Opticians Association of Massachusetts Hosts Spring Conference

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WORCESTER, Mass.—The Opticians Association of Massachusetts (OAM) held its spring education conference last month at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ (MCPHS) new optometry school’s classrooms and optometric instrumentation rooms. Approximately 300 opticians attended workshops and lectures by several national speakers. In addition, 32 companies that support the OAM also displayed their products and services in the university’s ballroom.

The conference’s keynote lecture was given by David Sullivan, PhD, of Schepens Eye Institute of Boston, who spoke about the latest research on dry eye syndrome and the “Think Blink” collaborative campaign of the OAM and the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society. Other speakers included educators Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM, director of education and training for Jobson Optical Group; William Underwood, PhD, program director of the opticianry program at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.; Anne-Marie Lahr, OD, director of education for Hoya Vision Care; and Blair Wong, opticianry program director of the Ben Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) in Boston. Student volunteers from BFIT Opticianry program helped throughout the day.

James Slightom, ABOM, FCLSA, NCLEC, presented several lectures approved by the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE), and student ambassadors from the MCPHS University optometry program assisted in the contact lens instrumentation workshops led by dispensing optician John Parrelli, who operates four Parrelli Optical locations in Boston. A spectacle edging class and review classes for the American Board of Opticianry and NCLE certification exams were also part of the meeting agenda.

The meeting concluded with the “7th Hour Lecture.” A packed audience filled the ballroom to hear inspirational stories from the day’s speakers and from Europa International’s Scott Shapiro, who spoke about the importance of commitment to the opticianry profession. According to a statement from OAM, the organization is “deeply grateful to MCPHS University’s dean Shilpa Register, OD, MS, PhD, for hosting the conference and looks forward to future collaborations.”