After reading this headline many of you may be asking, “What is ACOS?” This question is understandable, as the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery, or ACOS, was created for US surgeons only 18 months ago. A small group of ophthalmologists, innovators, industry leaders, scientists, and the founders of Bryn Mawr Communications joined forces to create an organization that would connect leading ophthalmologists with innovators of health care technologies in the hopes of advancing vision care and improving patients’ quality of life. We hope to provide a platform for education and advocacy representing the mutual interests of these groups.
As the current president of ACOS, I am proud to say that our membership has already made significant contributions to the field of ophthalmology. Even in our infancy, we have enjoyed some notable success, including joint sponsorship of an accelerated corneal collagen crosslinking trial in 100 clinical centers across the United States—a first for an ophthalmology society. We have further enlisted an outstanding and diverse group of 225 members. We have published the first book on laser cataract surgery together and have planned a unique group of meetings. And, in a gigantic step for this young organization, we expanded our mission into Europe earlier this year. Although membership is by invitation only, we are currently looking to increase the number of European ACOS members.
As for our meetings, what started with one annual meeting in 2011—the ACOS/AIRS Meeting in Aspen, Colorado—has quickly expanded to four meetings in 2012. In addition to the program in Aspen, ACOS also hosts a summer meeting in Deer Valley, Utah; a pre-AAO Summit meeting; and, in view of our commitment to becoming a joint European/US organization, a meeting in Europe. This year, the European meeting venue was Cannes, France, which served as a beautiful backdrop for the educational content presented during the 2-day symposium. ACOS was most grateful to have an esteemed panel of European colleagues on our Program Committee, including Lucio Buratto, MD; Joseph Colin, MD; Chris P. Lohmann, MD, PhD; Erik L. Mertens, MD, FEBO; Tobias H. Neuhann, MD; and founder Jean-Jacques Chaubard, MD.
An ACOS reception will be held during the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) meeting, where you can learn more about the organization. Please stop by the CRST Europe booth for more information. Next year, the European meeting is planned for June, and we hope you will join us. Although the date and location have not yet been set, CRST Europe’s editors will provide you with more information as it becomes available. If you ask anyone who attended this year’s meeting in Cannes, I am sure they were impressed with the quality of the content presented by our colleagues and industry panelists.
We look forward to seeing you in Milan.