The AOA has a rich history of legislative and political activism that has helped optometry reach its legislative goals in Congress through the Keyperson Program. More than 300 doctors of optometry now participate in the Keyperson Program, and through their efforts, optometry's views are heard throughout the halls of Congress.
Personal involvement in the political and legislative process is among the most important contributions AOA members can make to the profession. With the emphasis that has been placed on health care in Washington during the past two decades, grassroots participation by AOA members has been a vital component in conveying optometry's message to Capitol Hill. The Keyperson Program is an integral part of optometry's legislative strategy, and it has played a crucial role in our profession's legislative victories.
The goal of the Keyperson Program is to have at least one keyperson assigned to every member of Congress. Keypersons are volunteers who have an existing relationship with a legislator or are willing to forge a new relationship. These relationships come in many forms such as neighborhood, school, church, professional, civic or political. Many keypersons have a doctor-patient relationship with their legislator. What we seek in a keyperson is someone who knows their legislator and is willing to be a conduit for the profession.
If you would be willing to serve as a keyperson, know a colleague who would be a good keyperson, or would like additional information about the Keyperson Program, please contact the AOA at 800-365-2219 or Julie Trute at 703-837-1376.