Academy 2014 Denver Reaches Largest Attendance to Date

American Academy of Optometry

Academy 2014 Denver was the 93rd annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry, and the largest meeting in Academy history with 6,323 total registrants. This included 3,858 optometrists and vision scientists and 995 students, marking a 5% overall increase in attendance over 2013. Attendees engaged in high-quality learning, experienced new products and technologies in a packed Exhibit Hall, and met the optometrists and vision scientists who are not only conducting the research, but also bringing the results to their clinics and practices.

Translating research into clinical application was a featured topic of several events including the Plenary Session, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice® - The Science of Cannabinoids: Medical Perils and Benefits.” Allan J. Flach, MD, PharmD, Staci Gruber, PhD, and Prakash Nagarkatti, PhD, spoke to approximately 1,800 attendees on the evolving recognition of the medicinal value and risks of cannabinoids.

A highlight of the meeting was the President’s Banquet on Saturday where 242 new Fellows were inducted into the American Academy of Optometry. Fellows of the Academy must complete a candidacy process that includes submitting written work demonstrating their skills as an optometrist or vision scientist, and sitting for an oral exam at the Annual Meeting of the Academy. It is estimated that 10% of practicing optometrists in the United States are Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). Optometrists, scientists, educators, librarians, administrators and editors are eligible to become Fellows of
the Academy and earn the right to use “FAAO” after their name.

In addition, seven individuals were awarded Diplomate status by Sections of the American Academy of Optometry. Diplomates are Fellows of the Academy who wish to demonstrate their skill in a specific area. Currently nine Sections offer Diplomate programs: Anterior Segment; Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry; Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies; Glaucoma; Low Vision; Optometric Education; Primary Care; Public Health & Environmental Vision; and Vision Science.

The American Academy of Optometry announced the new Board of Directors for 2014- 2015 including Brett Bence, OD, FAAO, as the Academy’s new President; Joseph Shovlin, OD, FAAO, will serve as President-Elect; Barbara Caffery, OD, PhD, FAAO, will serve as Secretary-Treasurer; Bernard Dolan, OD, MS, FAAO, will serve as Immediate PastPresident. Board members at large for 2014-2015 are Susan Cotter, OD, MS, FAAO, Pete Kollbaum, OD, PhD, FAAO, Timothy McMahon, OD, FAAO, and Jeff Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO.2 of 5

The American Optometric Foundation, the Academy’s foundation supporting research and education, would like to thank sponsors, donors, awardees and volunteers for making Academy 2014 Denver another huge success. The meeting resulted in more than $175,000 in generous donations and new pledges. Approximately 260 supporters attended the Foundation’s Celebration Luncheon resulting in more than $40,000 in donations and pledges at that event alone. In addition, nine new individuals and couples joined the Presidents Circle by making pledges or donations of $10,000. The President’s Circle now
has more than 125 total members. 

About the American Academy of Optometry
The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) enhances excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting. Fellows of the Academy are committed to the premise that learning is a lifelong obligation of a professional, as is the commitment to expand the profession’s knowledge base through ongoing fellowship and exchange.

The next annual meeting of the Academy will be October 7-10, 2015 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA. For more information, visit:

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