By Jim McGrann, Chairman and CEO of Healthy Eyes Advantage

I am passionate about my work and frequently talk about how fortunate I am to be part of an industry devoted to helping people see. Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA) plays an important role in this process by connecting independent eye care professionals (IECPs) with the best resources — product vendors and business and practice solutions — that will help our members streamline the management of their businesses, leaving more time to devote to patient care.

To ensure that our program offerings stay ahead of the curve, HEA keeps its finger on the pulse of eye care evolution through ongoing engagement with the full spectrum of industry players. It’s been a busy and rewarding year filled with touchpoints ranging from one-on-one meetings to some of the industry’s largest events, all of which have offered insights into the eye care profession’s greatest pain points and a variety of solutions to address those hot button issues.

We highlight the valuable connections we have formed while creating eye care’s next-generation marketplace. You’ll hear from our industry collaborators how HEA is helping our members, affiliated professional organizations and strategic vendor partners fulfill their missions.

For me, one of the most exciting and rewarding trends I have witnessed during my travels is the industry’s focus on innovation and enhancing patient outcomes and experience. I am in constant contact with a large number of established and emerging solution providers that offer or are developing a wide range of products and services to boost practice productivity, enhance vision care and engage more effectively with patients. I recently had the privilege of attending the first Innovators Breakfast Forum which coincided with Vision Expo West and was sponsored by HEA. This event brought together representatives of early-stage companies from across the industry, including product, services and technology companies and offered a fascinating glimpse of just some of what lies ahead for eye care.

As with most industries, themes of evolution and innovation are ever-present, meaning we always have more to look forward to. My focus and that of the HEA team continues to be on listening to and learning from IECPs about the challenges they face and vetting the best resources the industry has to offer in addressing those challenging areas. HEA’s next-generation marketplace is a robust and engaging community open to all IECPs, and we look forward to continuing to deliver value as a trusted resource to our members.