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New ‘Optometry Gives Me Life’ Campaign from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Campaign broadens public awareness of optometry

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) launched its national public awareness campaign—Optometry Gives Me Life—yesterday.

This campaign was born out of the concern among ASCO and its optometric institutions with a troubling decline, in recent years, of qualified applicants to each institution’s first-year class.

Optometry Gives Me Life features three young and successful doctors of optometry through the new, lively, and vibrant website futureeyedoc.org, as well as through other related materials.

Campaign materials show what a wonderful career optometry is: how it offers an enviable work/life balance, an excellent salary, the various settings one can practice optometry in, the many ways doctors of optometry can give back to their community and positively affect the lives of others, and so much more.

Optometry Gives Me Life will reach college-aged students who have expressed an interest in a STEM or health profession, yet may not be considering optometry as an option. This outreach will occur through the website, significant specialized and targeted social media outreach, publications and ancillary promotional materials, emails, and direct mail.

Muriel Martinez, OD, is featured in one of the video profiles in ASCO’s new campaign.

“Applications to optometry schools have declined somewhat in recent years, as is true for many other health profession institutions,” says David Damari, OD, ASCO president. “At the same time, there are studies showing the need for services doctors of optometry provide will increase in the coming years, especially as the population continues to age. Doctors of optometry are vital to the healthcare landscape and we need to not only ensure we have enough highly-qualified students graduating from our institutions and offering vital healthcare to our citizenry, but that we are promoting all the wonderful aspects about the career to young people who are deciding which career path to take.”

“Optometry is a wonderful career that so few consider when deciding which choice to make. We need to be more proactive about the public’s awareness if we want to remain competitive with other health professions in recruiting the best and brightest to optometry,” says Lewis Reich, OD, chair of ASCO’s Optometry Gives Me Life Task Force. “The Optometry Gives Me Life campaign is ASCO’s effort to help the profession attract those star students to optometry.”

Components to the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign include, but are not limited to:

• Video profiles of the three featured ODs, including Miki Lyn Zilnicki, OD; Muriel Martinez, OD; and Jeffrey Lewis, OD.
• Downloadable materials, such as posters, brochure and Optometry Gives Me Life podcast

Miki Lyn Zilnicki, OD, talks about opening her optometry and vision therapy office with her practice partner in her video profile.

The Optometry Gives Me Life campaign has been designed to provide resources to all those involved in the optometry community to participate. For example, schools and colleges of optometry are encouraged to use the Optometry Gives Me Life materials around their campuses, at local undergraduate institutions, and whenever they are participating in a recruiting event. Practitioners are also encouraged to display the campaign materials in their practices. If interested in receiving any of this printable materials, contact Ms. Paige Pence, ASCO’s Director of Student and Residency Affairs at ppence@opted.org.

ASCO wishes to thank its sponsors Luxottica, National Vision and VSP Global for their support to the Optometry Gives Me Life campaign.

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