Strategic Planning & Acquisitions

I hope you are having a successful and productive new year. While our members have been tending to their practices your academy has been extremely busy carrying out its strategic vision. Ever since we began ten years ago it's been my intention to grow this organization into a position where it could wield influence and power. This vision is not restricted to our specialty of corneal reshaping but rather the entire eye care community. This is going to be necessary to attain the position of influence to carry out our mission of attaining the status that Orthodontia has acquired in the Dental field. It will not be necessary to have corneal reshaping done by a majority of practitioners if we can convince the majority that referring for myopia control is in the patient and their best interest. That is the other side of this strategic effort to transform our group into a preventative care organization utilizing all available technologies including conel reshaping to carry out our new mission.

To accomplish this we will need to grow dramatically over the next few years. In part this will happen naturally as our membership outside the US becomes integrated within the new IAO. Still we must also look towards our own America's for more growth. The goal to grow an international membership of over five thousand members and locally to increase our own membership three fold. This would give us a combined total similar to the American Academy of Optometry and with an increased influence as well.

The OAA has reached an agreement with David Davidson to acquire his Ortho-K website along wih many other popular potential web addresses. This in one bold stroke gives us control over the number one website address in our industry! As all of you know a listing on this website has been included in your membership. However there have also been practitioners who have benefited from being listed that were not members of our group. In the future this will not be possible.

The OAA has engaged in extremely productive dialogues with both Paragon Vision Scinces and Bauch & Lomb. This will be realized in Scottsdale when you see our large exhibit area filled with vendors. In addition we have decided to offer a core curriculum in specialty lens fitting in Scottsdale. This has allowed us to appeal to a border base of labs who utilize both Paragon and Bausch & Lomb to supply these larger buttons. Due to our new relationships we can now rely on boh these companies to work through their practitioner networks to get the word out about our events. This allows us more spending flexibility which means better content and speakers.

Towards the end of 2011 the board of directors authorized the creation of a special committee charged with developing an integrated approach to myopia control. Richard Andrson was selected as the chair of this semi independent group. In the lst few months he has been active selecting the top people from all the different disciplines who will have input on the myopia control protocol. Attendees to VBD 2012 will receive the benefit of this as they learn what steps in their own practices they need to be taking to practice in this exciting field. Indeed the OAA itself is a world leader in this myopia control and we intend to remain so.

Your OAA at this moment is engaging with other groups like CLMA to grow both the fields of corneal reshaping and specialty fitting. I believe that we should enter into strategic partnerships that see all GP organizations prosper. In that light we have talks on going with the organizers of GSLS ( Global Specialty Lens Symposium) and SDSLS( San Diego Specialty Contact Lens Symposium)to see what will benefit both and grow the field and our organization. You have to appreciate how far we indeed have come and our increased influence as opportunities like these present themselves. We can no longer be ignored and that is because of our success carrying out our strategic visions.

Cary M Herzberg O.D. FOAA