230-plus volunteers meet to maintain momentum for optometry
At the AOA's 2014 Mid-Year Volunteer Meeting, AOA President Mitchell T. Munson, O.D. addressed the crowd of more than 230 volunteers saying, "Every one of you is here because you want to make good things happen."
These volunteers made the trek from across the country to St. Louis on the chilly weekend of Feb. 7-8. At the meeting, which set the stage for continuing momentum for the profession, Dr. Munson challenged attendees to celebrate what's right with the world, by keeping in focus the vision that moves both individuals and the organization.
Recent achievements were highlighted in the opening session, including InfantSEE® serving 100,000 babies and the introduction of optometry's first evidence-based guideline, focused on patients with diabetes. In addition, participants received preview copies of AOA's new newsmagazine, AOA Focus, the new flagship publication covering the topics that matter most to the profession in a bright and engaging manner.
In total the group contributed nearly 1,900 hours of service for the benefit of the profession. Each of the more than 30 committees, working both on their own and in coordination with others, held work sessions for ongoing projects. A few highlights of the weekend's progress include:
- Advocacy Group work on a long-range plan for supporting members through ICD-10 conversion. The group also highlighted the AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference, April 27-30, in Washington, D.C.
- Clinical Resources Group work on evidence-based guidelines for adult eye exams, plus planning for pediatric exam guidelines, on the heels of the release of the diabetes guideline.
- Meetings Center reminding everyone that this year's Optometry's Meeting is beginning on Wednesday, June 25. They also announced the next three upcoming locations—Seattle (2015), Boston (2016) and Washington, D.C. (2017).
- Paraoptometric Group continuing an all-out effort to enroll AOA member ODs' staff as associate members. More than 2,000 members have enrolled staff since January.
It had been more than a decade since the last Mid-Year Volunteer Meeting in 2003. Although a lot of business can be performed over online platforms and conference calls, the Board of Trustees convened this meeting to recognize that the ability to meet and collaborate in person is valuable to the future of the AOA.