Profession’s premier meeting kicks off

June 16, 2022
The four-day 2022 Optometry’s Meeting® kicked off Wednesday with celebration of members of the profession, innovative educational opportunities and a call for advocacy for scope expansion in states.
Welcome to Chicago

Optometry’s Meeting® 2022 launched Wednesday with a palpable sense of purpose.

Nearly 4,000 doctors of optometry, optometric students, paraoptometrics and others are expected to attend the four-day premier event for the profession. The charge for the meeting was firmly planted by AOA President Robert C. Layman, O.D.

“To my optometry family here today, it’s my pleasure to offer you my greatest, heartiest thanks from Optometry’s Meeting 2022,” Dr. Layman said during his welcome. “I can’t tell you how much appreciation I have that we are able to come together today. This represents the start of what will be known as a great week filled with world-class education, opportunities to connect with colleagues, conduct the business of our association and reenergize ourselves for the work we want to accomplish together for this great profession.

“When I look back at AOA’s year, and what we’ve done to position the profession, I’m so excited,” he added. “When the pandemic cast its shadow across the world, in our lives, we had no way to know what to expect or how to prepare. Despite these challenges, optometry continues to look forward with insight and strategy to navigate any obstacle and set a clear path for what is best for the profession and our patients.”

In fact, he says, optometry has come out on the other side of the challenges stronger than ever. He then offered the charge:

“Be sure to take advantage of all the unique experiences this meeting has to offer, from education, the events in the Exhibit Hall, hands-on workshops, and most importantly connecting with your colleagues.”

Read more about the conference and what it has to offer including over 200 hours of continuing education and professional development.

Leaders Summit: Expanding scope

The nearly 300 volunteer advocates for the profession—doctors of optometry and paraoptometrics who belong to the AOA committee structure—met at Optometry’s Meeting to plot a course for the organization and optometry going forward, informed by a discussion on “scope modernization and future practice initiation” and the AOA’s Future Practice Initiative, launched by the AOA to bolster the efforts of affiliates to expand scope in their states.

That discussion was led by Jacquie Bowen, O.D., member of the AOA Board of Trustees, Johndra McNeeley, O.D., AOA State Government Relations Committee chair, and Lisa Gontarek, O.D., AOA Coding and Reimbursement Committee member.

“So many of you have been hyper-focused and vigilant in moving scope of optometry forward,” Dr. Layman said. “This mission is critical as our scope of practice truly influences the strength of our profession from state to state.”

Read more about scope victories around the country by AOA and its affiliates.

Recognizing contributions to the profession

To enthusiastic applause, the AOA recognized the Student of the Year Araba Otoo, Paraoptometric of the Year Loretta Eriks, CPOT, Optometric Educator the Year Andrew Kemp, O.D., Young Optometrist of the Year Saysha Blazier, O.D., Optometrist of the Year Jeffrey Michaels, O.D., and Distinguished Service awardee Capt. Dawn Clary, O.D. Read more about each honoree.

Connect with us

Stay in the know by following Optometry’s Meeting on Facebook and Twitter, and watch for daily news updates from the profession’s premier meeting, posted at aoa.org/news. Get the latest by following the official hashtag, #OM2022, on the meeting’s dedicated live-running social wall.

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