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Presidential address by



Venue: Tricon 23 - 70TH Annual conference of TNOA – Platinum Jubilee Srinivasan Medical College, Tiruchirapalli – Friday, 4th August 2023

My heartfelt greetings and sincere wishes to all of you.

Let me first thank every TNOA member for giving me the opportunity to serve as President of our esteemed organization, the Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association.

And especially so at this very special landmark - Our Platinum Jubilee year 2023. Yes, the TNOA was established in the year 1952-53 in Tiruchirappalli 70 years back

On behalf of the TNOA, I salute all the leaders and the past presidents for their pioneering and visionary insights in establishing the association. And today, as your new President, it is an honour to take the reins of an organization with such a rich history and legacy in the place of its origin during the Platinum Jubilee conference 2023!

Thank you, President Dr. Ramakrishnan sir, for the kind introduction and taking TNOA to greater heights. It’s indeed a big shoe to fill in your expertise in Glaucoma, administration and people skills are difficult to match. Please continue to guide us.

Being in Trichy brings back many nostalgic memories.

o Like receiving my first 'Best Paper' award during SROC Trichy.
o Or as Treasurer, conducting the first ever online elections in 2012.
o I have many wonderful Friends from Trichy IMA & TOPS including Dr. Ashraf, Dr Gunasekaran, Dr Sathya Albert, Dr. TRS sir, Dr. Parthiban, Dr. Janakiram ENT surgeon and so many others.
o And my better half is also a Trichy girl – from the BHEL township!
o So many fun times.
o Thank you, Trichy Ophthalmic Society, and Organising team of Tricon 23

I recall with nostalgia, my first TNOA conference, the 40th Annual conference of TNOA at Tuticorin organised by my teacher Prof Velayutham and being the Master of ceremonies of the inaugural function.

Since then, I have never missed any TNOA conference, and this is my 30th TNOA conference and continue to be a part of this great association as: Probably the youngest and only PG member of the managing committee in 1996-99, Joint secretary, Treasurer 2009-2012, General Secretary 2012-2015 and Editor of journal of TNOA 2015-2018 (Now 'TNOA Journal of Ophthalmic Science Research') Vice president in 2021 & President elect in 2022.Having worked as apprentice under 18 presidents, today I assume charge as one of the youngest Presidents on board.

I owe this to the blessing of the Almighty, my parents, and my family, my wife Dr. Sunitha Nirmal. I also wish to place my heartfelt thanks to my almamater RIO GOH, my mentors Dr V. Velayudham, Dr, Babu Rajendran, all my teachers, friends who became families and friends who supported in this journey.

I have a very big gratitude list starting from the Institutions that helped me grow:

My School Corley, to MMC sesquis group, RIO GOH alumni, TOS, IMA Tambaram, NABH, CAHO all have become our extended families and supports systems.

Special thanks to our staff at Nirmal’s Eye Hospital for working beyond the call of duty and being a lifeline of continued support over decades.

As I stand before you today as the president of the TNOA, I am infused with a sense of pride and awe at the edifice of excellence that our association has built over the past 70 years

Tamilnadu is often referred to as the Mecca of Ophthalmology due to the great institutions starting from the 200-year-old Govt Ophthalmic Hospitals to the Temple of Eye SN, Joseph Eye Hospital established by Dr. Joseph, Aravind Eye care system, the largest eye hospital group, Agarwal eye hospitals and many great Institutions providing and defining the standard of eye care in India

While each of our past Presidents brought their unique passion and perspective to the Tamilnadu Ophthalmic Association, there has been (and always will be) a common thread that runs through and unites all our members - Restoring Sight and Hope.

Each of our TNOA members has dedicated themselves wholeheartedly and enthusiastically to provide quality eye care to the people of Tamilnadu. Collectively, your contributions have been nothing short of revolutionary and remarkable. Thank you for your selfless and remarkable service. It has made the TNOA what it is today.

But our journey is only half complete.

In Robert Frost's immortal words, there are "miles to go before we sleep".

And so, as we look to an exciting yet uncertain future, we must now seek to recognize that, there are new and fresh challenges to our speciality and healthcare in general. we have accomplished so much together, building upon the remarkable efforts of Dr. Ramakrishnan and Team TNOA with the theme of "Synergy Through Unity, Together We Can."

As we continue on our journey, we need to grow towards excellence

In the world of music recording, it's a rare honour for a single or album to 'Go Platinum'. It must sell a MILLION copies or more. In a broader sense, it indicates runaway success, incredible reach and impact, and overwhelming superiority. That is the goal we envision for TNOA in the future.

It's time to shoot for the stars. And rocket our TNOA to ever-greater heights.

For our TNOA Platinum Jubilee year 2023-24, we proudly present the theme:

"Together We Grow: Towards Excellence in Eye Care."

I am excited to announce a few initiatives that are designed to

• Strengthen TNOA, Promote quality and excellence in eye care.
• Support our members in overcoming challenges in ophthalmic practice.

In our TNOA Platinum Jubilee Year 2023-2024, we have established few committees and task forces to drive these initiatives. Each team will be led by a senior leader and expert, accompanied by a convenor from the TNOA managing committee, members from TNOA, and advisors specializing in the respective core area, from within or outside our specialty. These committees signify our unwavering commitment to excellence and progress in eye care during this significant milestone.

It's Time to Go PLATINUM – with TEAM TNOA’s Top Ten initiatives

1. Promoting Quality and Safety in Eye Care: Scaling the Standards in Eye Care

2. Leadership & Professional Development: Eyes on the Future

3. Advocacy Taskforce: Beyond Education to Impact Policy & Care

4. Training and Education - Excellence through Education & Training!

5. Tamil committee - Touching Lives through Tamil

6. Insurance Advisory Committee - Together We Raise, Vision's Prize

7. Networking & Collaboration: Advancing Eye Care Together

8. Unveiling the Future: Supporting Young Ophthalmologists in Research, Publication, and Innovation - Ushering Ophthalmology's New Era!"

9. Medicolegal Committee: Empowering Members, Inspiring Confidence

10. MEMBER WELLNESS: Nurturing Physical, Mental, and Financial Health for Ophthalmologists

So, there you have it. P-L-A-T-I-N-U-M

An empowering acronym that distils down the core of our plans and policy for the upcoming year:

P - Promoting Quality and Safety in Eye Care

L - Leadership Development

A - Advocacy Initiatives

T - Training and Education & Tamil committee

I – Insurance committee

N - Networking and Collaboration

U - Unleash Your Potential – Young Ophthalmologists

M – Medicolegal Committee & Member wellness

By embracing the P-L-A-T-I-N-U-M values, Team TNOA will strive for continuous growth, Quality and excellence in eye care throughout its Platinum Year.

Let me conclude by saying that it has been a long, difficult, yet satisfying journey from Tambaram to Trichy Via Tuticorin. I carry with me many precious lessons learned along the way - starting right from my humble beginnings, the teachings of my mentors, the support of my friends and colleagues, the dedication of team TNOA, and the love of my family.

I am happy and honoured to serve as the new President of the Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association (TNOA) during this momentous Platinum Jubilee Year.

Let's shape the future of ophthalmology.

Let's continue to restore sight and hope.

Together let's grow towards excellence in eye care.

Thank you.

Long live TNOA & Jai Hind!

Dr T Nirmal Fredrick
70th President, TNOA
4th August 2023, Trichy