NECO Announces Industry Collaborative

Industry leaders, educators, and students collaborate to improve the future of eye care.

BOSTON, MA, August 11, 2022 – The New England College of Optometry (NECO) announces the 2022 Industry Collaborative beginning the afternoon of August 29 at the Cambridge Innovation Center, August 30 at NECO’s Beacon Street location, and live virtually for those unable to join in person. 

NECO hosted the first-of-its-kind collaboration in November of 2019 where leaders from every sector of the eye care industry shared their expertise, discussed the evolving nature of optometry, and the need for optometric education to adapt. Representatives from over forty-four organizations gathered at NECO for panel discussions, open forums, and breakout sessions.

Group photo of about 40 people

“This event brings together diverse individuals from the industry, optometry practitioners, retail, instruments, treatment solutions, media, educators and students to openly discuss and debate current challenges and to pursue solutions that will enhance education and ultimately, patient care,” said Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, President, CEO of NECO. “We will be hosting this event annually going forward.”

Since the event in 2019; NECO, optometric educators, and the broader optometric industry have taken steps to assess the impact of technology on optometry and how technology can improve optometric education, continuing education, and the delivery of eye care in person and via telehealth. At the meeting August 29 and 30, the conversation will focus on how the pandemic has changed our thinking about technology and we will learn by seeing the world through each other’s eyes. A moderated debate will address how we deliver progressive eye care and optometric education amid on-going pandemics and how best to serve our patients and students.


“NECO and leaders in optometry have taken great strides in adapting to the unexpected challenges the world has thrown at us. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished since the Industry Collaborative meeting in 2019, and trust that our conversations this year will stimulate growth and collaboration that will usher in additional changes to benefit our patients, our colleagues, and our students,” stated Gary Chu, OD, MPH, AAAO, NECO Vice President, Professional Affairs.

Leaders in business and healthcare, faculty, students, and residents will come together August 29 and 30 to explore issues encountered in the field and the classroom, with the goal of continuous improvement in eye care. 

The meeting is open to all virtually. Live attendance is by invitation only. Please find the agenda and the RSVP link below to join the discussion. The Industry Collaborative is free to attend, but we welcome a charitable contribution of your choice to NECO.

Click here to RSVP


Monday, August 29

4:00 – Debate: Adjust Your Focus – Rethinking Refraction

Technological change has been a constant in our lives. Technology has changed the way we live, work, and play. The pandemic has sped up the way we deliver care. This debate will be the first of many. A panel of experts will provide us with varied perspectives from inside and outside our profession to engage attendees and challenge our individual perspectives. Our first debate, Rethinking Refraction, will dive into how new technologies may or may not aid us in delivering refractive care to our patients locally and globally.

Rethinking Refraction Panelists Include:
  • Terri Gossard, OD, MS – Trustee, AOA
  • Joe Kvedar, MD – Vice President, Partners Health Care
  • Steven Lee, OD, MBA – CEO, VisionPros
  • Howard Fried, OD – President & Founder, Digital Optometrics
  • Shivang Dave, PhD – CEO, Co-Founder, PlenOptika

Tuesday, August 30

9:15 am – Student Panel

Optometry students are the future of our profession. This panel will be a Q&A where attendees will be able to gain perspectives about life as an optometry student, their goals and aspirations, and how the pandemic has affected them over the past few years.

10:45 am – Industry Panel

The Industry Collaborative Meeting is a space for us to all mutually learn from one another. Our individual notions of what we believe we know are often rooted in our past experiences. This Q&A session will provide us with an opportunity to see the evolution of thinking from the various sectors of our industry.