“Since its inception, PECAA (Professional Eye Care Associates of America) has recognized the importance of education as the foundation for growth and success in independent eyecare,” said Kristy Stone, director of member education. “In the past few years (since COVID) with everything moving to a virtual-based environment for the most part, there has been more interest than in the past for our online educational offerings.”

On its website, https://pecaa.com/connect/, PECAA presents a holistic view of education that includes both the topics and the ways learning opportunities are presented. “We recognize that many of our members want education at their fingertips with the ability to learn from anywhere at any time. To meet this need, we launched the ‘Practice Advantage’ podcast in February 2021 on most major podcast platforms. These bimonthly, 25-minute or less episodes deliver Member Business Advisory-level knowledge in an easy to consume and easy to apply format and have been downloaded nearly 7,000 times in 49 states and 29 countries.”

Other ways the company provides education include:

• In-person events: PECAA’s annual meeting was live this year. The event delivered live, in-person education on a variety of subjects such as business management and clinical education. “Now that we are starting to offer live in-person events, we are seeing a strong need and desire among our members to be out in public again and connect with their peers,” Stone said.

• Virtual webinars: The company offers 18 hours of live, virtual continuing education via Zoom annually. Since May 2020, more than 6,000 ODs have received online continuing education through PECAA’s channels.

• Daily touchpoints: The five members of PECAA’s Member Business Advisory team provide one-on-one consultations and business education covering finance, operations, billing and coding, optical and marketing.

• Office manager certifications: These classes are available live virtually and in-person, as well as 100 percent on demand.

“What’s great about our industry is there is always something to learn. New technologies, concepts, treatments and partnerships with other medical specialties, are all constantly evolving,” Stone said. Going forward, PECAA will continue providing educational resources to its members based on what they’re asking for; offering more virtual COPE continuing education events for members and non-members; updating staff training tools; and presenting traveling educational workshops.

“We continue to enhance and modify our education platform to be a reliable and accessible resource where members can easily find education on topics they are seeking,” said Stone. “Our passion is to supply meaningful, non-redundant educational information by providing resources and tools for all team members of a practice.”