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SAN RAMON, Calif.—Celebrating the innovative ways that U.S. optometric practices deliver exceptional patient care and advance the profession, CooperVision  has begun its sixth annual search for the nation’s Best Practices. Honorees not only gain widespread recognition; they are given exclusive opportunities to collaborate with and learn from other creative, motivated practices that have forged their own pathways to success, according to an announcement Thursday. Since 2015, 50 eyecare practices from across the U.S. and representing all facets of the profession have been named to this prestigious group.

The Best Practices program reflects CooperVision’s belief that even as market dynamics change—particularly this year with the COVID-19 pandemic—passionate and dedicated eyecare professionals remain central to ensuring the best patient outcomes.

“Due to the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic, we stood arm-in-arm with practices this year,” Michele Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs, North America, CooperVision, said. “Through it all, there are remarkable stories of perseverance from practices who recognized the hurdles, seized the opportunity to pivot, stepped outside of their comfort zones—and are stronger for it. We can’t wait to hear more about how practices navigated 2020, celebrate those achievements, and bring them into the Best Practices family to share and learn from each other.”

As eyecare continues to evolve, so too has Best Practices. This year, CooperVision is introducing new branding for the program that symbolizes the multi-dimensional energy and enthusiasm common among recipients, the announcement noted.

In addition, 2021 brings some changes to the application process designed to help a broader spectrum of practices be considered. This includes a combination of pointed questions to help candidates dive more deeply into certain areas of their practices, as well as an opportunity to showcase elements of their stories that may be considered “outside of the box.”

Best Practices applicants are encouraged to share insights and experiences gleaned from their day-to-day practice that have contributed to their success. Candidates will be evaluated based on their approaches to the development of an extraordinary patient experience; trends in technology, products, and business; their role in the advancement of fellow eyecare professionals and the profession; and leadership in areas such as advocacy, community, clinical care, or sustainability.

All U.S. independent and corporate optometry practices currently fitting any brand of contact lenses are eligible to apply, although the program is not solely focused on such. Past honorees regularly express their surprise that Best Practices is so dedicated to the eyecare professionals and their accomplishments, with a mission of sharing their ideas for the benefit of the broader eyecare industry.

Applications can be submitted here through Nov. 23, 2020, and will be reviewed by a panel of judges, including past Best Practices honorees, industry experts, and CooperVision leaders. The 2021 Best Practices will be announced early next year.

Best Practices
honorees are brought together at the annual Best Practices Summit, which provides an opportunity for education and collaboration on a variety of practice management and clinical practice topics. Past Best Practices Summits have also featured keynote speakers to hone the honorees’ skills in the areas of change management, innovation, and storytelling.

Honorees are also broadly recognized throughout the profession by serving on professional panels, showcasing their expertise with prominent eyecare media, and representing the program at industry events.

Last year, CooperVision introduced a complementary Best Practices scholarship program, which provides third-year optometry students with the opportunity to attend the educational summit. Applications for this aspect of the program will be released later this year.

For more information about the Best Practices initiative, to review stories from past honorees, or to apply, visit the page here. 

For full details on the Best Practices terms and conditions, including eligibility requirements, refer to the information here