The VCA AR Committee Accomplishments

By Dale Parmenteri, VCA AR Committee Board Member
It has been almost two years since the merger of the AR Council with the VCA and the creation of the VCA AR Committee. Most of the board members that were on the AR Council remain with the purpose of supporting labs and the ECP in growing AR in the market place. In addition, the availability of additional resources from the VCA has helped us reach the consumer in more productive and cost effective ways, helping us stretch membership dollars toward our goal of 100 percent anti-reflective lens usage in the United States.

The focus of the VCA AR Committee remains twofold. First, spread the message to the consumer that anti-reflective lenses improve vision by adding as much as 14 percent light transmittance to conventional lenses, particularly noticeable at night, providing less fatigue from extended hours in front of the computer and a cosmetically better appearance. The second focus is supporting the lab and ECP in growing AR in their businesses.

The Committee provides the lab and ECP educational content through the VCA AR Committee Web site www.visionsite.org/arcommittee. This content consists of previously published news articles on anti-reflective lenses and past LabTalk articles. Many of these articles are useful from the lab to the ECP to the consumer. In addition to these, the site offers sections on processing AR throughout lab, edging AR lenses and helpful lens care tips that are intended to be shared with the patient/consumer. Patient handouts in English and Spanish are available for ECP use with in-office education to the patient. Cross Hatch test kits are available to the lab for testing AR adhesion and lens envelopes for in-house processing or out-sourcing of AR lenses are available as well. In reference to consumer outreach, the Web site has consumer-oriented sections on the benefits of AR, the care and cleaning and understanding of AR lenses, complete with videos intended to be viewed with Windows Media Player.

The bulk of our yearly budget is traditionally spent on consumer outreach. The committee has had success producing VNR (video news releases), PSA (public service announcements) and most recently the committee is reaching approximately three million consumers with a 90 second In-Flight commercial on each US Airways domestic flight in the month of July 2007. The typical US Airways passenger is 25 to 54 years old and is the perfect demographic because they are the consumers that would need or benefit from the use of AR lenses. In addition, due to the fact that frequent flyers reach more people, the committee felt that this was a perfect opportunity to use the business traveler to spread the message. Each of our efforts is quantified to make sure we are spending our budget wisely. If the US Airways commercial proves successful, efforts to use other airlines with a broader reach will be considered.

These initiatives are further augmented by the fact that the AR message crosses over to the various VCA divisions such as: lenses, lens processing technology and eyewear, accessories and low vision. This gives the committee and the AR message added exposure through their outreach initiatives as well. All in all, rest assured we are continuing our mission and are thankful for the industry support.

CURRENT ISSUE


May/June LabTalk 2017