When we started planning for THE VISION CARE INSTITUTE® (TVCI) back in 2004, every meeting finished with the same question and the same worried look on our faces: “What if we build these facilities and no one comes?” At the time, no contact lens company had ever tried to get into education like we were planning on doing. The only facilities to train eye care practitioners were at academic institutions or, in rare cases, training rooms in the headquarters of retailers.
We had a vision of a purpose-built facility; a place where the eye exam rooms were designed just for teaching, where learning involved full interactivity between attendees and instructors, and where feedback could be captured instantly. We’d done our research and knew there was an unmet need for ongoing education, but we were about to invest a significant amount of the company’s money on something that had never existed before…so the question remained: “What if no one comes?”
Now, nearly 10 years later and with 14 facilities over four continents, we are celebrating reaching a milestone in attendance of 100,000 eye care professionals at TVCI. We’ve taught more than 4,000 classes in 30 languages. And to think in 2006 I was excited when we issued a press release for the 500th participant in our Prague facility!
We run classes somewhere in the world pretty much every day of the year, and have web sites with more than 33,000 registered users. And, to help our customers explain the value and benefits of contact lenses, we have published books, white papers, peer-reviewed research and are now developing professional apps to track eye health.
Looking back, there was one guiding light to everything we did, Our Credo. The mission of TVCI is to “enhance patient satisfaction through innovative education.” And that focus has allowed us to meet our responsibility to ‘the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.”
Our success would not have been possible without the talented men and women who have worked for us over the years. Our faculty numbers over 250 and our team has included opinion-leading PhDs and new graduates, all of whom are dedicated to excellence in education and some of whom have since moved on to work in our commercial organization.
The result of all these efforts is that we have been a significant contributor to the growth of the contact lens category, as well as to our market share. As importantly, we believe we have contributed to the growing expertise of eye care professionals.
Now, for the next 100,000…
For more information, please watch the JNJennTV episode at http://www.youtube.com/user/jnjenntv.
Ian Davies is Head of Global Professional Education at Johnson and Johnson Vision Care and has been with Johnson & Johnson 22 years. He studied Optometry at Manchester University then began his career at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and worked in private optometric practice. In 1992 Ian joined Johnson and Johnson Vision Care as European Director of Professional Relations. Over the past seven years Ian has established THE VISION CARE INSTITUTE™ across Europe, opening facilities in Prague, Milan, Dubai, Moscow and the UK. Ian now heads up professional education globally. He is passionate about inspiring others to achieve their dreams and balancing work with family and personal commitments.