A number of stakeholders and interested parties within the opticianry community recently joined together for a meeting titled Opticianry Summit: Creating a Plan for the Future, to create a shared vision for opticianry, a practical strategic plan and commitment to action. Held in Fairfax, VA, from May 1-2, the summit welcomed approximately 60 representatives from national organizations, state societies, education, certification bodies, independent retail, large retail and manufacturers, and was conducted in a professionally designed and facilitated environment. The meeting activities were designed to focus on the positive aspects of the opticianry profession, on constructive ideas and what has worked and what can work instead of what hasn’t worked. The emphasis was on sharing ideas, collaboration and partnership.
After welcoming comments, attendees began the meeting with one-on-one interviews to learn more about what has helped opticianry grow to where it now is, what to bring into the future, and what opportunities the profession faces. This was followed by a presentation on industry trends. Survey data from individuals not attending the summit was then shared among participants. The day concluded with attendees breaking into small groups to envision what they considered an ideal future for the profession in 2020 and the key strategic pillars which would support that vision. This resulted in the following:
• Branding & Consumer Confidence • Healthcare Reform & Managed Care • Education & Certification • Collaboration Among Opticianry Groups
Day two began with attendees in large groups working on the strategic areas identified the day before. The result was a series of high level initiatives that were shared with everyone. In the afternoon, the group created a roadmap to guide the implementation of the ideas after the summit.
To oversee the next steps, a steward team was developed. This team will work with the summit attendees who volunteered to lead the various next steps. The steward team’s first meeting was held on June 3rd in Alexandria, Virginia.
One of the things that was obvious at this summit was how excited everyone was about being there. The degree of enthusiasm was high and the spirit of collaboration and cooperation was clearly evident. One attendee summed it up this way:
“I was overwhelmed by the diversity of the group, their willingness to share ideas and their ability to set goals,” said John Bruening from the Society To Advance Opticianry (SAO). “The high point for me was being given the opportunity to pinpoint the specific areas that most concerned us.”
For more information about the Opticianry Summit and to keep up with the group’s progress, visit opticianrysummit.com.