As you gather around the table with family and friends to dig into the turkey and delicious stuffing this American Thanksgiving, we all at OEPF wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we are most grateful for in 2022.Thanksgiving is a time of reflection on all our blessings. Your friendship and our strong links in the optometric community count for so much.
2022 continued to be a complete “VUCA” year, not just for our community and our country, but for the world. The year was as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, as the last two years.
So, like you, we have been trying as much as possible to weather this unexpected storm. We are proud to tell you that we have come up with several new initiatives and improvements.
We have created some outstanding new committees, like the publishing committee, the alumni committee, the faculty committee, and a Primary Mental Abilities Test (PMA) research committee. These committees have been pivotal in our quest to provide you with the best and the most diverse education possible. More than ever, volunteers have helped us to do more research, publish new books, and create new products or have new products on our website. We are grateful for all of the people who work behind the scenes: on the Board, on Staff or as faculty, as volunteers, and as editors and consultants. Without all of you, we would not be able to do what we do and be as successful as we have been over the course of the last couple of years.
This is also why we are especially grateful for our Clinical Associate community. It truly is the glue that binds us all together worldwide and that allows us to continue to offer scholarships, free awards, and free open access to the OVP journal, as well as many other benefits. We want to continue offering this over the coming years and expand on the rewards that we can provide our Clinical Associates, as well as our Clinical Associate Therapists. The CA-Th is a new category that we created when we came to understand more than ever the benefit, the value, and also the need of some of our vision therapists to be more closely connected to our community and to be able to share the benefits that we all share with each other.
We are very blessed that we also have been able to publish three great new books this year, with many more in the pipeline, and we hope that you enjoy them as much as we do. As I wrote earlier, we are living in a VUCA world, and the result is that we have supply-chain issues, so two of these new books hopefully will make it to your home by the beginning of December.
This year we decided to shine an extra bright light on our Alumni, whether they are optometrists or therapists, and we created on our website the Alumni Hall of Fame. Every alum who ever took all of our Clinical Curriculum Courses will find their name on that page. Going forward, we will be offering everyone a certification process, which will allow you to be a fully certified OEPF ODs or Therapists. More information to come in a separate message later.
We are very happy that we will continue offering you a rich and diverse in-depth educational program. Thanks to our Clinical Curriculum Faculty, we have updated our four Clinical Curriculum Courses and have made the Art and Science Course now a COPE-approved course. We have listened to your post-evaluation surveys and have looked closely at what you would like us to do in 2023. So, we will be spreading our four Clinical Curriculum Courses over two weekends when they are virtual. Every time that we have enough demand, we will offer the courses over four or five days in person. Please reach out when you want to be put on the in-person waiting lists.
We continue to build up a considerable education program outside our core courses, and we will be offering more courses in 2023. So, if you want to be a speaker, a lecturer, or hold a workshop, please get in touch; we would love to hear from you.
We are also continuing preparation for our ICBO 2024 World Conference, which will be held in August 2024 in Ottawa, Canada. Keep watching for announcements about ICBO, especially about our keynote speakers. I’m personally very excited about the world-class researchers who will be with us. I hope you will be as excited as I am. We are all very much looking forward to it and to seeing you all again. Hopefully, we will be able to meet in person, or at least in a hybrid form. We would like to thank all of our OEPF Affiliated Congresses and partner organizations for the wonderful cooperation and the work that they keep doing regionally, as well as the wonderful programs that they all put on.
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of our free study groups, where we can meet and exchange new ideas, talk about case studies, and have great discussions on the cool stuff!
Have a joyous Thanksgiving. May you and your family enjoy a grand feast and loving company.
On behalf of the OEPF Board, the Executive Director, and the entire OEPF Team,
Eric Hussey, OD
Optometric Extension Program Foundation