ASCO signs agreement creating American Board of Optometry

September 1, 2009

Marty Wall
Executive Director
301 231-5944 Ext. 3016


ROCKVILLE, MD, September 1, 2009 – A Memorandum of Understanding to establish the American Board of Optometry (ABO) has been signed by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) president, Dr. Mel Shipp. ASCO joins the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), the American Optometric Association (AOA), and the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) in establishing the new board certification body. The ABO is the entity that will develop and implement the framework for board certification and maintenance of certification.

Commenting on signing the historic agreement, President Shipp said that “ASCO is pleased to partner with other organizations to ensure the delivery of high quality patient care services by optometrists. As a member of ABO, ASCO will be better able to ensure that the optometric education provided by its member institutions is consistent with this objective.”

David A. Heath O.D., Ed.M., President, State University of New York, State College of Optometry, was appointed by Dr. Shipp as ASCO’s representative to the American Board of Optometry (ABO). In announcing the appointment, Shipp commented, Dr. Heath brings broad experience as a dean and president of two optometric institutions as well as extensive ASCO and other not-for-profit leadership experience. In addition to his academic administration experience, Dr. Heath’s analytical ability, keen intellect and extensive operational and governance experience will be invaluable to the ABO.”



The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, represents the 20 professional doctor of optometry degree programs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Affiliate membership is available for foreign schools of  optometry and for related optometric organizations. A growing number of ophthalmic companies participate in ASCO’s Corporate Contributors Program.