Dear Academy membership,
We finally closed the books on a very difficult year.One in which offices were shuttered or disrupted for weeks and months.Schools and colleges were upended.Income streams were interrupted.We were forced to change just about everything we do and how we do it.All because of a viral pandemic.I, for one, am happy to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and hoping 2021 has a brighter future for all of us.
Even though 2020 was a challenge, there were some bright spots.We learned how to take care of patients while protecting them, as well as our staff and ourselves.We learned how to engage in remote learning effectively by supporting our schools and colleges of optometry.The Academy held its first virtual annual meeting that received accolades from attendees.And last but certainly not least, we learned that we are a resilient people and will overcome the pandemic and its induced hardships.
Going forward the Academy has a number of exciting projects and tasks getting underway.These include continued implementation of the Strategic Plan, a new OVS task force to take a closer look at all things Academy journal related, and planning the 2021 annual meeting scheduled for November in Boston.Planning for Academy 2021 Boston began as soon as Academy 2020 At Home concluded, and based on the feedback, will almost certainly include a virtual component.While the specifics of the in-person and virtual components are not determined just yet, we will be keeping a close eye on the vaccination programs in the US and worldwide, as well as monitoring CDC guidelines, as this information will be used in planning the 2021 program.The speed and success of the vaccination role out, will determine whether it will be safe enough to have an in-person meeting and whether you are willing to travel to Boston.Stay tuned as there will be continued updates as we move forward.
2021 should be a better year for all of us.I believe all of us know of friends, family, and colleagues who have been impacted by the Coronavirus.With the advent of the various vaccines and continued safety protocols, we can conquer this plague.
I wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year!
Until next time, be safe and be well.