The ASCO Board of Directors held a full-day meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in Chicago, one day before the start of the American Academy of Optometry’s Academy 2017 Conference. The meeting was led by ASCO President Dr. David Damari, Dean of Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University.
The dean or president (or voting representative) from each of ASCO’s 23 active member institutions was present for the meeting. Discussed were important issues such as:
- Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASCO and the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) committing both organizations to working collaboratively to develop and administer sub-specializations within optometry;
- On-going discussions with NBEO on pass rate reporting;
- Status of negotiations with ARBO about governance of the COPE continuing education accreditation program;
- ASCO’s support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) by signing onto a letter sent to Congressional leadership in both houses from a coalition of 40 different health care associations;
- The need for local outreach to regional VA administrators in support of continuing optometry services and student training;
- Approval to become a party to a petition to the Florida Board of Optometry to address licensure challenges for students graduating in 2018;
- Reviewing a change in strategy around ASCO’s efforts to build a stronger applicant pool and to increase diversity among optometry students;
- Congress’ progress on the FY2018 appropriations process and its impact on NIH and DOD research funding for vision science (presentation by James Jorkasky of NAEVR/AEVR);
- Withdrawal of ASCO’s 2004 policy on Residency Affiliations Based on Geographic Proximity;
- Possible collaboration among ASCO members around disaster/emergency response;
- Approval of a clean audit for FY17;
- Approval of Advanced-Level Competencies and Learning Objectives in Visual Impairment and Low Vision Rehabilitation, developed by ASCO’s Low Vision Special Interest Group;
- Impending RFP for investment advisor services;
- Exploration of what it would take to produce an annual report on the “State of Optometric Education;”
- Discussion on recently-proposed changes to ACOE policies; and
- Approval of a MOU between ASCO and Special Olympics International to improve the health status of Special Olympics athletes.
Two of ASCO’s corporate contributors (Aerie Pharmaceuticals and Reichert Technologies) gave presentations to the Board on their companies’ latest products/services and their goals for working with ASCO members.
The Board also previewed three new ASCO-produced videos intended (1) to promote optometry as an attractive career choice; (2) to enumerate and endorse the benefits of interprofessional education and collaborative care; and (3) to extol the importance of academic research to the profession, thereby encouraging optometry graduates to pursue residencies and optometry residents to pursue careers in academia.
The next Board of Directors meeting will be held in April 13 – 14, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. One day will be an ASCO-only Board of Directors meeting; the other will be a joint Board meeting between the ASCO Board and the Board of Trustees of the American Optometric Association.