Key leaders from five prominent associations in optometry, a group now known as the Inter-Organizational Communications and Cooperation Committee (IOCCC), met Oct. 25-26 in Denver to discuss opportunities for current and future collaboration. The IOCCC consists of representatives from ASCO, the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO), the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). Representing ASCO at the meeting were President Dr. David Heath, Immediate Past President Dr. Jennifer Coyle and Executive Director Dawn Mancuso, MAM, CAE, FASAE.
Among the items discussed were ways to coordinate messaging to the profession and to external audiences; efforts to build a stronger applicant pool for optometry schools; exploration of the establishment of formal subspecialties in optometry; data collection; CE accreditation; identification and assessment of core clinical skills, including critical thinking skills, necessary for licensure; and opportunities for engaging a larger cohort of practitioners, academicians and researchers in important advocacy efforts.
It was decided that each IOCCC organization will consider participating in an advisory work group composed of communications staff that will focus on promotion of optometry in the minds of the public and other medical professionals. In addition, an exploratory work group on subspecialties has been formed and will continue its investigation into how formal subspecialties might be implemented.
The IOCCC meets twice a year, once via conference call and once in person. The next in-person meeting is scheduled for August 2016.