Adventures in the Mile High City
Last month, thousands of optometrists, students, and paraoptometrics flocked to Denver, Colorado to attend the American Optometric Association’s annual Optometry’s Meeting. The Mile-High City delivered a meeting that won’t be forgotten. Here’s a day-by-day look at what happened at this year’s Meeting:
Wednesday, June 20
Wednesday night kicked off Optometry’s Meeting with the Opening General Sessions. Dr. Christopher Quinn, outgoing AOA President, welcomed attendees by speaking to the success of the AOA this year and highlighting upcoming opportunities to advance the profession. Following his welcome, keynote speaker Aron Ralston, outdoorsman and canyoneering accident survivor, stunned the audience with a powerful presentation and left attendees inspired and enlightened heading into the rest of OM.
Thursday, June 21
On Thursday morning, the first of two House of Delegates sessions was held. These sessions highlighted an increased membership in AOA and a number of legislative victories throughout the past year. Productive discussion during the sessions ranged from reforming national licensing exams to continued battles for rights as eye care providers. You can read more about the approved resolutions from the sessions here.
Thursday also included the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the AOSA, including a reveal of the Association’s new logo. This special ceremony took time to celebrate the organization and some of its stand-out current members.
Attendees were able to enjoy the first full day of the exhibit hall on Thursday. Students and doctor alike made good use of our mobile charging station near AOA Central! Booths could be explored through an International Wine and Cheese Reception, complete with a traveling wine tumbler complements of AOA+. Other booths included optical displays, the latest and greatest technology, and even a oxygen bar!
Finally, rounding out Thursday night was the always-exciting Optometry Student Bowl, hosted by Essilor. David Hurd from NSUOCO took the crown, and SCCO won the coveted Spirit Award, giving them full reign over next year’s rules video.
Friday, June 22
For most attendees, Friday was filled with more top-notch continuing education courses and exhibit hall exploration. Luxottica sponsored a Student Education Course, in which Dr. Ben Chudner, senior clinical director of Luxottica Eye Care, addressed the students and imparted wisdom and advice for our upcoming adventures. He spoke about the OneSight outreach program, including the most recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, and invited students who attended the trip to speak to their experience. Alexa von Tobel was also back to speak to students, after an incredibly useful presentation last summer in Washington, D.C. She once again spent the afternoon giving financial insight tailored to the average optometry student.
Friday night brought the ever-popular Luxottica Live event, this year held in a bowling alley/arcade in downtown Denver called Lucky Strike. Students were able to enjoy complementary food and drinks while playing free arcade games and trying their luck on one of the bowling lanes. A special thanks to Luxottica for sponsoring this annual event and allowing us to spend an evening getting to know fellow students from across the country.
Saturday, June 23
After the second House of Delegates session and wrapping up the continuing education courses, Optometry’s Meeting in Denver was coming to a close. As always, the meeting ended with A Celebration of Optometry, this year featuring an edgy comedy presentation from TV personality Howie Mandel.
The meeting couldn’t come to an end without recognizing the AOA and AOSA Board of Trustees. The new members of the board were sworn in, and former President Dr. Christopher Quinn passed the baton to new President Dr. Samuel Pierce of Alabama. Dr. Pierce gave an inaugural address, preparing the optometric community for another year of advancements and advocating for the profession. The evening ended with a beautiful reception to bring an end to a most memorable Optometry’s Meeting.
We hope you enjoyed your time this summer in Denver, and hope to see you next year at Optometry’s Meeting in St. Louis! It’s never too early: start planning now!