The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has received the Public Education Award from the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO), which honors members for outstanding contributions in public education and awareness campaigns and activities. CORE was specifically recognized for promoting eye health and safety, including providing scientifically-sound information to consumers during the pandemic and efforts to slow the progression of myopia through myopia control methods.
“The real heroes behind this honor are the people of CORE, practitioners with whom we partner, and sponsors who have contributed to our professional and public education platforms over the past several decades. It’s wonderful to see their work and the impact acknowledged,” said Lyndon Jones, CORE’s director.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, CORE led the world’s first global response to misinformation about contact lens wear, setting the entire industry on a path to recovery. In only 30 days, CORE replaced falsehoods with facts for both consumers and eye care professionals, with its guidance appearing in more than 6,000 media outlets across 55 countries.
Months later, CORE was instrumental in raising practitioner and public awareness of mask-associated dry eye. Through a series of papers and columns, easy-to-grasp infographics, and media interviews in more than 2,500 news outlets on six continents, the initiative drove global understanding of the cause and simple actions to mitigate onset. In tandem, CORE collaborated with The Conversation Canada to publish a story about not neglecting eye care as the pandemic continued—reaching millions of consumers in Canada, the U.S., and English- and French-speaking overseas countries.
More recently, CORE pivoted from pandemic-related public education to two of the most discussed topics in eye health—childhood myopia and dry eye. CORE’s work helped inform parents and encouraged them to seek comprehensive eye exams for their children. Additionally, the CORE team helped bring attention to the challenge through employers, who in many cases are positioned to influence action through benefits plans. On the dry eye front, CORE collaborated again with The Conversation to share information and discuss the crucial role of optometrists in helping deliver sustained relief.
In any given year, CORE delivers countless in-person and virtual lectures, papers and posters, and produces a bi-monthly, 60,000-subscriber Contact Lens Update magazine—all of which contribute to furthering the practice of optometry worldwide.
The Ontario Association of Optometrists represents over 1,700 optometrists across the province. It is dedicated to helping members provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care for Ontarians while driving the profession of optometry forward.
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About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, McDougall Communications for CORE
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