Optometric Education

The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Optometric Education: Volume 47 Number 1 (Fall 2021)

Industry News

Desiree Ifft

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New Website Aims to Educate and Prepare Patients for Presbyopia

According to a recent survey commissioned by Allergan, an AbbVie company, 65% of adults age 40-55 who reported having near vision issues say they were not prepared to have their eyesight worsen as they got older, and a quarter of them admitted they were in denial that their near vision was getting worse. (The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, involved 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults age 40-55 who reported having near vision issues.)
To raise awareness of the fact that near vision issues in this age group may be due to presbyopia and to provide individuals with information for discussing the issue with their eye doctors, Allergan launched a new website, BlurryNearVision.com. Among the site’s features are an interactive component that shows how people see text up close when they have presbyopia and a quiz to uncover how the condition could be affecting their daily lives.

CooperVision’s Best Practices program, with an Enhanced Structure, Open for Applications

U.S. independent and corporate optometry practices currently fitting any brand of contact lenses have until Nov. 30, 2021, to apply to be recognized in CooperVision’s 2022 Best Practices program.

This is CooperVision’s seventh annual search for the nation’s Best Practices, and this year honorees will be recognized in five categories: industry advancement, community impact, patient experience, specialty services and team building. “We look forward to learning how more of today’s practices are finding success despite the enormous challenges of the last two years, then giving them the platform to share that with others,” Michele Andrews, OD, the company’s Vice President, Professional & Government Affairs, said. The 2022 honorees will join a diverse group of 60 Best Practices who have each forged various pathways to success. According to CooperVision, honorees not only gain broad industry recognition, but are given exclusive opportunities to collaborate with and learn from other creative and motivated practices, enabling further growth and discovery of new ways to serve patients, the profession and their communities. For example, they are brought together at the annual Best Practices Summit, which provides an opportunity for education and collaboration on a variety of practice management and clinical topics.

For more information about the Best Practices initiative, to review stories from past honorees, or to apply, visit www.coopervision.com/practitioner/best-practices. For full Best Practices terms and conditions, including eligibility requirements, refer to https://coopervision.com/practitioner/best-practices.

Last year, CooperVision introduced a Best Practices scholarship program, which provides third-year optometry students with the opportunity to attend the educational summit. Applications for this aspect of the program will be opened by the end of 2021.

Working to Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eyecare Industry

Johnson & Johnson Vision announced a collaboration with Black EyeCare Perspective, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to redefining the color of the eyecare industry 1% at a time. As part of the collaboration, Johnson & Johnson Vision signed the 13% Promise, an initiative to increase equity and representation in the eyecare industry and in optometry schools by increasing the number of Black students to mirror the 13% of Black people in the U.S. population.

According to data from Black EyeCare Perspective, only 3.2% of students and 3.8% of faculty in optometry colleges are Black or African American, and this number drops to only 1.8% among practicing optometrists. Johnson & Johnson Vision is the first major eye health company to sign the 13% Promise, furthering a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through awareness, education and empowerment in collaboration with associations and public and community organizations.

Johnson & Johnson Vision will contribute to the 13% Promise by continuing to:

  • support sponsorships and new programs to improve representation of people of color in optometry
  • bring more diversity and equity into the eyecare industry
  • create more culturally relevant information and eye health education materials

To learn more about Johnson & Johnson Vision visit www.jjvision.com.

Get to Know the Student Optometric Leadership Network

The Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLutioN) was formed in 2010, and VSP Global has been a dedicated supporter since the beginning.

The purpose of SOLutioN, a non-profit organization, is to provide national unification and recognition of student optometric private-practice and practice-management organizations, support and connect local organization leaders, and promote the future of private-practice optometry. SOLutioN provides common resources for leadership training among the student leaders of optometric private-practice and practice-management organizations. It connects optometry students with networking and career opportunities and exists to support students in their pursuit of private-practice optometry.

The primary goal of SOLutioN is to make the optometric profession stronger by encouraging student leaders to share the valuable knowledge they obtain at the SOLutioN conference with their private-practice organizations and like-minded peers. Schools and colleges of optometry work hard to build great doctors, but SOLutioN attempts to take this learning one step further and instill in students the business knowledge they need to keep every practice modality, including private practice, an open career option.

Each year, SOLutioN invites two student leaders from each optometry school to attend an annual conference. Each conference consists of 3 packed with specially designed lectures, networking and great food. The 2021 conference was held in Houston, TX, at the Hilton Americas Hotel. Sponsors, including VSP, traveled from far and wide to share their knowledge with SOLutioN’s student leaders. Students were given the opportunity to not only get to know their peers across the country, but also to meet with industry leaders supporting private-practice optometry.

Find more information about SOLutioN here.