PLEASONTON, Calif.—CooperVision is leading a nationwide search to discover and recognize U.S. eyecare practices that have found unique ways to make their businesses thrive.

A unit of The Cooper Companies Inc. (NYSE: COO), CooperVision launched its inaugural Best Practices initiative at Vision Expo West held in Las Vegas last week. The initiative is already planned as an ongoing annual event, Michele Andrews, OD, told dba. She was named to CooperVision’s newly created position of director of professional affairs for North America last month.

“We are looking for innovative practitioners to tell their stories to show how they operate and to give them recognition,” she told dba during an interview at Vision Expo West. All U.S. optometry practices, including those with multiple-location optical groups, currently fitting contact lenses are eligible to enter by sharing their insights and experiences in one or more of the following areas: Innovation, to be evaluated based on contributions to the betterment of eye health and education, leveraging technology in interesting ways to grow the practice, and advancing the eyecare profession among the public. Patient Experience, which will be judged on how a practice delivers excellent eyecare experiences and education to its patients, and unique aspects of patient care, and Business Culture, which will be rated on the cultivation of staff, an enriching working environment and community impact in relation to the overall success of the office.

Anyone can nominate practices that they feel meet these criteria, and nominees are welcome to self-submit as well. Candidates can submit their stories via written responses or by video at Applications will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, and the inaugural Best Practices will be announced January 2016.

The selection committee consists of: Compton Eye Associates’ Jason E. Compton, OD, a board member of the American Optometric Association; Shady Grove Eye and Vision’s Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO; Sacco Eye Group’s Andrew J. Sacco, OD, FAAO; and CooperVision’s vice president of global professional and clinical affairs, Gary Orsborn, OD, MS, FAAO, FBCLA.

“Being an eyecare practitioner is more challenging than ever, with pressures and stresses coming from sources far and wide,” Orsborn said. “Yet every day, we hear stories about how practices are overcoming these challenges in new, inventive and exciting ways. Through our Best Practices initiative, CooperVision is partnering with the profession to recognize creativity and success and then share these stories to inspire new ways of thinking and drive excellence in eyecare.”

Honorees will be presented with opportunities to help educate and elevate the profession through the telling of their stories across the U.S. Those designated as Best Practices may be invited to serve on high-profile professional panels and contribute to knowledge-building white papers. In addition, honorees will be able to participate in enhanced training and educational meetings at CooperVision facilities or in other locations.