Dear Kari,

As we are saying goodbye to 2018 and welcoming in 2019, as a society and as human beings, we have a lot to be grateful for. In 2018, OWNS published its first annual wellness supplement in the fall issue of Review of Optometry. This supplement reached more than 40,000 clinicians and establishes our role as one of the primary resources for the promotion of health and wellness in optometry. OWNS promoted optometry and our clinical knowledge and depth of training to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and now ODs have been granted access to become certified Functional Medicine Practitioners through courses taken with the IFM. We are now partnering with the Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program of the University of Western States online courses to obtain the necessary nutrition credits to sit for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam and become CNS certified, a distinction held by physicians and advanced-degrees healthcare professionals with a specialty in nutrition that allows us to expand our scope of practice. As a member of OWNS, I am incredibly grateful for all that we have been able to achieve in 2018 and to be among like-minded peers whose mission is to heal our patients and promote wellness through lifestyle choices and interventions.
The practice of gratitude has received a lot of attention recently. Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction. The University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center has created a PDF for healthcare practitioners titled “Gratitude is Medicine” and it acts as a guideline on how to incorporate gratitude into daily living for practitioners and their patients.
Beginnings are exciting! The promise of a new year is upon us. We wish all of our colleagues, families, and patients much gratitude, health, and fulfillment in 2019!