American Board of Optometry Goes Forward

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From Contact Lens Spectrum

ABO Formation Moves Forward

The American Optometric Association (AOA), the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) have entered into a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the formation and organization of the American Board of Optometry (ABO).

The AOA and other optometric organizations have worked on creating the ABO, which will establish and implement a process for board certification of optometrists. Special counsel engaged to form the ABO recommended the use of a MOU as the first step toward forming the entity and to establish the basic organizational and governance elements for the ABO.

The AOA has made two appointments for the ABO board of directors: David Cockrell, O.D., from Stillwater, Okla., and Paul Ajamian, O.D., from Atlanta, Ga. The Board of Directors of the Academy has appointed Past President Dr. Tom Lewis as the Academy’s representative. David A. Heath O.D., president, State University of New York State College of Optometry, will be ASCO’s representative to the ABO. The AOSA Executive Council appointed Dr. Mary Phillips as the student association’s representative on the ABO board.

The Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO), however, said it was unable to sign the MOU. In a statement ARBO said, “The ARBO Board of Directors voted unanimously that it is unable to sign the Memorandum of Understanding distributed by the AOA to the various groups represented on the new ABO Board. This vote was taken after advice from ARBO legal counsel that to sign the MOU was in direct conflict with ARBO’s mission as well as the resolutions passed at the ARBO House of Delegates Meeting in June of 2009. ARBO remains fully committed to the concept of demonstrating continued competence within our profession, and is very willing to continue to work with the ABO as appropriate for our organization’s mission and responsibility to its Member Boards. We look forward to continued dialogue with the entire profession on how best to protect the public we serve.”

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