It has been a long journey from Janice (Jan) Ledford’s beginnings as an ophthalmic assistant to Series Editor of the Basic Bookshelf for Eyecare Professionals.
The journey began in 1982 when Dr. George Hubbard in Columbus, GA hired Jan. She became certified first as an assistant (1983) and then as a technician (1984) under his tutelage. Her interest in teaching others began to surface, and she was named Continuing Education Coordinator for the practice.
The Ledfords returned to their hometown of Warner Robins, GA in 1985. Jan began working for Eyesight Associates of Middle Georgia, an eyecare empire created and run by Dr. Johnny Gayton. The idea of becoming certified as a ophthalmic medical technologist began to surface during the next 2 years. By 1988 she had made it a reality.
In this practice, other talents began to emerge as well. By the time SLACK Incorporated began looking for an editor for a new series, she had already published several books in the field. She had also broken into professional journals with articles, case studies, and research reports. (Journals include the Journal of Ophthalmic Nursing and Technology, Ophthalmic Surgery, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Annals of Ophthalmology, and Contact Lens Spectrum.) In 1993, Alcon Surgical awarded her its Achievement in Ophthalmology for coauthorship of the side approach cataract technique. In 1994, she was named to the International Who’s Who in Medicine. Her editing experience included a seat on the editorial board of the Professional Medical Assistant journal.
When she heard that SLACK was doing a new series, she asked if they had chosen an editor yet. Next thing she knew, she was interviewing for the job. “Amy Drummond, SLACK’s acquisition editor at that time, was in Atlanta for a meeting and suggested that we get together,” Jan remembers. “We met at the Whistle Stop Café (where the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” was filmed) and talked over a plate of fried green tomatoes. She must have liked them… I got the job!”
Jan, her husband, Jim, their two boys (TJ and Collin), and four cats have since moved to the mountains of Franklin, NC. She works part-time with Dr. Charles Kirby and Western North Carolina Eyecare Associates. Her writing talents have expanded to include a published novel and numerous awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women (Atlanta Branch), as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Ophthalmic Nursing and Technology.