If you’ve never heard of the International Congress of Scleral Contacts (ICSC), or you’ve attended but aren’t aware of its origins, we’ll give you the CliffsNotes version below, along with a teaser on what’s in store for this year’s meeting.

AN IDEA BECOMES A REALITY

In January 2015, Nathan Schramm, OD, CNS, FSLS, was looking for a way to connect with other optometrists who were passionate about scleral lenses. He created the Scleral Lens Practitioners Facebook group and was soon inundated with requests from colleagues looking to join the group. Like Dr. Schramm, Tom Arnold, OD, FSLS, is a fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society and is a scleral lens enthusiast, so Dr. Schramm enlisted his help to filter through the applicants. Thanks to the efforts of these two, the Scleral Lens Practitioners Facebook group has grown to almost 5,000 members.

Riding the wave of success and interest generated by the creation of the Facebook group, Drs. Schramm and Arnold partnered with Bryn Mawr Communications (BMC, the publisher of Modern Optometry and CollaborativeEYE) and BMC’s events team in 2015 to put together a conference dedicated solely to scleral lens technology. Thus, the ICSC was born, and it has grown each year since its inception. Last year’s meeting attracted nearly 200 attendees, and we hope to see yet another increase in attendees this year.

on tap FOR 2019

This year, the ICSC is honored to have Melissa Barnett, OD, FSLS, FAAO, FBCLA, as co-chair alongside Dr. Arnold. Dr. Barnett brings a wealth of both clinical and research experience in the specialty lens field. She lectures and publishes regularly and is the coauthor and editor, along with Dr. Lynette Johns, of Contemporary Scleral Lenses: Theory and Application, with unique perspectives and contributions from international experts.

The ICSC is meant for both scleral lens experts and beginners and is taught by some of the leading experts in the field. In fact, this year we are particularly excited to announce that scleral lens superstars Donald Ezekiel, AM, OD, FSLS, and Ken Pullum, OD, will deliver keynote lectures. Meeting these two in person is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one you don’t want to miss!

Additionally, many fellows of the Scleral Lens Education Society get a turn at the ICSC podium, and a number of topics related to scleral lenses will be discussed, including drug delivery, contraindications to scleral lenses, building a specialty lens practice, and more. The meeting is interactive, and each table is provided with a microphone for the Q&A portion that follows the podium talks.

An attentive audience listens to the speaker at the podium at
the 2018 ICSC meeting.

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An attentive audience listens to the speaker at the podium at the 2018 ICSC meeting.

In the past, the ICSC was a 1-day meeting, but this year it will take place over 2 days and will offer even more valuable content. Both days will feature a 2-hour wet lab, and on Friday afternoon we will continue to highlight the importance of OD/MD relations with a session on the (secret) power of OD/MD collaboration. An added benefit this year is that the entire meeting will be translated live into Spanish.

Attendees wishing to expand their knowledge and skills can attend hands-on workshops that will expose them to a variety of products and fitting philosophies. Participants will rotate through seven different workshops and have the opportunity to interact with vendors and other clinicians.

The 2019 ICSC promises to be the best yet. Our first three meetings were held with enthusiastic support from practitioners around the world, and 2019 will be no exception. Come join us in Fort Lauderdale this summer. We guarantee that you, your patients, and your practice will be happy you did!