2019 Vision Institute Conference Marks Leadership Turnover, Celebration and a Dedication

The Vision Institute of Canada (VIC) kicked off its 3-day Annual Fall Conference and Trade Show Friday November 8th, dedicated to the memory of Dr. Catherine Chiarelli, who passed away earlier this year following a  courageous battle with cancer.

The conference provides 20 hours of Category A continuing education lectures.

This year’s conference marks the retirement of Dr. Paul Chris as Executive Director of VIC after 15 years.  Following the key note address by comedian Rick Green, co-founder of the Red Green Show and member of the Order of Canada, Dr. Mira Acs, President of VIC Board of Directors, presented Dr. Chris with a painting by First Nation’s artist Leland Bell from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. 

Throughout Dr Chris’s tenure at VIC he has been a driving force for raising awareness about the issue of preventable vision loss that is occurring due to the epidemic of diabetes affecting Canada’s First Nation, Inuit and Metis people.

Dr. Chris was joined on stage by Tony Jocko of the Anishinabek Nation (Union of Ontario Indians), the recipient of the 2019 CAO Vision Champion award. Jocko, a Federal Health Policy Analyst, has been a dedicated advocate for improved access to quality vision care services for First Nations Communities and has worked collaboratively with VIC to bring much needed in-community vision care services to the children in First Nations elementary schools.

The appointment of new Executive Director of VIC, Frances MacCusworth, was announced. MacCusworth brings a wealth of experience with health professionals associations in fundraising drives, conference planning and sponsorship programs, with nearly 20 years of executive experience with the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association.

Dr. Acs  confirmed to Optik that this year’s attendance included 346 Optometrists and 60 Optometric Assistants, surpassing 2018’s numbers.

Mark your calendar for the 2020 Conference: November 6–8 at the Markham Hilton Conference Centre.

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