Opticianry community envisions plan for 2020
The optical community came together at the Opticianry Summit in May to create a plan for the future of the profession. The attendees focused on branding, health care, national education standards, licensing, accreditation, certification and collaboration among opticianry groups.
“Today, opticians play a critical role in dispensing our members’ products to the patient,” Ed Greene, chief executive officer of The Vision Council, said in a press release. “By hosting this event, we hope[d] to bring many key players in the field together so that they might take meaningful steps to improving the future for opticians everywhere.”
About 60 representatives from the opticianry community attended the meeting in Fairfax, Va. The purpose was to “plan for the next decade and create a strategic plan to ensure competent opticians and firmly establish the profession as eye wear and eye care experts and consultants,” according to the preliminary report.
Five opticians made up the planning team and provided direction, the agenda and goals for the meeting. The opticians in attendance came from national organizations, state societies, academia, certification bodies, independent retail, large retail and manufacturers and were key representatives of the industry.
The members discussed what has helped opticianry grow, what to continue to do and opportunities for the field. Industry trends were presented and survey input from those not able to attend were shared.
Visions for opticianry in 2020 and strategic plans to support the vision were considered. The branding group, led by Pat Kuhl, will recommend a new or existing definition for opticianry. The health care group, led by John Bruening, is working on a statement that better reflects general health care and managed care to define the practice. The education standards, licensing, accreditation and certification group, led by Bill Underwood, wants to define an educational minimum (technical and practical) required for certification and licensure, including initiating a study on the results of current certifications and education programs. The collaboration group, led by Sam Morgenstern, is working to establish a forum to share information and discuss goals of the summit.
“The high point for me was being given the opportunity to pinpoint the specific areas that most concerned us,” John Bruening, Society to Advance Opticianry, said in a press release.
The Vision Council funded the summit and provided staff to the planning team that represented individuals of the opticianry community.
The groups will continue to advance their agendas, and the steward team will oversee the next steps by meeting via conference call at the end of each month. The next in-person meeting of the steward team will take place on Aug. 27. – by Cheryl DiPietroFor more information on the summit, go to www.opticianrysummit.com.