2019 AOA Board Candidates

Candidates announce bids for 2019 elections

Recognized worldwide as an authority on eye and vision care, the AOA moves the needle on improved quality and availability of full-scope optometric care through a devoted group of leaders advocating on behalf of the profession and patients. As Optometry's Meeting® 2019 in St. Louis, June 19-23, nears, familiarize yourself with the incumbents and newcomers seeking to represent members on the AOA Board of Trustees.

Barbara L. Horn, O.D., of South Carolina, will assume the office of AOA president after serving on the board since 2011. Dr. Horn is chair of the 401(k) Committee and is a member of the Agenda Committee, Personnel Committee and Executive Committee. She is liaison trustee to the AOA Political Action Committee, Advocacy Committee, Federal Relations Committee, Meetings Center Committee, Quality Improvement and Registries Committee and Third Party Center Executive Committee and has served as liaison to the Communications and Marketing Group, Public Affairs Committee, Commission on Paraoptometric Certification, Affiliate Relations and Membership Group, and the Industry Relations Center Committee.

"We must continue to remain strong in protecting the critical doctor-patient relationship, advancing our scope of practice and increasing membership. The AOA's Future Practice Initiative, which will help affiliates advance scope in their states, will ignite change and allow our members to provide the advanced medical care our patients need and deserve. Regarding membership, I'm thrilled to have the AOA 2019-2020 Board of Trustees meetings on our campuses of optometry, where we will have the opportunity to interact even more with the presidents/deans, faculty and students. We also look forward to working with affiliates and local societies to engage all at our colleges."

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William T. Reynolds, O.D
., of Kentucky, has filed for the office of president-elect after serving on the board since 2012. Dr. Reynolds is chair of the AOA Investment Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee and the 401(k) Committee. He is liaison trustee to the Industry Relations Center Committee, New Technology Committee and Sports and Performance Vision Committee and has served as liaison to the Content Review Board, Vision Rehabilitation Section, Advocacy Group, Federal Relations Committee, State Government Relations Committee, AOA Political Action Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee and VisionWeb.

"One of the most pressing issues facing the AOA and our profession is the rate of change that our profession and all of health care is undergoing. Advancing technology and telehealth are changing the way health care is practiced, and these changes are only going to accelerate. We must embrace technology that enhances patient care and strengthens the doctor-patient relationship while continuing to oppose those who put our patients at risk. My goal for the coming year is to ensure AOA makes a coordinated effort to give our members the education and skills they need to thrive in this changing environment."

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Robert C. Layman, O.D.,
has filed for the office of AOA vice president after serving on the board since 2013. Dr. Layman is a member of the AOA Investment Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee and 401(k) Committee. He is board liaison to the Content Review Board and has served as liaison to the Advocacy Committee, Federal Legislative Action Keyperson Committee, Federal Relations Committee, InfantSEE®­­ & Children's Vision Committee, State Government Relations Committee, Third Party Center Executive Committee, AOA Political Action Committee, Optometry Cares®­­-The AOA Foundation, and the Interorganizational Communications and Cooperation Committee.

"Your AOA Board of Trustees will continue to make sure the voice of optometry is heard in the halls of influence as health care reform changes at a rapid pace. The need for a strong organization to advocate for our patients and for expanding the scope of care we deliver has never been more critical. The vital role we play in population health management must be made clear to policy makers. Increasing industry support for AOA is a large part of the responsibilities of the vice president. We will build on last year's momentum for that important component of a vibrant organization."

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James P. DeVleming, O.D.,
of Washington, has filed for the office of AOA secretary-treasurer after serving on the board since 2014. Dr. DeVleming is a member of the AOA Investment, Constitution and Bylaws and Finance Committees and is board liaison to the Coding and Reimbursement Committee, Contact Lens and Cornea Section, Membership Development Committee and Paraoptometric Resource Center Committee. He has served as liaison to the Advocacy Committee, Evidence-Based Optometry Committee, Federal Legislative Action Keyperson Committee, Federal Relations Committee, State Government Relations Committee, Third Party Center Executive Committee and the Interorganizational Communications and Cooperation Committee.

"Our biggest issues are membership growth and legislative/regulatory success at the federal and state levels. Both of those concerns drive most everything we do and account for much of our current and future spending. As secretary/treasurer, I will do my best to protect our association and preserve our capital through proper budgeting and a careful eye on spending." 

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Steven T. Reed, O.D.
, of Mississippi, has filed for re-election to the board after serving since 2016. Dr. Reed is liaison to the Faculty and Student Membership Liaisons Committee, State Government Relations Committee and the Third Party Center Executive Committee. He is a North American representative to the World Council of Optometry and has served as liaison trustee to the Faculty & Student Membership Liaisons Committee, Faculty Resource Committee, Membership Development Committee, Contact Lens and Cornea Section and the Health Policy Institute. Previously, Dr. Reed served on the AOA Communications/Public Affairs Committee.

He cites the commoditization of eye care and eye wear as a challenge for the profession. "Patients are led to believe that eye care and eye wear are the same across the board and that price and convenience are the only things that matter. We must continue to fight for our patients and limit the detractors who seek to harm our patients through misinformation and greed."

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Lori L. Grover, O.D., Ph.D.,
 of Illinois, has filed for re-election to the board after serving as a trustee for one year. Dr. Grover is liaison trustee to the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee, Health Promotions Committee, Leadership Development Committee, and the Research and Information Resource Team. She previously served as an AOA Health Policy Institute consultant to the Federal Relations Committee and also on the Evidence-Based Optometry Committee since 2012. She also was a member of AOA's Quality Improvement, Volunteer Engagement, Member Engagement, Faculty Relations and Optometry's Meeting Continuing Education committees. She chaired the AOA Vision Rehabilitation Section, serving on its executive council from 1999 to 2010, and was a participating author on three AOA evidence-based clinical guidelines.

"Doctors of optometry are not yet fully integrated into U.S. health care, and barriers persist that prevent access to the care continuum we provide. The need remains for a greater awareness by stakeholders and the public of the high value of true, full-scope optometric care to health. The AOA continues to effectively lead advocacy across all areas involving our profession, and I remain committed to expanding the AOA's reach on behalf of doctors of optometry and the communities served by our care."

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Teri K. Geist, O.D.,
of Nebraska, has filed for election to the AOA Board of Trustees. Dr. Geist chaired the AOA's Communications and Marketing Executive Committee (2011-2017) and Communications Public Relations Committee (2011-2015), during which time the committees structured a paradigm shift in the way AOA communicates with members and the public and launched AOA Focus. She has been active on the Third Party Center Executive Committee since 2017 and served on the Resolutions Committee in 2018. She also is a consultant to the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.

"As optometry evolves in its essential medical eye care role, challenges and opportunities present themselves. Membership, advocacy-including expanding scope and access to care-and emerging telehealth technologies are the main issues we face. The most important asset we have in maintaining and building membership is peer-to-peer relationships. To build those, we need to communicate in ways that reach across our profession, including to new graduates, students and doctors practicing in all modalities."

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Terri A. Gossard, O.D.
, M.S., of Ohio, has filed for election to the AOA Board of Trustees. Dr. Gossard currently serves on the AOA Third Party Center Executive Committee. She previously chaired the AOA Multidisciplinary Practice Committee and served on the AOA Professional Relations and Health Center Committees. Dr. Gossard wants to help shape and contribute to a united AOA. She also looks forward to demonstrating optometry's value to the public, other medical providers, health systems, third-party payers and to AOA members.

"As health care reform evolves, optometry must be included in new reimbursement and delivery models. A strong professional organization is critical to help protect access to optometric services. Additionally, there has never been more diversity in our profession demographically and in how we practice. This is an incredible opportunity for the AOA to provide meaningful resources that strengthen professional viability for all members." 

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March 28, 2019

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