THIS MONTH’S focus is on the GP Lens Institute (GPLI). CLS recently had the pleasure to hear from GPLI executive director Edward S. Bennett, OD, MSED.
EDWARD S. BENNETT, OD, MSED
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE GPLI.
Since the mid 1980s, the GP Lens Institute has been the educational division of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA), the independent laboratories and button manufacturers who are responsible for the high-quality GP and custom soft lenses that we see on the market today. The goal is to be the resource for unbiased GP and custom soft lens clinical education for ECPs and students, including dynamic and innovative resources and programs.
A few years ago, GPLI became a nonprofit corporation, so we are actively pursuing funding from ECPs, companies, and certainly patients who have benefitted greatly from these lenses. The GPLI recently initiated the Eyecare Professional Membership program and, to date, there are well over 500 members.
The GPLI has always been a proud gold sponsor of the Global Specialty Lens Symposium. The GPLI sponsors the registration of one educator from every school and college of optometry in North America, a track of education, and hosts a contact lens educators’ advisory luncheon and the Rising Stars Reception.
TELL US ABOUT ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN WHICH THE GPLI IS INVOLVED.
The GPLI family has more than 125 individuals serving in an advisory capacity, including our staff, board of directors, advisory board, committee members, and resident advisory board. Whereas the board of directors is well represented by leaders in the CLMA, we recently voted to have the opportunity to help develop unique and innovative programs and resources with the non-CLMA members.
Among new programs is the development of new cornea and contact lens externship sites for fourth-year optometry students.
We are also developing the first of four comprehensive modules for the novice GP fitter. The first, is entitled, “I Have a GP Wearer in My Chair: What Do I Do?” This module will have several “buttons” where one can view different patients, different scenarios (including having a GP wearer show up for an evaluation), care and problem-solving, and narrated PowerPoints, and extensive video will accompany the different components. This will be followed by modules on the young myope, the keratoconus patient, and the presbyope.
The GPLI has a very active program with the schools and colleges of optometry that includes an annual award (the Dr. Robert B. Mandell GP Clinical Excellence Award) given to a graduate of every college, workshop programs, and an emerging student membership program.
The GPLI is proud of the annual GPLI Cornea and Contact Lens Resident Symposium, a three-day, predominantly workshop-based specialty contact lens program accompanied by 12 hours of recorded lectures. The 25th annual program will be held Aug. 10-12 at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. We are hosting a special combined continuing education and dinner event for all past attendees of this program on Aug. 12.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR VISION FOR THE CONTACT LENS FIELD FOR BOTH THE SHORT AND LONG TERM.
My vision—both short term and long term—pertains to the continuing evolution of improved special-design lenses for the presbyopic, young myopic, and irregular cornea patients. The presbyope will benefit from custom soft and GP lens optics that optimize vision at all distances. The irregular cornea patient will continue to benefit from advancements in scleral lens designs. Long term, we will recognize myopia management as the standard of care for young progressive myopes with advancements in both custom soft and orthokeratology lens designs. Of course, the key will be to educate ECPs and students to feel confident in fitting these modalities. CLS