansion of NOVEL with which I became deeply involved. Leading the first NANOS Curriculum and participating in the original Illustrated Curriculum were the logical next steps and allowed me to become a NANOS Board member 11 years ago. It took me about 2 years to understand the role of the Board and feel confident enough to start contributing. It has been a joy to learn from friends and mentors. Over the years, I have been involved with many committees and taskforces; I have taken initiatives and I have explored way beyond my comfort zone. I have never seen NANOS as an organization that takes my time away, but rather as a source of professional and personal enrichment; NANOS has given me much more than I can express.

What would you say to members who want to be more involved in NANOS?
Just do it! You will be [pleasantly] surprised by the organization. There is no way to know what you will like until you do it, so volunteer for everything and learn what is necessary. Working for NANOS has very little in common with our everyday activities. Imagine working with your [best] friends, in a welcoming environment with the greatest staff support! We look small from the outside but so much is going on. I have learned enormously from my colleagues on various committees and on the NANOS Board. Working for NANOS has allowed me to grow professionally and has given me opportunities which have greatly contributed to my academic career. Most of my current best friends are NANOS members; I met them on committees. Join us – it will be fun!

What do you know at this stage in your career that you wish you knew when you first joined NANOS?
I had never really thought much about how large professional organizations function. Annual conferences happen each year, bacon appears on the breakfast buffet, educational material is produced, advocacy efforts are highlighted, coding and billing rules are explained, material is published, universities and chairs are informed, international organizations interact with each other, the list could go on and on… there is an army of NANOS members and staff who make this happen. I had no idea and I just took everything for granted: I paid my dues, showed up, and enjoyed (or complained). It took me years to realize that I could be part of this, that I could have a voice and influence the way our organization functions. You do not have to be old or filled with experience to volunteer. Be curious and explore the backstage.  But be ready to work hard at something you enjoy and, in turn, get a great deal of personal satisfaction back.


The COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest in our nation have laid bare implicit and explicit biases in our society and the nation’s deep-seated socioeconomic inequality. Disparities within health care and law enforcement have resulted in tragic outcomes and a drive for racial justice. We at NANOS are acutely aware of the need to introspect, identify and address these biases.

Historically, equity and inclusion have been integral to the NANOS culture and values and are woven into the NANOS Strategic Plan. We are proud that NANOS has produced:

While we have this history of inclusion, we want and need to do better. With your help, we WILL do better.

Here is what we are doing:

Recently a NANOS DEI Taskforce was created to address some of these issues and to identify additional issues of focus.  As this Taskforce prepares to hold its first meeting, we are soliciting input from our members. 

Here is how you can help:

Together we can overcome the challenges of today and build a better tomorrow for everyone.

Read the full statement of the NANOS DEI Taskforce here.


NANOS members are dealing with the pandemic in creative ways and funneling their energy into positive channels to help and support each other, their communities and our industry. We are pleased to see high levels of collaboration happening in teleneuro-ophthalmology efforts, poetry slams on the WIN listserv, as well as inspirational and uplifting stories on NANOSnet. Below are just a few examples of what NANOS members have been doing in this challenging time. You are not alone and what you do matters. Thank you!


Thank you to all NANOS members and volunteers who rotated off the NANOS Board and Committees this July. We appreciate your service, all of your contributions, and support! We hope to see your involvement in different roles and capacities in years to come!



WHEN: Sunday, August 2nd
3pm pacific, 5pm central, 6pm eastern
DURATION: 40-60 minutes
ORGANIZER: Women in Neuro-Ophthalmology (WIN) Committee
TOPIC: Leadership
WHO IS INVITED: any member of NANOS interested in growing their leadership skills
BOOK TITLE: Dignity by Donna Hicks, PhD, who believes that at the source of all conflict is dignity violation.  Once one is able to name the problem, one can change practice and behavior to maintain dignity during conflict negotiation.  She lays out a structured practice to lead with dignity.  Here is a short video to get an idea of what would be discussed in her work.
INTERESTED? Email Barbara Yates and Sangeeta Khanna or join the WIN community on the WIN listserv to be notified of the login details.
WHAT IS WIN LISTSERV? The "Women in Neuro-Ophthalmology" (WIN) listserv is a discussion forum for all members of NANOS, gender-inclusive, who share passion for neuro-ophthalmology and use this unique platform to discuss equity, professional development, networking, share resources, and support each other.  


Check out these two NANOS products that are available on the Teton Data Systems platform, Stat!Ref. They now feature a new design and interface!

NANOS Products on StatRef!

NANOS Examination Techniques (NExT) for Neuro-Ophthalmology
NANOS Illustrated Curriculum for Neuro-Ophthalmology

Get your subscription today:

  1. Institutional License:
    Ask your academic librarian to add NExT and NANOS Illustrated Curriculum to their library’s STAT!Ref subscription.
  2. Individual License:
    Contact Teton Data Systems: www.tetondata.com, 800-901-5494



Make sure to subscribe for the NANOS listservs to stay connected and network with fellow professionals.


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