Volk Optical Strengthens Investment in India with GM Appointment

Sunil Bharti joins Volk as General Manager for India

Mentor, Ohio (February 14, 2019) – Volk Optical (www.volk.com) has appointed Sunil Bharti to the role of General Manger, India. The move comes as the Indian market is expanding, with vision health becoming a key focus to meet the needs of its population.

In his new role, Bharti will lead Volk’s current sales and marketing organization in India and will be responsible for establishing and implementing the strategy for continued growth in the region. Bharti will work closely with doctors and healthcare institutions to understand the Indian market’s unmet needs and provide the best solutions from Volk’s portfolio of diagnostic and therapeutic lenses, surgical instruments, and ophthalmic imaging devices. Bharti will continue to develop Volk’s Indian distributor network, provide training for new and existing customers, and increase the company’s presence and services in India.

“Sunil’s appointment is an important step as Volk supports the growth of vision care in India,” explains Volk President, Dr. Jyoti Gupta. “According to the India Vision Institute, India has one of the largest populations of individuals with preventable blindness in the world. This is due primarily to a shortage of vision care specialists and difficulty in accessing care in rural areas. Where such a disparity exists, products that speed exam and treatment time, and technologies that enable telemedicine are critical. Sunil and his team will play a key role in supporting doctors and healthcare workers with access to the best technology, solutions, and training.”

Bharti brings over 20 years of medical device and life sciences experience in the Indian market to Volk. He was most recently Deputy General Manager of Sales for Perkin Elmer Genomics-India, a role that encompassed sales strategy and sales team leadership for the company’s diagnostic products line. Prior to that he progressed through increasingly senior roles at Johnson & Johnson India after it acquired Synthes Medical, where Bharti was Head of Sales at the time of acquisition. Bharti earned his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Mumbai University and completed his studies with an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management.

Volk will be exhibiting at the All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) annual meeting February 14-17 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. Show visitors will have the opportunity to meet Bharti in person at Volk’s exhibit Stall, number B22 and B27. Visitors may also try out all available Volk lenses before purchasing.

Volk Optical is an industry leader in aspheric ophthalmic lenses for the diagnosis and treatment of the human eye, and portable diagnostic imaging devices. Glass lens fabrication and the company’s patented double aspheric technology result in the highest resolution imaging with the best stereopsis for precision diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical procedures. Volk’s portable, electronic, digital imaging devices are building the foundation for the future of ophthalmology, optometry, and general medicine. The company is based in Mentor, Ohio, USA and has representatives and distributors around the world.

Volk Optical Expands Leadership Team with New Vice President Appointment

Utkarsh Sharma, Ph.D. joins Volk as Vice President of Product Development and Strategic Marketing

Mentor, Ohio (March 22, 2018) – Volk Optical has appointed Utkarsh Sharma, Ph.D. Vice President of Product Development and Strategic Marketing.

In this new role, Dr. Sharma will lead product development for Volk’s entire range of ophthalmic products. This includes accelerating development of advanced diagnostic, surgical and imaging products that fulfil unmet needs in the vision space, as well as sustaining and improving existing products. The company’s products include a full line of reusable and single-use diagnostic and surgical lenses and portable diagnostic ophthalmic imaging systems. Dr. Sharma will contribute to the company’s strategic plan as a member of Volk’s executive leadership team and board of directors.

Dr. Sharma brings to Volk extensive experience in product development, management and commercialization of ophthalmic imaging systems. Most recently, he served as Director of Optovue’s Advanced Development Team, leading the design and commercial launch of numerous ophthalmic diagnostic products. Prior to Optovue, Dr. Sharma was a Project Team Leader and Scientist at Carl Zeiss Meditec, where he led the development of the first FDA approved OCT Angiography (OCTA) technology.

In addition to his industry experience, Dr. Sharma spent time in academia as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at both Harvard Medical School (Boston, Mass.) and the University of Illinois (Urbana, Ill.). He earned a B.S. in Engineering Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay, India), and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.). Dr. Sharma holds 15 patents in medical imaging, applications, optics and lasers. He was recently awarded the prestigious SPIE Early Career Achievement Award for his pioneering contributions to ophthalmic imaging devices.

Volk Optical is an industry leader in aspheric ophthalmic lenses for the diagnosis and treatment of the human eye, and portable diagnostic imaging devices. Glass lens fabrication and the company’s patented double aspheric technology result in the highest resolution imaging with the best stereopsis for precision diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical procedures. Volk’s portable, electronic, digital imaging devices are building the foundation for the future of ophthalmology, optometry, and general medicine. The company is based in Mentor, Ohio, USA and has representatives and distributors around the world.

Volk Optical Appoints New President

Jyoti Gupta, Ph.D., joins industry leader in ophthalmic lenses and imaging devices


Mentor, Ohio (January 18, 2017) – Volk Optical (www.volk.com) has appointed Jyoti Gupta, Ph.D., to the position of President, following the move of long-time Volk President Pete Mastores to the position of Chief Commercial Officer on Volk’s board.


In her new role, Dr. Gupta will be responsible for leading Volk Optical, providing strategic and tactical direction to support the future growth of Volk’s global sales and operations. This includes driving the development of new products to serve unmet needs in the ophthalmic imaging, and diagnostic and surgical lens spaces. The company’s products include the Volk iNview and Pictor Plus portable diagnostic ophthalmic imaging systems, as well as a full line of reusable and single-use diagnostic and surgical lenses.

Dr. Gupta comes to Volk from Unilife Corporation, where she served as Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Drug Delivery Systems, responsible for the development and growth of its syringe business. Prior to Unilife, she held strategic marketing roles at Becton Dickinson, and was involved in clinical research at Medtronic Spine and Biologics. Dr. Gupta also serves as an adviser to early state startups originating out of universities.

Dr. Gupta earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.). She also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Christian Brothers University (Memphis, Tenn.).

“Jyoti’s experience in the medical space will be invaluable to Volk as we develop products that keep pace with key advances in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease,” said Mastores. “Under her guidance, Volk’s portable imaging devices will continue to evolve, as camera and software technology improve. We will also continue to expand our diagnostic and surgical lens lines, including single-use lenses, developing new offerings to meet the demands of the latest procedures and treatment protocols.”

A Very Volk Proposal

We are all suckers for a great love story, so when Tyler Kitzman, OD, a cornea contact lens resident, reached out to us for help proposing to his girlfriend, Halie Cottrill, OD, also an optometry resident specializing in low vision and geriatrics, we were eager to help.

“Optometry is the reason we met, it’s how we bonded, and it’s a special connection that we share as a couple. When thinking of ways to make the engagement special for us, I brainstormed different ideas and decided to incorporate our passion for optometry into the day,” explained Tyler.

The pair met while second year students at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, cementing their bond first as study partners, before beginning to date during their third year. The pair survived all three sections of National Boards, graduating together in 2016. Since then, Tyler has pursued his residency at Northeastern State University of Oklahoma College of Optometry in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, while Halie pursued hers at the Birmingham VA Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

Inspired by their optometry school love story, our Marketing Manager, Jake Iselin, brainstormed with Tyler how we could make the day special. Initially, Tyler was envisioning just a Volk lens case to hold the ring, but Jake knew Volk could do better than that. Jake took their ideas to Karen Piendzik, Non-Contact Lens Supervisor, who is in charge of manufacturing and assembly of our BIO and slit lamp lenses, as well as the person who crafts all of our custom lens engraving. She’s the point person Volk depends on whenever we need something special to happen.

What we created was a custom BIO lens ring. Instead of our usual glass optics, the lens ring held a tailor-made cushion to cradle the engagement ring Tyler had chosen for Halie. Instead of the usual Volk engraving around the side, it read, “Halie, will you marry me? Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen…” The special lens ring and cushion were placed in a Volk lens case to emulate a traditional ring box. We made both a gold and a silver lens ring so Tyler could choose the one that he liked best with the engagement ring.


Tyler chose the silver BIO lens to compliment the beautiful ring he picked for Halie.

Tyler also wanted to incorporate another shared passion into his proposal: long distance running, to which Halie introduced him. The pair had completed a road race series and two half marathons together, before deciding they were ready to tackle a full marathon in December. They chose the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, Tennessee. Returning to the city where they met, which has also become the halfway meeting point in their current long distance relationship, seemed a perfect setting. They are also great admirers of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and wished to support and raise awareness for it.

After finishing the 26.2 miles together with an impressive 3:53:31 time, Tyler pulled out the Volk lens case, dropped to one knee, and popped the big question. Halie replied with a resounding “Yes!” in front of an audience of family and friends waiting at the finish line-another surprise Tyler had arranged.

Initially, Halie “was too overcome by the proposal to understand the case right away; BUT after, she loved it!” reported Tyler. “And all of our optometry friends were blown away!”

Tyler’s proposal was captured by a photographer from the local paper, the Commercial Appeal, which ran a quarter page photo of the moment on the front page the next day.


Tyler and Halie rocking their St. Jude wear, posing with their front page spread.

Halie Cottrill (right) tears up as Tyler Kizzman gets down on one knee for a marriage proposal after the couple ran the 15th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon Saturday morning, their first marathon.

A better look at that front page picture depicting the special moment. (Used with permission; © Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal/ZUMAPRESS.com).

The couple have already set a wedding date: July 2, 2017. They will return once again to Memphis and hold their reception where their love story began-at the Southern College of Optometry.

Everyone at Volk wishes Tyler and Halie a lifetime of happiness together! Thank you for letting us be a part of your special story!

Volk Lenses Now Available with Ellex Ophthalmic Lasers

Providing clear optics for YAG, SLT, laser vitreolysis, and photocoagulation procedures


Mentor, Ohio (August 9, 2016) – Volk Optical and Ellex Medical (ASX: ELX, Ellex) have partnered to provide ease of access and convenient purchase of Volk ophthalmic lenses to complement Ellex ophthalmic lasers. Ellex will commence an offering of Volk contact laser lenses, as well as mirrored gonioscopy lenses, in both reusable and single-use designs, with the purchase of an Ellex ophthalmic laser for YAG, SLT, laser vitreolysis, and photocoagulation procedures.




With this arrangement, Ellex will now have the opportunity to provide reusable laser lens styles, and Volk®1 Single Use lens for a global collaborative market presence. Volk lenses are designed with high-quality optics and anti-glare coatings to deliver crisp, high-resolution views. The range of reusable lens styles includes contact laser lenses for capsulotomy, iridotomy, laser vitreolysis, focal grid and peripheral retinal photocoagulation, 3- and 4-mirror gonioscopy, and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). Volk1 Single Use lenses, which eliminate potential cross-contamination and costly reprocessing, are available in a similar range of styles, and can be re-ordered directly from Ellex.

Ellex is recognized as the expert in short-pulsed lasers for use in ophthalmology. Its laser range pairs 30 years of manufacturing expertise with cutting-edge technology to deliver consistently better treatment results. The systems offered with Volk lenses include the Tango™ for SLT and YAG laser procedures; Ultra Q for YAG laser procedures and the Ultra Q Reflex for vitreolysis (as well as standard YAG procedures); and Solitaire, Integre Pro and Integre Pro Scan for photocoagulation.

“It makes sense that Ellex should align its suite of ophthalmic laser products with Volk: if our customers can visualize the treatment site with greater clarity then they can use our lasers to more exacting precision,” commented Ellex CEO Tom Spurling.

“The industry’s best lenses are now available with the industry’s best lasers,” explains Volk president Peter Mastores. “Ellex is a pioneer in ophthalmic laser treatment. They recognize that the clear, high-resolution imaging of our Volk lenses is critical to patient outcomes.”

To learn more about the new laser and lens bundles, or to make a purchase, visit www.ellex.com, or contact your Authorized Ellex Distributor.

Volk’s President Pete Mastores Joins Charitable Mission to Grenada

VOSH-NC clinics see over 1,300 patients in four days

In June, I had the pleasure of participating in a mission trip to the Caribbean island of Grenada, providing eye care to their underserved population. With the assistance of the local Rotarians, the North Carolina chapter of VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) hosted four, one-day clinics in parishes around the island, providing vision screening, glasses fittings, medication for chronic eye disease, education, and referral for follow-up.

My wife and I joined a group which included our daughter Stephanie Mastores, an optometrist, along with three of her fellow Ohio State University College of Optometry alumnae: VOSH-NC Chapter President Jill Scullion, Gail Long, and Heather Day, as well as fellow VOSH optometrist Christina Smith. As part of the eight-person support team, I helped out wherever I could: administering basic visual acuity exams, filling out charts and keeping people moving through the clinic. I was also able to bring along some of Volk’s portable imaging equipment to help with patient screening.


Here I am using our Pictor Plus to get a better image of a patient’s optic nerve

 According to Jill, continuity of care is a big part of the mission. For many, the VOSH clinic is their only opportunity each year to get basic eye exams, as well as care and medication to manage chronic conditions such as glaucoma or dry eye. One such patient she saw had noticed very little visual impairment, but was found to have very advanced glaucoma. Without treatment, he would have eventually lost vision. With ongoing intervention, he will have a much better chance of preserving his sight. Jill pointed out it’s not just these standout cases that make a big impact. Even getting fitted with reading glasses–allowing someone to read or sew in order to work–makes a tremendous impact on patients’ quality of life.

We saw over 350 people a day. Many were waiting in line up to 8 hours to be seen, so quick and easy screening was paramount to move through as many people as possible.

I was able to support the screening process by providing portable fundus imaging using the Volk Pictor Plus to get clearer & wider field images of conditions picked up by the ODs during direct ophthalmoscope screening. When it turned out that one of the doctors was missing some her equipment, which was essential to completing BIO examinations, I was able to use the Volk Pictor Plus fundus camera to capture retinal images. I then passed the patient images along to the doctor for review, which allowed her to complete her portion of the exam.


Using Pictor Plus for fundus exam when BIO was unavailable.

The trip really brought home how essential handheld portable equipment is. It’s one thing to develop products at our headquarters in Ohio and know that they can be used in remote locations; it’s another to be able to see with my own eyes how our handheld imagers are used in these settings. We were set up in a different place every day, each with its own challenges in terms of space to see patients. Plus, we had to move people through a quick pace, so ease-of-use was an important factor as well.


Space was at a premium in many of the clinic locations, here Dr. Gail Long, Dr. Jill Scullion, and Dr. Heather Day sit shoulder to shoulder as they conduct exams on three patients.

Jill kept track of stats, and it’s staggering to see in numbers what we were able to accomplish in such a short time. We handed out:

  • 600 pairs of sunglasses
  • 850 readers
  • 312 single vision glasses
  • 286 biofocal glasses
  • 147 referrals for follow up
  • plus the medications prescribed

All told, Jill figures the value of goods and medicine provided adds up to over $200,000.


The VOSH-NC team celebrating after seeing FOUR HUNDRED patients in a single clinic day!

I had such a great time working with the people of Grenada. They were so warm and appreciative-I think I got more hugs in those four days probably than I ever have in my lifetime. It’s just a great feeling-whether you’re finding significant eye disease or just passing out sunglasses to help prevent cataracts.

All of the VOSH team funded their own travel and lodging. Some of the equipment and medicine were donated through partnerships with Alcon, Allergan, and Bausch + Lomb charitable giving programs, as well as Lion’s Clubs, and RestoringVision.org. VOSH also collects charitable donations to help fund this critical work. Similar trips to Belize and Trinidad are being planned in the next year. To help VOSH-NC, you can donate through their website.

I’m so glad I finally had a chance to participate in such a worthwhile trip. Planning has already begun for another Grenada trip July 2017, which I will be attending with my family.

Volk’s Terry Cooper Returns to Uganda

Terry once again joins the 20/20 Links program on a mission to tackle preventable blindness


For the past week, Terry Cooper (Volk’s Regional Sales Manager for Europe) has been on a personal charitable mission in Uganda, lending his ophthalmic instrument expertise and Volk equipment to the Vision 2020 Links Programme. The mission team, a group of ophthalmologists from the Royal Free Hospital in London lead by Ophthalmologist Clare Davey, is on a mission to reduce preventable blindness.




This is Terry’s second trip to Uganda, having participated in a 2015 trip to Mulago Referral Hospital in the capital city of Kampala, as well as at Ruharo Eye Centre, in the more remote city of Mbarara. During that trip, Terry brought along the Volk Pictor Plus handheld digital imager, used by the medical team to screen for diabetic retinopathy and examinations under anesthetic of retinoblastoma patients.




On the current, trip, the team has returned to Mulago Referral Hospital for diabetic screening clinics, as well as its pediatric cataract service, and its developing vitreoretinal surgery service. In addition, the team will hold an outreach clinic at the nearby Chances for Children orphanage, conducting eye exams on children who have never had access to this care before.




The Volk equipment Terry will have along to aid in these efforts includes the Volk Pictor Plus for high quality, diagnostic retinal imaging and the new Volk iNview, which uses an iPhone to capture retinal images for general visualization, patient education, referrals and record retention.

Nathan Little, Global Product Manager from Volk’s sister company Accutome, has also joined the team this trip. Nathan will bring a variety of Accutome’s portable diagnostic equipment including the B-Scan Plus, UBM Plus, Pachpen and Accupen. Light weight, portable, and battery- or a laptop-powered, the Accutome equipment is well suited to the mission’s remote locations.

An important addition to this trip is a course on ‘Care and support of ophthalmic equipment’ presented by Terry and Nathan.  Eye care equipment in hospitals in low and middle income countries can fall into disrepair and remain unused for long period of time. Often, this is due to lack of training specific to eye care equipment for the engineering staff who look after all of the medical equipment in the hospital. This one day course aims to remedy that situation and make sure that hospitals get the most out of their eye care instruments.




Terry will be sending back dispatches from the field as he’s able and we’ll be documenting his trip. Like Volk on Facebook (LINK), or follow us on Twitter (LINK) or LinkedIn (LINK) to follow Terry’s journey.

Read about Terry’s 2015 mission trip: bit.ly/volkuganda1, bit.ly/volkuganda2, bit.ly/VolkUganda3.

New Volk Products Coming to AAO 2015

iPhone fundus camera, disposable capsulotomy and iridotomy lenses, plus oculoplastics tool

Between the expert education sessions bit.ly/1kmUPJj, photo gallery bit.ly/1MvChRA and these exciting new products, Volk’s booth, #4045, is going to be jumping at AAO.  Add in special show-only promotions and we’re betting this will be a show to remember.  Read on to see which products will be making their debuts in Sin City.


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Volk inView iPhone Fundus Camera
The convenience of an Apple iPhone paired with the quality of Volk optics. Capture and share images with your patient with a 50-degree field of view of the retina. We’re offering $500 off to the first 200 customers at AAO.


VCAPSD - Angled Contact. VIRIDD - Angled Top

Volk®1 Single Use Capsulotomy & Iridotomy Lenses
Eliminate reprocessing costs and reduce chance of disease transmission without sacrificing quality optics. The Volk®1 Capsulotomy and Volk®1 Iridotomy lenses deliver high-resolution magnified images with a sterile, one-time-use design. While supplies last, we’ll be giving away a FREE sample pack of your choice.


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Oculoplastics Module for the Volk Eye Check
Already popular for its diagnostic power and contact lens fitting capabilities, the Volk Eye Check portable ophthalmic exam tool now has a dedicated module for oculoplastics. The new module delivers fast and accurate pre- and post-op measurements for clinical and cosmetic lid surgeries. We’re offering $1000 off the purchase price of a Volk Eye Check plus a free Volk lens, valued up to $400.

If you can’t make it to Vegas this year, you can still get dealt a winning hand – we’ll be honoring these show promotions on phone orders until Tuesday, November 17th. Call us at 1-800-345-8655 for more information.

Volk to Host Expert Sessions with Dr. Karl Brasse & Dr. David Tasker at AAO, Booth 4045

Educational sessions and one-on-one discussions of laser vitreolysis and portable ophthalmic imaging techniques


AAO 2015 is just around the corner and we’ve lined up a special treat for show visitors. We are hosting educational sessions in our booth with two leading physicians throughout the 4-day exhibition.  Dr. Karl Brasse of Vreden, Germany, will be on hand to discuss his experiences using the Idrees MidVitreous lens for treating post-capsulotomy vitreous floaters.  Dr. David Tasker, of San Antonio, Texas, will join Volk to educate Academy members on his use of the Pictor Plus handheld digital retina imager to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, as well as aiding in research. Both doctors will be offering educational info sessions, live demonstration, and one-on-one discussions. See below for times and details.


KB photoBrasse Floater

Dr. Karl Brasse – Laser Vitreolysis Techniques & Best Practices

Get Dr. Brasse’s take on best practices in techniques and treatment of vitreous floaters and opacities:

  • Saturday, November 14th at 1:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th at 9:30 am
  • Sunday, November 15th at 1:30 pm


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Dr. David Tasker – Advances in Digital Ophthalmic Imaging

Learn from Dr. Tasker how Volk’s Pictor Plus can be used to display patient anatomy in the exam room, improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in treating diabetic retinopathy, ROP, AMD, traumatic optic neuropathy, and more:

  • Saturday, November 14th 10:30 am – 12 pm; 1:30 pm – 3 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th 10:30 am – 12 pm; 1:30 pm – 3 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th at 1:30 pm

Dr. Tasker will also be leading an Ophthalmology Resident Group Session at 9:30am on Monday, November 16th.

Stop by the Volk booth ahead of time to sign up. Space is limited.