CRU 2023: Experience Napa Valley as part of an intimate eye care symposium


Learn about the second annual CRU Eye Symposium, the intentions behind the meeting, and what to expect.

S. Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO, FSLS, co-chair of the CRU Eye Symposium, caught up with Optometry Times®' assistant managing editor, Emily Kaiser, to give us an overview of the meeting.

CRU is an acronym that stands for "current, relevant, useful," and the second annual symposium will be held November 10-12, 2023, at the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley, California. John D. Gelles, OD, FIAO, FCLSA, FSLS, FBCLA, and Stephanie Woo, OD, FAAO, FSLS, are also co-chairs of the meeting, with honorary ambassador Vance Thompson, MD, FACS.


Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Emily Kaiser:

Hi, everyone. I'm Emily Kaiser with Optometry Times, and I'm sitting down with Dr. Barry Eiden, who is one of the co-chairs of the Current, Relevant, Useful—or CRU—meeting, which will be held in Napa Valley, California, in November of 2023.

Welcome, Dr. Eiden. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.

S. Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO, FSLS:

Hi, how are you today?


I'm great. I'm so excited to talk to you about CRU. So first of all, why should optometrists be excited about this meeting?


Well, I think the CRU meeting is one of the most unique eye education meetings available. It has a lot of elements that make it very, very special.

First of all, it's amazing in terms of the quality of education, in both ophthalmology and optometry working together to provide the highest levels of education. Our topics are diverse. So everybody who has interest in any area of eye care is going to be happy coming to CRU, that's number 1.

Number 2, it's an intimate environment. A lot of times we go to these very large meetings, and there's hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees. It's just a whole action-packed environment. We're limiting our attendees this year to about 125 live attendees, and then of course, our virtual audience. So it allows any of the attendees to have a much more intimate experience, both interactively between the attendees, as well as with all of our supporting sponsors.

Then of course, we're in Napa. What can I say about that? [It's] one of the most beautiful places in the world with so much to do, obviously, centered around wine. That is one of my passions and the passions of my co-chairs, so that makes it special, as well.


Yeah, sounds fantastic. I know that Napa Valley was an intentional choice for the location for this meeting. Can you tell me more about how that came about?


Yes, for sure. If one thinks about the most important wine region, at least in the United States at this particular point in time, I think we would all agree that Napa Valley comes up as the number one choice. It's just a little bit north of San Francisco, so easily accessible, but it is surely one of the most beautiful places that you could ever imagine going to.

Beautiful hills, nice weather, vineyards just rolling, like the photo behind me, it's exactly like that. Some of the best wine is produced there in the world. The experiences at wineries are amazing. I know that our attendees will take advantage of of those elements that make it very special.


Sounds fantastic. What are you most excited to share with attendees?


Well, what I am most excited to share with the attendees is the experience.

The overall experience—which I mentioned just before—is relatively unique in eyecare education. I think that they will experience wonderful times together, sharing over wonderful bottles of wine, good food, great education, and the support of our fantastic sponsors as well.


Fantastic. Do you have any other miscellaneous points that you'd like to share about CRU?


Sure, there are going to be a number of really cool activities that I think people will be interested in, even beyond the educational elements. We're going to have break times over mimosas. We're going to have an official wine tasting by one of the most well respected wineries in the Napa Valley, right at the facility itself.

We're going to have the ability to interact with our sponsors in a very, very intimate way. Not the typical sponsor booth at exhibits that you're used to. But more sitting down and having good conversations and getting to understand each other better.

Then finally, we're going to have a lot of time for you to enjoy the environment. There's going to be free time where you can go out and visit wineries, do some activities, maybe hot air ballooning, maybe golf, hiking, there's just so much to do in Napa Valley.

That time of year in the fall we're having our meeting, in November, is one of the most beautiful times in Napa. The vineyards have already been picked of their grapes and they start to turn amazing colors of yellow, red, and orange. I've been there a number of times at that time of year, and it is very, very special.

So I know everybody who's going to join us is going to have one of the most fabulous times coming to our CRU eye meeting this year in November.


That sounds absolutely delightful. Thank you so much for sharing, and thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I can't wait to see you in California.


Thank you and come on down to California. Everybody's gonna have an amazing time and an amazing experience. Thank you so much.


Thank you.

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