4 takeaways from Optometry’s Meeting® Day 2

4 takeaways from Optometry’s Meeting® Day 2

Pacific University College of Optometry, winners of the spirit award, celebrate at the Varilux® Optometry Student BowlTM XXIV.

Green glasses aren't required to enter this Emerald City, but if they were, Optometry's Meeting® would have it covered in spades as the profession converged on Seattle, Washington.

The AOA and state associations are truly mapping optometry's future, and the future of eye health.

Optometry's Meeting is in full swing as thousands take in all that the conference has to offer, and below are four takeaways from a busy day two:

  1. AOA House of Delegates convenes 118th session
    The AOA's legislative body, the House of Delegates, officially convened with the traditional fanfare and parade of state optometric associations' flags. Mitchell T. Munson, AOA past-president and House speaker, charged the delegates after the processional: "Your collective actions will have a profound impact on the visual welfare of the citizens of this country, bear that in mind today."

    Recognized for her 17 years of work as North Dakota Optometric Association executive director, Nancy Kopp was presented the Virgil Deering Optometric Executive Director of the Year Award.

    The delegates heard from AOA Executive Director Jon Hymes as he remarked on a "tremendous year" for the AOA that included several notable advocacy victories on the state and federal levels, the effectiveness of optometry's public awareness campaigns, and membership updates.

    "The AOA and state associations are truly mapping optometry's future, and the future of eye health," Hymes said.

  2. Optometry front-and-center in public campaigns
    Optometry is gaining public attention on numerous fronts, thanks in part to new and continued opportunities to reinforce the message of routine, comprehensive eye exams via awareness campaigns.

    Martin Bassett, The Vision Council chairman, discussed the growing effectiveness of the Think About Your Eyes initiative designed to educate Americans about eye health and the importance of connecting with an eye doctor.

    Comparing the first quarters of 2014 and 2015, Bassett noted how eye exams were up 4.1 percent, sales of glasses were up 5.1 percent and there was an overall 11.3 percent increase in awareness of the importance of eye exams. The 2014 campaign alone reached 95 percent of Americans ages 25 to 49—about 150 million consumers.

    Optometry's enhanced visibility also helped spur another important milestone with a new AOA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnership to educate the public with the CDC's Contact Lens Health Week, Aug. 24-28, 2015.

    Maya Rao, CDC Healthy Contact Lens Wear and Care Program coordinator, urged doctors to get involved in the upcoming health week by using free CDC print materials, join in on the social media campaign and reach out to parents and schools at back-to-school time.

    Click here to read more about the health week.

  3. Optometric showdown
    Twenty-three schools and colleges of optometry entered-only one was left standing at the conclusion of the keenest, loudest and most creative of optometric trivia events: the Varilux® Optometry Student BowlTM XXIV. Sponsored by Essilor, the student bowl was a raucous rally with collegiate squads equally competing for top honors, as well as the Spirit Award for most energetic and outrageously dressed teams.

    This year, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University clinched the coveted crystal trophy, taking home both bragging rights and $1,000 in winnings. The Spirit Award was given to Pacific University College of Optometry.

  4. Attempt at history
    Corey Hart crooned his many reasons for wearing sunglasses at night, but the attendees at the student bowl had only one—to shatter a Guinness World RecordTM. An already exuberant crowd grew even more spirited when the sunglasses came out for an attempt at "the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark" world record. Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation, The Vision Council, AOSA and Essilor of America not only aimed to put Optometry's Meeting in the record books, but also bring awareness to the dangers of UV light on the visual system as Thursday coincided with National Sunglasses Day. Guinness World Records will review event photographs and announce the official tally in several weeks. The current record of 1,675 was set in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on March 6, 2014.

Connect with Optometry's Meeting daily
Couldn't make it to Seattle? Although there's no substitute for the real thing, you can catch a glimpse of Optometry's Meeting and stay engaged with the latest happenings via AOA's online coverage.

Visit aoa.org/news for daily news coverage and photos. And see all that's trending at #OM2015 on AOA's dedicated social media roundup page.

June 26, 2015

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