Last week, BBR’s very own Chairman, Nick Rumney, succeeded Dr Eduardo Teixeira as President of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) at the annual conference held in Rome. Nick has been a Board member and Vice President since being elected in 2017.
Nick comments on his new appointment: “The Academy has come past a turning point and I am very grateful to inherit an organisation that though still small, is stable and has a sensible business plan with the membership supporting the finances.
“We now have to rethink our widening and indeed deepening membership to figure better links with the industry and with the corporate employers of many of our present and indeed future members and delegates.”
The EAOO was set up 11 years ago to be the scientific and educational foundation, of the political actions of the European Council of Optometry and Optics. One does not happen without the other. Nick added “Without legislation, we cannot move scope of practice and without education we cannot say that we are competent in the areas requiring a change in scope. Underpinning all this is the research that defines the difference between a profession and a trade technical skill.”
Image: 2019's conference, held in Rome
Eduardo said: “People know Nick’s background is as a clinical optometrist with a strong interest in clinical education and research. This has gone hand in hand with political arguments to expand the role of optometrists beyond diagnosis into the management and therapeutic care of our patients and not just in a medical setting. He is ideally positioned to lead the Academy”.
Everyone at BBR is incredibly proud of Nick’s achievements. Nick Black, BBR Optometry’s CEO and also a fellow of EAOO, comments on behalf of the team:
“Nick has always publicly acknowledged the other integral component of our dual profession that is Dispensing Optics. The boundaries and scope of practice here is blurred, but it is one area of the optical world we do not want to separate into sharp focus. The fact remains that each is integral to the whole and the interpretation of prescription and dispensing of functional and professionally fitted optical appliances whether on the face or on the eye is integral to how we see ourselves and others see us.”
As Nick assumed the presidency, he welcomed another 6 fellows to add to more than 60 who have achieved this trans-European accolade. He also announced that his Vice President is to be Bernd (Bobby) Schwenson, an optometrist who was one of the first to be licensed to use diagnostic drugs when Finnish law changed. This is perfect as Finland is starting its move towards therapeutics and indeed the next annual conference of the EAOO will be held in Helsinki in 2020 (15-17 May).