August 2021

A Jam-packed Agenda

From the SNAPP Board

For anyone still on the fence about attending the SNAPP National Meeting in Las Vegas from Wednesday, Sept. 22, to Friday, Sept. 24, we encourage you to have a look at the agenda. There is truly something for everyone—and a lot of it.

No-cost CE: The meeting will offer six hours of COPE CE for doctors and five hours of ABO CE for opticians—all at no cost.

Vendor presentations: Our supporting vendors—ABB Optical, Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision and Transitions—will talk about developments, success strategies and case studies for their products.

Sponsor trade show: Get some experience with the products and technologies. The sponsor trade show provides a great opportunity to ask questions in a fun and casual setting.

Practice management sessions: We've got the hottest practice management topics covered, including compliance, assessments and more.

Idea-sharing: From breakouts, Think Tanks and the Idea Contest to simply chatting with a colleague at lunch, these opportunities to share ideas are some of our favorite and most impactful moments.

Fun: While we’re in the final planning stages, SNAPP is committed to providing great evening social events so attendees can mix their business discussions with tons of Las Vegas-style fun.

Again, take a look at the agenda and the featured speakers and get excited for our New Beginnings!

Good Reads

Summer Reading

It’s not too late to get your summer reading in. Here’s what some of the SNAPP board members are reading this summer.


You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Dr. Lisa Hamilton says this book encourages people to focus on what they want to accomplish in life and take action. Milissa Stone adds it’s a perennial favorite of hers, and “it is also perfect for our meeting theme, New Beginnings.”

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, by Joe Dispenza, which talks about analyzing what vibration you send. It also discusses the law of attraction, noting that you get back what you put out and to be aware of your energy and vibration. Some tips are included for meditation techniques.


Good to Great by Jim Collins. What makes a company able to make the leap from good to great? This book is filled with management strategies and ideas for catapulting to the next level of success.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek. Sinek’s Golden Circle theory shows how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change—starting with the “why.”

History and Diversity

These Truths by Jill Lepore, which covers five centuries of American history with terrific profiles of leaders, protestors and others. Dr. Hamilton says that the book has given her a better understanding of today’s political climate, including Black Lives Matter. “I was pretty shocked to learn that as recently as 1935 the Senate was unable to pass an anti-lynching bill.”

We Can’t Talk About That at Work by Mary-Frances Winters, a diversity and inclusion specialist who argues that if conversations about politics, religion and race aren’t handled effectively, they can result in more negative consequences, impacting workplace productivity, teamwork and even how safe employees feel.

Value of the Meeting

Building Camaraderie

There are no such things as short-term relationships at SNAPP annual meetings. Michael Plumb, a Licensed Operator (LO) of Pearle Vision in Lakeland, Florida, attended several SNAPP annual meetings in the past. He plans on attending the upcoming meeting in Las Vegas to meet past and new friends.

Michael Plumb

Lasting Friendships

Most LOs work quite independently and don’t often have a chance to compare notes, but SNAPP creates multiple opportunities for close interactions. One of the biggest reasons for Plumb’s frequent attendance is because he enjoys the camaraderie with fellow LOs at the meeting. Moderators create small, intimate gatherings composed of people working in similar settings and roles.

It doesn’t stop at the formal sessions, either. The annual SNAPP meeting has evening functions, meals and extracurricular events, where Plumb has the opportunity to develop a personal bond with people he met throughout the day. Plumb says he’s grateful that SNAPP allows him to create many connections at the conference with friends whom he expects he will continue to stay in touch with, even after he retires.

Meaningful Takeaways

For every meeting he attended, Plumb has taken away “nice little nuggets and tidbits” he implemented in his office. He especially enjoys hearing the presentations, noting that the board does a tremendous job of finding stellar speakers like Joe DeLoach, OD, and others.

In addition to earning some free CE, Plumb plans to purchase new technology for his practice at the upcoming meeting. The meeting has a diverse range of vendors in one location, making it easy for him to experience the technology, ask questions and buy at a discounted price.

Like so many SNAPP members who last attended a national SNAPP meeting in March 2020 or even earlier, he’s excited that the upcoming SNAPP meeting is scheduled to be live and in person.

Through Thick and Thin

It’s always great to know you can directly reach out to people working in the same industry for advice. Brooke Hawley, general manager of Pearle Vision in Maple Grove, Minnesota, is a regular at SNAPP conferences. She hasn’t missed a meeting, not even the virtual meeting held last year, and she plans on attending the upcoming meeting in Las Vegas.

Brooke Hawley

Tossing Ideas Around

The event she looks forward to the most is the Idea Contest. In past meetings, Licensed Operators (LOs) shared something unique or that has worked well during the Idea Contest. Hawley says she received valuable tips and ideas every time, such as changing the type of credit card she uses to pay her bills and installing two monitors for each of her opticians, which increased their efficiency because they no longer need to flip between screens to complete orders or billing.

Informational Booths

Each vendor presents innovations and provides a wide range of resources at discounted prices. Hawley says she bought a lot of equipment at meetings and patched up pressing issues she had at her practice. For instance, compliance with various regulations concerned her. But she was introduced to Practice Compliance Solutions comprehensive coverage at the meeting. Hawley says she is now confident that she is in full compliance with regulations covering HIPAA and OSHA and maintaining the standards of managed care.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Besides the educational benefits and chance to see and try new products and tools, the main reason for Hawley’s attendance is the meaningful connections. She says she made lifelong friendships with fellow LOs from different areas and knows she can count on them for support. Whenever she’s dealing with an issue in her practice, she knows she can reach out and receive advice.

Hawley says she’s excited to attend the upcoming meeting and meet old friends she couldn’t see due to the pandemic. She looks forward to hearing ideas and finding inspiration to implement in her practice.

HR Corner from AmCheck

Be Prepared for Employee Evaluations

Performance appraisals provide a formal opportunity to evaluate an individual’s job performance. Typically, employers conduct performance appraisals on an annual or semiannual basis. Managers need to dedicate adequate time in order to thoroughly and carefully prepare for the process, gather relevant information to effectively rate an employee’s performance, provide the employee with constructive feedback and identify relevant development activities. The following checklist from AmCheck provides general guidance on action items for a manager to consider regarding conducting a successful, consistent and effective employee performance evaluation.

In the News

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

Prevent Blindness brings resources to eye care
professionals, parents and teachers during August—Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness

Often children compensate with their vision problems or are misdiagnosed as having a learning disability or behavioral problems, which may cause serious ramifications in the future. Prevent Blindness recommends that parents learn ways to help protect their child’s vision to make sure that their child has all the tools necessary to succeed in school. Click here for more information.

Raising Awareness About Myopia Progression

The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC)
launched a new myopia-focused social media campaign called “Little Kid License.”

The campaign was launched to raise awareness about childhood myopia and treatment options, especially with kids spending less time outdoors and more time on digital screens in the pandemic. Read more about GMAC’s campaign.

COVID-19 Boosters for Immunocompromised

In mid-August, according to WebMD, the FDA authorized
a booster shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19
vaccines for people with compromised immune

Eligible people include organ transplant recipients, those undergoing cancer treatments and people with autoimmune diseases. Read more.

Biomarkers in the Eyes Could Detect Diabetes

Researchers have identified biomarkers in the eyes that
can help manage diabetic retinopathy, the most common
diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness
in U.S. adults.

According to PLOS ONE, detecting biomarkers can also lead to the early identification of people at risk for diabetes or visual impairment. Data was collected from volunteers with diabetes, healthy control subjects and diabetic retinopathy screening of members of the underserved community at the University of California, Berkeley, and Alameda Health. Read more.

Gene Therapy and Retinal Disease

Research has found that gene therapy in mouse
models showed potentiality in preventing vision loss
or blindness from serious retinal injury and from
retinal disease.

According to Cell, Mount Sinai researchers used a gene therapy approach to demonstrate how reactivation of a key enzyme, CaMKII, and its downstream signaling in retinal ganglion cells provided robust protection against vision loss or impairment. Read more.

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