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David W. Parke II, MD to retire from OMIC Board at end of 2021

As many of you are aware, David W. Parke II, MD, recently announced that he will be stepping down at the end of the year after more than a decade as CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This news prompts me to reflect on Dr. Parke’s impressive tenure as leader of the Academy, including his crowning achievement, the IRIS Registry, and on the incredible impact Dr. Parke has had on OMIC since he joined our leadership team in 1999.

Already a seasoned financial steward for the Dean McGee Eye Institute, Dr. Parke possessed the vast operational knowledge we needed at one of the most pivotal times in our company’s history. Two years after joining OMIC’s Finance and Underwriting Committees, a sharp turn in the insurance market prompted the Board of Directors to make dramatic moves in order to strengthen our position and come to the rescue of many of our colleagues. The largest insurer in the U.S. at the time, The St. Paul Company, cited excessive losses when it abruptly left the market. Other carriers stopped writing new policies as the malpractice insurance industry veered toward unprofitability. OMIC was the only carrier writing coverage in some areas of the country and our premium rates remained far below competitors, who implemented sharp rate increases of double or triple what they had been the year before.

Dr. Parke was elevated to the Board and worked closely with another “giant” in OMIC’s history, Dr. Stephen Kamenetzky, and other members of the Finance Committees to transform OMIC and the insurance market for ophthalmology. While some medical specialties experienced wild fluctuations in costs of doing business and uncertainty of maintaining practice, our profession survived the turbulent conditions in relative stability. Many of our peers were protected from severe threats to financial fortune
by this bold leadership. Ophthalmologists could rely on OMIC and our company doubled in size in just three years. Soon after, Dr. Parke was elected Vice Chair of OMIC and later served as Chair of our Claims and Strategic Planning Committees.

There have been a handful of key leaders of OMIC that have shaped our company in such consequential ways. Dr. Parke is in that select group and on behalf of the Board we wish him the best as he transitions from OMIC to his next endeavors.

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