Optometry Schools Welcome a New Class of ODs

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, May 24, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—With summer on the horizon, it is officially graduation season across the country, from pre-k “Stepping Up” ceremonies to conferring doctorates. And, of course, hundreds of students in the U.S. are also graduating from optometry school this May, making the transition from student to doctor and entering the workforce. This weekend, we’re taking a look at how a few optometry schools are celebrating their 2024 graduates—and welcoming a new group of ODs into the world.

Gearing Up for World Environment Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, May 23, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Earth Day has come and gone, but the year’s environmentally focused holidays are not totally behind us. June 5 marks World Environment Day, a United Nations international day that “celebrates environmental action and the power of governments, businesses and individuals to create a more sustainable world,” according to the official World Environment Day website. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) leads the day; this year, Saudi Arabia hosts World Environment Day, focusing specifically on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience.

Social Media Posts Shine a Spotlight on Myopia Awareness Week

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, May 16, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—This week, May 13 through 19, 2024, is Myopia Awareness Week, a global event that aims to raise awareness about juvenile-onset myopia and encourage eyecare professionals to take necessary actions. The week has been marked by a number of myopia awareness related initiatives, both big and small, as reported in VMAIL Weekend. In addition, ECPs have been putting in the extra work this week to educate their patients about myopia, both online and in person. Here, we’re taking a look at how some indies are approaching Myopia Awareness Week.

Frames: Front-Facing Sustainability

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Sunday, May 12, 2024 12:59 AM Eyewear is perhaps the most outward-facing aspect of our business—it’s the product that customers interact with most often, the physical representation of the work we do. With that in mind, it’s also one of the most important fronts for our industry’s sustainability efforts, almost like a billboard showcasing all the ways in which eyewear and eyecare can evolve with and support our planet and our future.

Dr. Jennifer Wademan Strengthens Her Optometry Network on Social Media

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, May 2, 2024 8:30 AM FOLSOM, Calif.—Small business owners hear it all the time: social media is a nonnegotiable item if you want to grow. But the prospect of getting started can be daunting. What platforms should you be on, and what should you be posting once you’re on there? How do you gain followers and find a community? And what value is all of this offering both to you and your patients? For Jennifer Wademan, OD, jumping into social media was a slow but steady process—and one that has ultimately grown into a career-changing and life-altering move.

A Guide to Guide Dogs

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 26, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—International Guide Dog Day falls on the last Wednesday of April every year, making this past Wednesday, April 24, the 2024 edition. The day was first introduced to mark the establishment of the International Federation of Guide Dog Associations, which was founded on April 26, 1989, and offers a chance to celebrate the life-saving work guide dogs and their trainers and handlers do every day, said the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). References to guide dogs date back to the 16th century, according to the IGDF. There’s no denying that man’s best friend has worked alongside us for much of human history—and that they are more than deserving of a holiday set aside just for them and the teams they create.

ECPs Celebrate Earth Day Online and In Office

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 25, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—This week, billions around the world celebrated Earth Day. There are, of course, countless ways to celebrate our planet, from heading outside for some time in nature to dedicating yourself to pushing for legislative change that will protect our home. Big or small, every little action makes an important difference in keeping the earth as healthy as possible. For ECPs, Earth Day provides a great opportunity to discuss how we can keep sustainable practices at the forefront of our minds every day, through recycling programs, eco-conscious eyewear choices and so much more. This week, we take a look at how some ECPs celebrated.

Indies Look to the Skies for the Eclipse

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 18, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Last week, millions of North Americans turned their eyes to the skies for a solar eclipse—total for some, partial for others, but special for all. Leading up to the big day, ECPs spent months educating their communities on how to watch the eclipse safely, and when the eclipse finally arrived, they were able to enjoy watching the astronomical phenomenon with proper eye protection. Here, we’re taking a look back at how indies watched the solar eclipse.

Welcoming the New

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Sunday, April 14, 2024 2:31 AM This year, like all years, we hit the ground running. Starting in January, our industry got moving with trade shows, meetings and launches; from opti to Mido to The Vision Council’s Executive Summit to Transitions Academy to SECO to 100% Optical to Vision Expo East—the list goes on and on, and we’re only three months into 2024.

Analyst Deborah Weinswig Reveals How AI Is Changing the Face of Retail

By Gwendolyn Plummer, Senior Associate Editor
Sunday, April 14, 2024 1:58 AM NEW YORK—Following Samantha Jordan’s talk, Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Coresight Research, took the Summit stage. Weinswig’s Coresight Research, is one of the world’s leading retail observers and analysts, and she spent her time with the Summit audience sharing her views on how AI is changing the retail space, including how retailers can effectively and creatively apply AI technology in their storefronts and online.

Thinking Sustainably About Those Eclipse Glasses

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 10, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Monday’s solar eclipse was a once-in-20-years natural phenomenon that left millions of Americans with a sense of wonder and excitement—and with a pair of eclipse glasses that they have no idea what to do with. With two decades to go until the next major eclipse here in North America, holding onto the protective glasses might not make sense (though, as USA Today reports, modern eclipse glasses don’t expire, according to the American Astronomical Society), but, thankfully, there are a few ways to recycle or repurpose eclipse glasses that are both sustainably-minded and helpful to others.

Indies Celebrate World Optometry Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 4, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The week of March 17–23, 2024 was World Optometry Week, culminating in World Optometry Day on March 23. With the theme “Advancing Optometry’s Commitment to Global Eye Care,” World Optometry Day aims to shine an annual spotlight on the profession of optometry and the contribution of optometrists worldwide to increasing access to eye health care as a human right, as reported in VMAIL. Here, we’re recapping how some independent optometrists across the country celebrated their profession’s special day.

This Allergy Season Is Worse Than Before; Still, We Can Get Through It

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, March 29, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Spring officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere mid-March, and it brought allergy season with it. The 2024 allergy season is expected to start earlier and potentially feel worse than other years; The New York Times reports, “Spring allergy seasons are beginning about 20 days earlier than they had, according to an analysis of pollen count data from 60 stations across North America from 1990 to 2018.” But why, and what does that mean for those of us who suffer from sneezing, itching and coughing every Spring?

This Year’s Official Earth Day Theme Is ‘Planet vs. Plastic’

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 28, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—There is less than a month to go until Earth Day, April 22, giving us all plenty of time to prepare for the holiday. This year, the official Earth Day theme is “Planet vs. Plastics,” an initiative dedicated to demanding a 60 percent reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. This goal is something the eyewear industry is already getting on board with, as more and more eyewear manufacturers switch to bio-acetates and other natural materials in place of traditional plastics.

Indies Take on New York for Vision Expo East

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 21, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Last week, the optical community descended on New York City for Vision Expo East, the show’s final edition in the Big Apple before it heads to Orlando beginning in 2025. In addition to the thousands of ECPs, buyers, students and sellers, Vision Expo East 2024 showcased the second annual NOW Awards, over 450 exhibitors and more than 200 education sessions. As reported in VMAIL, Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo at RX, said, “We could not be happier to close out our final show in New York City on such a high note." As we set our sights on Las Vegas for Vision Expo West in September, and Orlando for 2025, let’s take a look back at how some Indies spent their last Vision Expo East in New York.