Volunteers work toward profession’s future

Volunteers work toward profession’s future

AOA President David A. Cockrell, O.D., addresses attendees during the opening session of the 2015 Volunteer Meeting in St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 6-7 .

It's hard to sum up the countless hours AOA committees devote to the profession, but not at the 2015 Volunteer Meeting, where members contributed more than 1,900 hours in a day and a half.

"The AOA is doing great, and we're effective in every area we're in right now."

More than 200 volunteers gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 6-7, to meet in committees and exchange ideas for initiatives, programs and resources that ultimately contribute to the AOA benefits and representation that members receive.

AOA President David A. Cockrell, O.D., opened the meeting by citing recent AOA achievements, such as the successes of the Think About Your Eyes (TAYE) campaign in promoting optometry and comprehensive eye examinations to nearly 120 million Americans since July 2013; advocacy wins with the Harkin law allowing motor company employees to receive medical eye care via their optometrists; and recent awards for the member magazine, AOA Focus (login required).

"The AOA is doing great, and we're effective in every area we're in right now," Dr. Cockrell told volunteers at the opening session. But that was only the beginning.

Committee highlights
More than 25 committees convened at the Volunteer Meeting to address ongoing and future issues and initiatives. Highlights of their progress include:

  • Advocacy Group introduced Fred Dubick, O.D., as the new AOA-Political Action Committee (PAC) chair and announced $10,000 raised for AOA-PAC during the Volunteer Meeting. The group highlighted continued work with states on unilateral pricing policies (UPP) for contact lenses; continued messaging on vision services available at community health centers (CHC) and developing resources for optometrists working with CHCs; increasing support of the National Health Service Corps bill; and issued a call to action for more members to join the AOA Keypersons Network with the recent changeover in Congress.

  • Clinical Resources Group announced the peer and public review of the Comprehensive Adult Eye and Vision Examination; approaching launch of an ethics and values online forum where doctors can submit their ethical questions for discussion; rollout of the AOA registry at Optometry's Meeting®; and translation to care programs scheduled for the diabetes guideline.

  • InfantSEE® Committee worked on redefining the program and expanding its scope to include birth through 18 years of age as well as a change of name to the InfantSEE and Children's Vision Committee. With the expected influx of children due to the pediatric vision essential benefit, the committee will provide informational tools by which AOA members can successfully perform these children's examinations.

  • Meetings Center urged AOA members to attend Optometry's Meeting, June 24-28, in Seattle, Washington, not only for the wealth of education and networking opportunities, but also because it is the only meeting that truly impacts the course of the profession with the AOA House of Delegates. Registration for Optometry's Meeting is now open, and members can click here to register today.

  • Paraoptometric Group reported more than 8,300 paraoptometrics have enrolled as AOA associate members for Paraoptometric Resource Center benefits, and the group is moving forward with new education modules and a practice manual.

February 17, 2015

comments powered by Disqus