Alberta Association of Optometrists invests in the profession’s future

Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science is pleased to announce a generous gift of $200,000 from the Alberta Association of Optometrists (AAO) in support of the Waterloo Eye Institute.

This significant investment will support initiatives that advance the profession to ensure Canadian optometrists can be trained at the highest scope of practice in North America – both presently and in the future.

“The AAO saw this donation as an ideal way to celebrate its 100th anniversary and support the advancement of our profession through the creation of advanced scope of practice resources and facilities at the University of Waterloo,” said AAO President Dr. Richard Cowles. “This training for advanced procedures will translate into expanded eye care that Canadian optometrists can deliver to patients.”

In acknowledgement of their interest in advanced scope, the AAO will be recognized during the University of Waterloo’s Advanced Procedures Certificate Programme. Launching in early April, this certificate programme will provide the opportunity for optometrists across Canada to be trained and accredited in advanced procedures like lasers and minor surgery. The 36-hour certificate programme will be delivered by top experts in the optometry profession who have ‘Canadianized’ the content to reflect optometric practice in Canada. The course will use a hybrid model of online and in-person workshops.

In addition, the AAO’s support will enable the School to purchase the SLT/Yag laser. Named in recognition of their gift, this laser will be housed in the Alberta Association of Optometrists laser treatment room. As part of the Waterloo Eye Institute, the space and equipment will become a focal point for student education and patient care.

“We extend our sincerest thanks to the AAO for their partnership and investment in the future of our profession,” says School director Dr. Stanley Woo. “Alberta optometrists have always been very forward-thinking and have advocated for ‘education before legislation’ within our profession for many years. We’re excited to have the opportunity to collaborate on advanced scope initiatives that will better serve our patients, and better reflect our abilities as optometrists across Canada.”

For more information about UWOVS’ Advanced Procedures Certificate Programme, please visit here.  

Photo of the 2022 AAO Council - Back row (left to right): Dr. Andrea Lasby; Dr. Pamela Giles; Dr. Colin Hobson; Dr. Kim Bugera; Dr. Richard Cowles (President). Front row (left to right): Dr. Troy Brady; Dr. Monica Bell; Dr. Sophia Leung; Dr. Cristy Franco.