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New President at International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology

Published: 03.09.2021
James C. Tsai

St. Paul, MN – The International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO®) announced the naming of James C. Tsai, MD, MBA, FACS, as IJCAHPO’s President beginning in August 2021, serving a two-year term. Dr. Tsai is IJCAHPO’s 26th President of the 52-year-old organization. Dr. Tsai’s leadership will focus on increasing awareness of the allied ophthalmic profession, advocating for certification of the eye care team to ensure quality patient care, and advancing Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOP) education and training on new treatments and technologies.

Dr. Tsai is the President at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, and Delafield-Rodgers Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System. He completed his medical degree at Stanford University School of Medicine and his MBA from Vanderbilt University, and received his residency training in ophthalmology at the Doheny Eye Institute, which at the time was affiliated with the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He conducted his glaucoma fellowship training at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Health System, and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, and University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology. He specializes in glaucoma tube shunt implant surgery and trabeculectomy with antimetabolite surgery in patients with complex glaucomas. His research interests include the identification of neuroprotective molecules that can shield the optic nerve from damage without lowering intraocular pressure, evaluation of surgical outcomes in glaucoma patients, and development of advanced vision testing techniques.

“I am honored to serve as IJCAHPO’s President and build our organization’s future on its successful foundation. I look forward to collaborating with a dynamic Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers, and an enthusiastic staff team as we create a strategic vision for IJCAHPO that is critical to our ability to meet the growing demand for a well-trained eye care team. My deepest appreciation to Dr. Neil Choplin, IJCAHPO’s Immediate Past President, for his leadership and innovation during this past COVID-19 era,” said Tsai.

Dr. Tsai has been a leading force in the industry for years, including serving as a Trustee-At-Large of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), Chair of the Glaucoma Subcommittee of the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) planning committee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and an international member of the scientific advisory panel of the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) in Singapore. He has served as Past Chair of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Global Ophthalmic News & Education Network (O.N.E.) Board and a member of AAO’s Nominating and Health Policy Committees. Dr. Tsai is a recipient of the AAO’s Life Achievement Honor, Senior Achievement Honor, and Secretariat Awards, Fight for Sight’s Physician Scientist and Visionary Awards, and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who.

Dr. Tsai began his service with IJCAHPO in 2011 and was elected to the Board of Directors as a Director-At-Large in 2015. He then served as the Treasurer from 2017-2019 and was elected to serve as President-Elect in 2019. Dr. Tsai succeeds Neil Choplin, MD, who served as IJCAHPO’s President from 2019-2021.


The International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology – IJCAHPO®, (formerly the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology – JCAHPO®), was established as a not-for-profit organization in 1969 to offer certification and continuing education opportunities to ophthalmic allied health personnel. Since then, more than 31,000 people in the U.S., Canada, and around the world have earned IJCAHPO® Certification. For more information visit:

Photo Credits

Image courtesy of the Clinton Health Access Initiative South Africa.