Innovation….and Inspiration

This is a Vision Monday issue chock full of compelling personalities and stories—comprised of successful, innovative practitioners in a range of categories as well as a host of young, new eyecare professionals just at the starting line of their careers.

Student Nick Jones, on crutches, is welcomed back to the New England College of Optometry on Valentine’s Day 2012 by his classmates, teachers and administrators at the Back Bay school.

The commissioning ceremony for NECO graduate Nick Jones, OD, was held this spring at the College. Here, two officers flank graduate Jones, his parents (foreground) and the NECO’s president, Clifford Scott, OD, MpH.
In our 3rd annual Optometric Business Innovators report, done with our colleagues at Review of Optometric Business, our profiles illustrate the range in approaches employed by ODs who are committed to serving their patient base while still staying on top of today’s imposing business challenges. No small feat.

And among our annual Best in Class report, we have the largest selection yet— made by professors, teaching faculties and deans’ offices— of the each of their outstanding graduating students of the majority of the U.S. schools of opticianry and colleges of optometry.

One amazing story struck me this year, as it did to all those involved at the New England College of Optometry. In January 2012, student Nicholas Alexander Jones was in a devastating snowboarding accident in Maine. Helped by family, friends, the school and his own indomitable spirit, Jones recovered from his injuries, maintained his Air Force scholarship, and graduated on time. He enters the Air Force as a captain on active duty.

The Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen told the story and talked about Jones and his friends, NECO’s Petar Prpic and Jeff MacAlear, in his very moving column about several survivors in Boston during this year’s graduation season. Their story is a reminder of what inspires, and what it takes to define a meaningful life. ■