Damari Begins Service as Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry President

Ferris State UniversityDr. David Damari, the dean of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, assumed duties as president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry on Wednesday, June 21, at the ASCO Annual Meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Damari has been president-elect of the association, and said the ASCO holds its yearly gathering prior to the American Optometric Association Annual Meeting, which begins that evening, and is being held in Washington.

“I recently learned from the nominating committee chair that I have been asked to serve a two-year term, as president, which is a relatively rare occurrence,” Damari said. “The ASCO comprises 23 North American schools, and the deans and presidents of those schools comprise our membership. I joined the association’s Executive Committee in 2015.”

Damari credited Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Paul Blake for his support of the appointment, which Blake said benefits both the university and the MCO.

“I am very passionate about the profession and hope to help benefit optometric education through these duties,” Damari said. “Our executive committee meets three times yearly, and monthly through teleconferences. Serving the ASCO in this capacity is an important obligation and opportunity.”

Emerging technology has made a significant impact on optometric practices, and serving as ASCO president means Damari will be able to help shape the policies and direction of the association as it concludes a strategic planning process.

“These considerations include the scope of our profession, such as allowing optometrists to perform some laser procedures which has been allowed in three states,” Damari said. “ASCO will hope to strike a balance with ophthalmologists as more states consider an expanded scope of service for optometrists.”

Another advance the association is anticipated to address is online eye examinations.

“The debate, as we see it, is whether patients will know that these online services cannot detect ocular disease, but only create convenience for acquiring an individual’s prescription,” Damari said. “The knowledge base within the ASCO has voiced concerns about the implications of this new service and how it meshes with the personal care and attention offered at an optometrist’s office.”

Damari is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Optometry, in New York City, New York, and was named its alumnus of the year, in 2014. He practiced in Garden City and Rochester, New York, then joined the faculty at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. Damari assumed duties as dean of MCO in March of 2013.


PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. David Damari, dean of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, will assume the presidency of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry on Wednesday, June 21, at the association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.