ASCO News

(Posted 3/17/2020)

We hope everyone is well during these times.

Many optometric academic institutions are currently struggling with providing a clinical experience to students who are not examining patients due to COVID-19. For the past several years, Optometric Education (https://journal.opted.org), has been publishing teaching case reports.

These reports combine a case report with educational guidelines (how to teach the material). Teaching case reports include: background, educational guidelines, case description, learning objectives, key concepts, discussion points, discussion/conclusion and references.

Throughout these next few days, the list will be added to.

Hope these can help.

1). Blebitis – A Teaching Case Report
https://journal.opted.org/…/blebitis-a-teaching-case-report/

2) Optic Neuritis Associated with Multiple Sclerosis – https://journal.opted.org/…/sudden-blind-spots-and-halos-a…/

3) Diagnosis and Management of Residual Amblyopia in a Non-Compliant Patient – https://journal.opted.org/…/diagnosis-and-management-of-re…/

4) Optic Nerve Melanoctyoma – https://journal.opted.org/…/optic-nerve-melanoctyoma-a-tea…/

5) Hypertensive Choroidopathy – https://journal.opted.org/…/hypertensive-choroidopathy-a-t…/

6) Ocular Chrysiasis – https://journal.opted.org/…/ocular-chrysiasis-a-teaching-c…/

7) Amiodarone Ocular Toxicity Emphasizing Optic Neuropathy – https://journal.opted.org/…/amiodarone-ocular-toxicity-emp…/

8) Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis Signaled by Bilateral Optic Disc Edema and Unilateral pre-Retinal Hemorrhage – https://journal.opted.org/…/cerebral-venous-sinus-thrombos…/

9) Vitamin B12 Deficiency Optic Neuropathy – https://journal.opted.org/…/vitamin-b12-deficiency-optic-n…/

10) Hyperopia and Presbyopia – https://journal.opted.org/…/hyperopia-and-presbyopia-a-tea…/

11) Long-term Follow up of Suspected Vaccine Induced Papillitis – https://journal.opted.org/…/long-term-follow-up-of-suspect…/

12) Plateau Iris Syndrome and Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma – https://journal.opted.org/…/plateau-iris-syndrome-and-acut…/

13) Targeting Intraocular Pressure in Glaucoma – https://journal.opted.org/…/targeting-intraocular-pressure…/

14) Peripapillary Retinoschisis and Glaucoma Connection – https://journal.opted.org/…/peripapillary-retinoschisis-an…/

15) Topiramate Induced Acute Bilateral Angle Closure Glaucoma and Transient Myopia – https://journal.opted.org/…/topiramate-induced-acute-bilat…/

16) Planning Ahead for Corneal Epithelial Dystrophy – https://journal.opted.org/…/planning-ahead-for-corneal-epi…/

17) Terriens Marginal Degeneration – https://journal.opted.org/…/terriens-marginal-degeneration…/

18) Herpes Zoster Opthahalmicus – https://journal.opted.org/…/herpes-zoster-ophthalmicus-a-t…/

19) Traumatic Hyphema – https://journal.opted.org/…/traumatic-hyphema-a-teaching-c…/

20) Ocular and Generalized Myasthenia Gravis – https://journal.opted.org/…/ocular-and-generalized-myasthe…/

21) Idiopathic Macular Hole – https://journal.opted.org/…/idiopathic-macular-hole-a-teac…/

22) Functional Vision Loss in a Community Health Care Setting – https://journal.opted.org/…/functional-vision-loss-in-a-co…/

23) Carbon Monoxide and the Eye – https://journal.opted.org/…/carbon-monoxide-and-the-eye-a-…/

24) Anterior Uveitis – https://journal.opted.org/…/anterior-uveitis-teaching-case…/

25) Contact Lens Related Corneal Ulcer – https://journal.opted.org/…/contact-lens-related-corneal-u…/

26) Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis – https://journal.opted.org/…/vernal-keratoconjunctivitis-a-…/

27) Acute Ocular Trauma in a Child – https://journal.opted.org/…/acute-ocular-trauma-in-a-child…/

28) Critical Thinking in Diagnosing Primary Open Angle Glaucoma – https://journal.opted.org/…/critical-thinking-in-diagnosin…/

29) Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension – https://journal.opted.org/articles/Volume37_number3_Summer_2012.pdf

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The Association of Schools and Colleges (ASCO) is continuing to monitor the public health threat from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our 23 schools and colleges of optometry across the country and Puerto Rico are doing the same. Each institution is following their state’s recommendations and individual protocols regarding this threat. To ask questions specific to an institution, please reach out to them directly.

A statement from The Accreditation Counsel of Optometric Education, the accrediting body for optometry schools, can be read here.

COVID-19 Statement for Current and Prospective Applicants. Updated 6/24/2020

Update from Federal Student Aid: Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) web center

 

Below are some valuable resources and information that we hope you will find helpful. We may update this list. Please revisit this page often.

We will post to our Twitter (@optometriced) and Facebook feeds updates as well.

 

Where Can I Get the Most Up-To-Date Information?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Up-to-date general information on what you should know about the virus, status updates, FAQs, and guidance.

World Health Organization: Global information related to COVID-19.

Johns Hopkins Corona virus resource center: Through the Johns Hopkins site there is a COVID-19 interactive map.

Other Resources

Directory of local health departments (https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory)

State Department Travel Advisories (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/)

How to keep in touch with local U.S. Embassies while on travel – Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/)

For information/updates on licensure examinations, visit the website of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry: https://www.optometry.org/

Information from the Veterans Administration:

What are the best ways to Prevent and Prepare?

Visit cdc.gov for the most recent general updates.

Practice everyday actions to promote good health and prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Build a preparedness kit for your home in case you are sick with any respiratory virus and need to stay at home. Examples include:

  • Pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants, and cough drops.
  • Alcohol–based hand sanitizer.
  • Thermometer.
  • Facial tissues, paper products.
  • Nonperishable food.
  • Extended supply of prescription medications.
  • Diapers or pet supplies if needed.

There is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but you should get a flu shot — it’s not too late. It will not prevent COVID-19, but getting a flu shot will help keep you and your loved ones healthy as we continue to see widespread flu.

Additional resources that are mental health or public health in scope

1) World Health Organization (WHO) Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

2) American Psychological Association webpage on COVID-19 response and resources for stress relief during a crisis. https://www.apa.org/members/content/covid-19-actions and https://www.apa.org/practice/programs/dmhi/research-information/pandemics

3) Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health https://www.aspph.org/

4) ASCO produced podcast on Wellness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpR4ljTPlm8

5) National Association of School Psychologists Covid-19 Resource Center. https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/covid-19-resource-center

6) The National Academies of Medicine and APHA are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. To learn more, visit:   NAMCoronavirus Resources and APHA COVID-19

7) Previous webinars from APHA

8) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Profession Education COVID-19 resources

9) Introductory online course for entry-level COVID-19 contact tracers from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials https://learn.astho.org/products/making-contact-a-training-for-covid-19-contact-tracers#

10) CDC Personal Protection Equipment Burn Rate Calculator https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/burn-calculator.html

11) Sympton checker apps or platforms — The Healthcheck platform, developed by UAB, is available for use. There is a fee that depends on the number of users, and in Alabama, CARES Act funds are being used for this purpose. If you would like more information, please contact the developer of the platform, Dr. Sue Feldman (sfeldman@uab.edu).

12) Society for Simulation in Healthcare — Helpful links and information

13) Contract tracing & other resources – from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

14) “The Way Forward on COVID-19: A Road Map to Reset the Nation’s Approach to the Pandemic,” from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). It was accompanied by a related opinion piece by Dr. David Skorton with AAMC that was in the Washington Post.

15) “Tracking COVID-19 in the United States” by Vital Strategies, a firm that works with government to address public health challenges with new approaches and strategies.

16) Exposure Guidance in a Healthcare Setting

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A Short Conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe, ASCO President

Each July, ASCO swears in a new President to serve for the year. This year’s President, Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe, sat down with ASCO’s Director of Communications, Kimberly O’Sullivan to talk about the next twelve months.

Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe is a proud alumna of Ferris State University College of Optometry, graduating with the class of 1988. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Yale University, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Hoppe has a true pioneering spirit, and along the way has accomplished several notable firsts. She is the first woman to complete the residency program at the Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center at the West Haven, Connecticut VA. She is the first woman to hold both the OD degree and the Doctorate of Public Health. She is the first woman to earn a diplomate in the American Academy of Optometry’s Public Health and Environmental Optometry Section. She is the first woman to serve as the editor of the journal Optometric Education. In 2007 she became one of the first women to serve as the CEO and Dean of a College of Optometry in the United States, and one of only 22 individuals who has had the honor of serving as a founder of a College of Optometry in our professional history in the U.S.

ASCO: Dr. Hoppe, congratulations on being named ASCO President for fiscal year 2019-2020. What are you excited for most?

Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe: I am most excited to stretch and grow as I work to support creative strategies for ASCO to fulfill its organizational mission.

ASCO: What will be some of your top priorities this year?

EH: The quantity, quality, and diversity of our applicant pool remains a top priority for ASCO, and in fact overall for the future of our profession. We have put a lot of resources and support towards increasing awareness about our profession, targeting potential applicants. I am looking forward to seeing those efforts take off and expand over the coming year.  I am thrilled to see, in less than four months, the metrics of the campaign are outstanding. The campaign continues to reach millions of potential students and engage these students through paid and social media, direct mail, the campaign’s landing page, www.futureeyedoc.com and other deliverables. I am excited to see the outreach grow larger these next several months.

ASCO is also working to increase opportunities for volunteerism, while also seeking greater recognition for our volunteers. We will be working on refreshing our organizational structure and updating our bylaws to capture the dynamics of our changing organization, while we also work to implement key elements of our strategic plan.

ASCO: Talk to me more about the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign. How is it going so far? How are the institutions involved? What outcomes are you hoping to achieve? Any results you can share with us so far?

EH: The campaign has made quite a splash within our Optometry community as we have begun sharing the materials as part of the roll out. Many schools are sharing the information within their networks, such as faculty members, alumni, and preceptors, along with including the campaign in their social media.

But the real reach isn’t our internal audiences – it is college-aged juniors who have expressed an interest in STEM careers. Just recently, our public relations firm showed us some early analytics from the campaign and they are very very encouraging.

For instance, in just a little over four months, our paid ads have been seen by more than 14 million people! The benchmark for click to open rates of these types of ads is 0.1 % and we are showing open rates of .14% — that’s 40% higher than average!

We feature short stories about three of our ODs through our futureeyedoc.com landing page and our viewing through completion rate is out of this world. The benchmark is 30% completion rate and we are showing a completion rate of 75.39% — 140% higher than average.

We are seeing a 151.5% increase in applications through our OptomCAS system compared to this time last year. The results are extremely promising.

ASCO:  What drew you to optometry? What did you find most appealing about the field of optometry?

EH:  Like many people, I really respected and admired my own home town optometrist. I knew that I wanted to do something in science and health care, and when my high school physics teacher suggested optometry as a good choice, it seemed like a natural fit because of my positive experiences with my own doctor. What I love most about the profession is how broad it really is. Whatever your passion, you can find your niche within optometry.

ASCO: If you were speaking with a student who is interested in becoming a Doctor of Optometry or with a student who has the aptitude but may not know about optometry, what advice would you give them?

EH:  Visit a lot of different optometry practices. Find different practice emphasis areas and different practice modalities to learn more about the day-to-day experience. Talk with doctors of optometry and ask them to share more about their experiences and what they enjoy about their practices. Many years ago, when I was choosing to pursue optometry, visiting multiple practices was so beneficial. The thing that all of the different doctors had in common was a very high level of career satisfaction and they enjoyed going in to work every day.

ASCO: You are the founding Dean at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry. Tell me about what you like about your institution and California, etc.

EH:  The thing that I like best about being at a health sciences university is the opportunity to learn from, and to collaborate with, other health professions. There is so much wonderful information that you can learn when you talk with other health professionals and other health professions educators. And we get to contribute to them right back!

ASCO: I would think balancing your responsibilities at Western and your responsibilities with ASCO could be a challenge. How will you balance everything?

EH:  I have a great administrative team at the College and I have a lot of confidence in them!

ASCO: We like to ask everyone we speak with to say something about the field of optometry that people may not know.

EH:  Clinically, I love working in the field of rehabilitation. There are many ways that you can support people through optometric vision therapy, low vision rehabilitation, neuro-optometric rehabilitation, and care for vulnerable populations. When you practice in this area it challenges you to be at your highest levels and it also allows you to make the greatest difference. Working in rehabilitation allows you to literally change people’s lives by improving their ability to function and enhancing their quality of life.

ASCO: On a more personal note, tell us a little about your life outside of the workplace. What do you like to do outside of work?

EH:  I love to take on DIY home decorating projects. We recently moved and I have been transforming the dining room into a home wine bar experience. I love to garden, with special emphasis on supporting wildlife such as butterflies and other pollinators, hummingbirds, and song birds. I am proud to say that even with limited space, I have been able to establish a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. I also love to help keep old, discarded furniture out of the land-fill by doing upscale re-purposing projects. Recent creations include a “glam martini bar” and a “wine and cheese portable island” which I donated for silent auctions to raise scholarship funds through our University. At home my most recent creations are an armoire dog kennel and a combined seating and storage banquet remake of an old dresser from the Salvation Army. I love any chance to use my power tools!

Thank you for your time Dr. Hoppe! We look forward to working with you!

 

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The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Special Recognition Awards.

ASCO Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Arol Augsburger, President Emeritus of Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) is given this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes an outstanding individual who, over an extended period of time, provided exceptional leadership to ASCO and to optometric education; made outstanding contributions to the optometric community; and displayed exemplary commitment and dedication to the association.

Prior to Dr. Augsburger’s appointment at ICO in 2002, he served 30 years in a variety of leadership roles in higher education, including the Interim Provost of UAB, Dean and Professor of the UAB School of Optometry, and Professor of Clinical Optometry at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

“I am honored and proud to be named the ASCO 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awardee,” says Dr. Augsburger. “Indeed, it is recognition by colleagues in higher education who have revolutionized the profession of optometry during the last 50 years which is most gratifying. I have been fortunate to be an able part of that evolution of our profession during my career. Thank you.”

ASCO Rising Star Award
Sponsored by Oculus, the ASCO Rising Star Award is given to an outstanding faculty member or administrator with less than seven years of service. This year’s Rising Star awardee is Diane Russo, OD, MPH.

Dr. Diane Russo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Primary Care at New England College of Optometry where she is Instructor of Record for the public health course sequence. She is also an Attending Optometrist at the Codman Square Health Center in Boston where she precepts second, third, and fourth year students.

Dr. Russo received her OD from SUNY College of Optometry, her MPH from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and received residency training at the West Haven VAMC. She is Chair-Elect for ASCO’s Public Health Educators Special Interest Group (SIG) and is an active member of the AOA and Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, serving on the Health Promotions Committee and Legislative Action Committee, respectively.

“I am incredibly honored to be nominated and chosen for this award,” says Dr. Russo. “It has been an amazing privilege to be able to care for patients, while also contributing to the profession by educating future Doctors of Optometry.”

ASCO Ophthalmic Industry Leadership Award
The ASCO Ophthalmic Industry Leadership Award recognizes an individual from a current or past Corporate Contributor partner company who demonstrates exemplary support of ASCO and its member institutions. The individual serves as an example for his/her colleagues in industry, and has made exceptional and meaningful contributions to the advancement of ASCO and optometric education.

ASCO’s 2019 Industry Leadership Awardee is Richard E. Weisbarth, Vice President, Professional Affairs U.S. Vision Care of Alcon. Dr. Weisbarth received his OD degree from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He also served in the Contact Lens Practice Residency Program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Optometry.

“Supporting optometric education today is the best investment we can make for the future. By working together – ASCO, academia and industry can create a better tomorrow in vision care,” says Dr. Weisbarth.

Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence
The Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence recognizes the outstanding writing of a research article published in the ASCO Journal Optometric Education. The award is named in honor of Dr. Lester E. Janoff, editor of the Journal from 2002-2005, and long-time member of the editorial review board who was known as an exceptional optometric educator, administrator, contact lens clinician and researcher. Dr. Janoff was also a beloved mentor of young writers.

Drs. Mark Dunne and Bhavna Pancholi of Aston University are this year’s recipients. Their article, Virtual Patient Instruction and Self-Assessment Accuracy in Optometry Students, was published in the Winter-Spring 2018 (Volume 43 Number 2) of Optometric Education.

Student Award in Clinical Ethics
ASCO and the Ethics Educators SIG announces Negar Sohbati as this year’s winner. This annual award, sponsored by Alcon, provides the winner with a stipend and plaque.

Negar is a student at ICO and is expected to graduate with her Doctor of Optometry degree next year. Her winning essay, Optometrist as Mandatory Reporter: What is Our Obligation to Keep the Roads Safe for All? will be considered for publication in Optometric Education.

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ROCKVILLE, MD, March 12, 2019 – Today, the Association of Schools and Colleges (ASCO) is proud to launch its national public awareness campaign – Optometry Gives Me Life.

This campaign was born out of the concern among ASCO and its optometric institutions with a troubling decline, in recent years, of qualified applicants to each institution’s first-year class.

Optometry Gives Me Life features three young and successful Doctors of Optometry through the new, lively, and vibrant website, www.futureeyedoc.org, as well as through other related materials.

Campaign materials show what a wonderful career optometry is: how it offers an enviable work/life balance, an excellent salary, the various settings one can practice optometry in, the many ways Doctors of Optometry can give back to their community and positively affect the lives of others, and so much more.

Optometry Gives Me Life will reach college-aged students who have expressed an interest in a STEM or health profession, yet may not be considering optometry as an option. This outreach will occur through the futureeyedoc.orgwebsite, significant specialized and targeted social media outreach, publications and ancillary promotional materials, emails, and direct mail.

“Applications to optometry schools have declined somewhat in recent years, as is true for many other health profession institutions,” says Dr. David Damari, ASCO President. “At the same time, there are studies showing the need for services Doctors of Optometry provide will increase in the coming years, especially as the population continues to age. Doctors of Optometry are vital to the healthcare landscape and we need to not only ensure we have enough highly-qualified students graduating from our institutions and offering vital healthcare to our citizenry, but that we are promoting all the wonderful aspects about the career to young people who are deciding which career path to take.”

“Optometry is a wonderful career that so few consider when deciding which choice to make. We need to be more proactive about the public’s awareness if we want to remain competitive with other health professions in recruiting the best and brightest to optometry,” says Dr. Lewis Reich, Chair of ASCO’s Optometry Gives Me Life Task Force. “The Optometry Gives Me Life campaign is ASCO’s effort to help the profession attract those star students to optometry.”

Components to the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign include, but are not limited to:

The Optometry Gives Me Life campaign has been designed to provide resources to all those involved in the optometry community to participate. For example, schools and colleges of optometry are encouraged to use the Optometry Gives Me Life materials around their campuses, at local undergraduate institutions, and whenever they are participating in a recruiting event. Practitioners are also encouraged to display the campaign materials in their practices. If interested in receiving any of this printable materials, contact Ms. Paige Pence, ASCO’s Director of Student and Residency Affairs at ppence@opted.org.

ASCO wishes to thank its sponsors Hoya, Luxottica, National Vision and VSP Global for their support to the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign.

 

 

 

 

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The importance of interprofessional education (IPE) has taken a more prominent place in the ever growing healthcare climate with the recent publication of an article entitled, “The Intersection of Professionalism and Interprofessional Care: Development and Initial Testing of the Interprofessional Professionalism Assessment.”

The article is co-authored by Dr. John Nishimoto, the ASCO liaison to the Interprofessionalism Professionalism Collaborative (IPC) and Senior Associate Dean for Professional Affairs and Clinical Education at the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. The article can be viewed at: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/gmjh4Y4qEU95HUTg8jPQ/full.

The article also describes an assessment tool that measures student performance of interprofessional professionalism between various providers. 

“Representing optometry in IPE and during the creation of this article reinforces how important eye and vision health is when assessing the health of a patient,” says Dr. Nishimoto. “The hope is that IPE becomes the norm in all healthcare settings and that the patient continues to benefit from it.”

“IPE is a prominent part of the education each optometry student receives in our 23 institutions,” says Dr. David Damari, ASCO President and Dean of Michigan College of Optometry at
Ferris State University. “ASCO is proud to be part of the IPC and looks forward to many more collaborative efforts in the future.”

The collaborators of the IPC are: American Association of Colleges of Nursing; American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine; American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; American Dental Education Association; American Occupational Therapy Association; American Physical Therapy Association; American Psychological Association;
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Association of American Medical Colleges;
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry; and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Additional information regarding Interprofessional Professionalism including at Toolkit can be found at http://www.interprofessionalprofessionalism.org/

 

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ORLANDO – December 18, 2018 – The American Academy of Optometry (Academy), the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) are pleased to announce a joint agreement has been reached to restructure the governance of the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPETM). The newly established COPE Governing Committee will be comprised of representatives from ARBO, ASCO, and the Academy to assure collaboration and the ongoing advancement of the quality of optometric continuing education.

“After several years of profession-wide discussions, the Academy is pleased to announce that we signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement to form a multi-organizational COPE Governing Committee. The collective strengths and unity of our organizations will ensure the highest standards of optometric continuing education and the sustained advancement of the profession,” states Brett G. Bence, OD, FAAO, Academy Past President (2015 & 2016).

COPE accredits optometric continuing education for use by ARBO’s member regulatory boards in assessing and determining eligibility for licensure by optometrists. COPE accreditation serves the public, regulatory boards and the profession by promoting improvement in competence, performance and patient outcomes.

“ARBO is pleased to announce this historic collaboration with the Academy and ASCO. We’re looking forward to enhancing communication and broadening decision-making by adding their expertise to COPE. I’m confident that they will make valuable contributions to the COPE accreditation process to have a positive impact on optometrist learning, performance and patient health outcomes,” states Richard Orgain, OD, ARBO President.

“As optometric educators, the faculties from our 23 institutions set high standards for ourselves and for our students,” says David Damari, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, President of ASCO and Dean of

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Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. “ASCO is pleased to join our colleagues from ARBO and the Academy on this agreement regarding the governance of and standards set by COPE. This collaborative effort will benefit all optometrists as they continue on the path of life-long learning begun in the schools and colleges of optometry.”

Initial nominations to the COPE Governing Committee are now underway, with the anticipation of completion in January 2019. Duties of the governing committee will include setting standards, policies and procedures for the COPE accreditation program, making accreditation determinations based on compliance with COPE accreditation criteria and policies, and preparing and presenting an annual report to the ARBO House of Delegates and the boards of directors of the participating organizations.

About the American Academy of Optometry

The American Academy of Optometry enhances excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting. Fellows of the Academy are committed to the premise that learning is a lifelong obligation of a professional, as is the commitment to expand the profession’s knowledge base through ongoing fellowship and exchange. For more information, visit www.aaopt.org.

About the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is a non-profit association representing the interests of optometric education. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Rockville, MD, ASCO is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member institutions prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry. Its membership encompasses the schools and colleges of optometry in the 50 states and Puerto Rico. A number of optometry schools outside the United States are affiliate and associate members. For more information about ASCO, visit www.optometriceducation.org or contact Ms. Kimberly O’Sullivan, Director of Communications, at kosullivan@opted.org.

About the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry

The Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) is a non-profit organization based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and serves 66 Regulatory Boards of Optometry in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. ARBO’s mission is to represent and assist member licensing agencies in regulating the practice of optometry for the public welfare. ARBO established the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) in 1993 on behalf of optometric licensing boards to accredit continuing education courses, providers and activities for license renewal. For more information on ARBO or COPE, please contact Lisa Fennell, ARBO

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Executive Director, 200 South College Street, Suite 2030, Charlotte, NC, 28202, ph: (704) 970- 2710 or e-mail: lfennell@arbo.org.

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