A Successful End to the 40th AdOO Convention

A good turnout in Bari for three days of professional and scientific development

On Monday, April 14, the 40th national Optometrist Association Convention came to an end. The three days of scientific and professional development saw more than 500 participants (including 406 congress attendants and 102 industry professionals) meet, debate, and interact around the main theme of this edition: "The Optometrist: serving visual health for 40 years." Puglia, once again, proved to be very hospitable ground and a fertile location for optometry, with resourceful professionals determined to learn about the latest developments offered in the industry.


This year as well, the convention hosted experts at the forefront of the field of optometry. Other professionals who work with vision were also included among the speakers. "It was a good conference," stated Andrea Rattaro, president of the AdOO, "that saw good participation from its attendants. The scientific aspect was greatly appreciated due the quality of the speakers as well as the subject matter discussed, thanks to the work carried out by the Association's coordination team. It has high scientific value, which was recognized through the Ministry of Health's sponsorship. We duly celebrated our first 40 years, and we hope that this isn't an end, but a new starting point for additional professional growth."


The opening day featured the evocative speech of journalist and writer Gianluigi Nuzzi who, through articles from the era, images, and memories, brought the audience back to the atmosphere of 1974 and to the desire for a profession that the founding fathers possessed, as was passed down from generation to generation, with a touching memory of Federottica's memorable president, Giuseppe Ricco. The 22nd Ferrante Prize was later awarded, which was given to the Optometrist Register this year and symbolically accepted by Andrea Rattaro, president of the AdOO. Outside the hall, the participants experienced a visual trek down memory lane with the AdOO through an exhibit set up specifically for the Convention's 40th anniversary.


On Sunday morning, the president of Federottica Bari, Michele Schirone, opened the 40th AdOO Convention's inauguration ceremony by highlighting Puglia's contribution to optometry. He introduced the messages of Federottica's president, Andrea Afragoli, and the Association's president, Andrea Rattaro, who celebrated the Convention's 40th anniversary by underlining the growth of the optometrist profession. Representing the municipality of Bari, Giuseppe Cascella highlighted the importance for the city of hosting a scientific and cultural event of national proportions. The story of the volunteers of the humanitarian health mission "Transforming children's lives through sight" was then discussed at length.
At the same time, in via Sparano in the center of the city, the free sight screenings organized by the AdOO with the support of Federottica Bari, the Istituto di Clinica Oculistica Universitaria of the Policlinico di Bari, and the Association of Optometry Graduates called around eighty citizens of Bari, who, despite the bad weather, patiently and with satisfaction underwent tests by optometrists and ophthalmologists.


The last day of the convention featured the Assembly of the Optometrist Association, where the association's activities from the last year were analyzed, and new cultural projects in store for the future were discussed.


"The AdOO Conference has proven itself to be the point of reference for the profession." commented Andrea Afragoli, president of Federottica, "The members met once again in Bari, and not only because of a significant opportunity to train with professionals in the optometry and ophthalmology industry. At the same time, it was a fruitful occasion to forge relationships with industry representatives and optometry suppliers, as well as to find and meet up with colleagues with whom to exchange opinions on our world."


As is tradition, in fact, there was a strong, essential presence of the sector's industry. 37 of the most important optometry and ophthalmology companies, starting with the main sponsor, Luxottica, supported the event and presented the avant-garde technology available, drawing the attention of the optometrists with a lively presence in the exhibition area during the course of the congress events.