The International Academy of Orthokeratology( IAO )was founded at Vision By Design 2010 in April of that year in Orlando Florida by a unanimious vote of the membership.The framework of the organization was put together by Marino Formenti ,Bruce Williams and Cary Herzberg In San Diego California in 2008. The IAO organization itself was created out of the Orthokeratology Academy of America(OAA) which had been in existence since 2002 at the first Global Orthokeratology Symposium (GOS) in Toronto Canada. The new organization came into being with a name change and the creation of three sections comprising Europe(EurOK), America(OAA) and Asia(IAOA ) which represented their membership in the new IAO and were given positions on the board of directors of the IAO.
The IAO held its first annual meeting in Scottsdale Arizona at Vision By Design in April of this year. The meeting was attended by 342 eyecare providers from over twenty five countries. Each section had delegates who attended and presented including five from mainland China representing the IAOA. The meeting saw the first awarding of the new Fellowship of The International Academy of Orthokeratology( FIAO) which became the worldwide standard. The fellowship model of the OAA which has been in existence since 2006 was adopted as the standard for the FIAO and replaced the former designation. The membership of the IAO created a fourth section(Oceania) at the membership meeting and instructed the leadership of the academy to send representatives to the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania (OSO)next meeting in hopes of getting the OSO to join.
The European Academy of Orthokeratology (EurOK) was created in July of 2011. EurOK held its first educational meeting(Madrid OK) in Madrid Spain in June. The meeting was attended by 194 practitioners from eighteen countries including most of Europe. The presenters were truly international representing each section of the academy and Australia. The meeting presented seven different topic areas relating to orthokeratology with four fifteen minute presentations followed by and a Q&A session. With spirited debate and exciting exchanges of ideas this first meeting of the European Academy was an enthusiastic gathering comparing to the first GOS. The European academy led by President Marino Formenti has grown to 175 members and will host the next IAO international meeting to be held in Europe in 2013. The international meeting next year has the possibility of being the largest meeting ever held on corneal reshaping if it receives full support.
The IAOA was launched in Hangzhou at the AOSLC in March of this year. The group is led by President Peiying Xie and it's board represents practitioners from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and mainland China. The IAOA first educational meeting was held as part of the larger COOC event and included presenters from both OAA and EurOK who had come over to support their sister section.The meeting in Hangzhou included an early meeting of the IAOA China Committee which included twenty five doctors from around China who would help facilitate the launch of China Committee during the 17th annual Ophthalmology Conference in Nanjing in August(21-25) of this year. IAOA is planning on holding Orthokeratology educational events in both Nanjing and Shanghai this August in its continuing mission to bring Ortho-K safely and successfully to China and Asia.The International meeting of the IAO will be held in Taiwan in 2014 as part of the AOSLC. This meeting will be huge and gather IAO attendees from not only Europe,America, Asia and Oceania in addition to practitioners from the area. In addition the leadership of AOSLC are all active board members of IAOA so the meeting will be coordinated with our IAOA section.
The Orthokeratology Academy of America(OAA) represents the Americas in the IAO and just concluded its seventh annual educational event in Scottsdale Arizona at Vision By Design 2012. The meeting included over thirty hours of continuing education on specialty lens fitting and Orthokeratology. For the first time this year the meeting included Wet Labs in both Orthokeratology and specialty lens fitting. The meeting which was attended by 342 practitioners and marked the ten year anniversary of the OAA as well as the first meeting of the IAO. The OAA now represents over 300 practitioners in the Americas.
The IAO sent a delegation to the annual meeting of the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania in Queensland Australia to meet with Gavin Boneham ,Celia Bloxsom and their membership about joining the IAO. The IAO delegation included Marino Formenti, Bruce Williams and Cary Herzberg. The OSO membership voted unanimously to join IAO as our fourth section. We are all looking forward to working with OSO in future projects in the region.
The IAO is actively recruiting OMDs around the world to join us. The OAA has created an OD/OMD committee co-chaired by Bruce Koffler and Sami El Hage with the purpose of recruiting new OMD members here in America. The OAA is actively changing its educational meetings here in the states in an effort to include more OMDs as presenters with plans to utilize those same presenters at Ophthalmology events to promote corneal reshaping. Marino Formenti President of EurOK has made a commitment to bringing more OMDs into EurOK as well. The IAOA section is predominantly led by OMDs and the effort here is growing that base and reaching out to the OD community.
We at the IAO feel that we have created an environment and organization that can actively support and grow corneal reshaping in a safe and efficacious manner around the world. It is also our belief that we will see no better time or opportunity as now exists for accomplishing that goal. To accomplish our mission we are partnering with local and global industry to achieve this goal.
- Cary M. Herzberg O.D., FIAO
President, International Academy of Orthokeratology
President, Orthokeratology Academy of America
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