AOA+: Emerging leaders’ experience

Candidates announce bids for AOA offices

Top row, from left, Christopher J. Quinn, O.D., AOA president-elect, Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., AOA vice president, Barbara L. Horn, O.D., AOA secretary-treasurer, William T. Reynolds, O.D., AOA trustee. Bottom row, from left, Ronald L. Benner, O.D., AOA trustee, Jacqueline Bowen, O.D., AOA trustee, Fred Farias III, O.D., AOA trustee candidate, Lori L. Grover, O.D., Ph.D., AOA trustee candidate, April L. Jasper, O.D., AOA trustee candidate.

A globally recognized authority on eye and vision care, AOA moves the needle on improved quality and availability of full-scope optometric care through a devoted group of leaders advocating on behalf ofthe profession. As Optometry's Meeting® in Washington, D.C., June 21-25, nears, familiarize yourself with the incumbent candidates and newcomers vying to represent you on the AOA Board of Trustees.

Christopher J. Quinn, O.D., of New Jersey, has filed for the office of president after serving on the board since 2008. Dr. Quinn chairs the AOA 401(k) Committee, and is a member of the AOA Agenda, Building, Personnel and Executive Committees. READ MORE.

"The next year will present many challenges for all health care professions, including optometry. We will continue to fight for our members and their patients in making sure that a refraction is not segregated from or substituted for an eye exam. We will fight the commoditization of contact lenses and work to preserve their status as regulated medical devices. We will fight those who would advocate for a vision screening in place of an eye exam as a covered benefit. We will fight to expand the scope of practice of doctors of optometry to be consistent with our level of training. We will fight, no matter what health care reform proposals are put forth, for equality with other physicians and for unrestricted access to the patients who need our care. Victory in these important fights will only come from a supportive and robust membership who will help us preserve and protect the future of our profession."  

Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., of Alabama, has filed for the office of president-elect after serving on the board since 2009. Dr. Pierce is chair of the Investment Committee, and is a member of the Executive and 401(k) Committees, as well as serving on the AOAExcel® board. READ MORE.  

"It will be my honor and privilege to serve as the AOA President-Elect if the House of Delegates sees fit to elect me in June 2017. I will continue to fight for the profession and make sure every AOA member knows he or she has an ally on the AOA Board of Trustees, and I will continue to strive to do what is best for our great profession."  

Barbara L. Horn, O.D., of South Carolina and Michigan, has filed for the office of vice president after serving on the board since 2011. Dr. Horn chairs both the Finance and Constitution and Bylaws Committees, and is a member of the Investment, Executive and 401(k) Committees, as well as the Council on Research. READ MORE.  

"Safeguarding the doctor-patient relationship is essential to protect our patients' vision and eye health, and general wellbeing. Being on the frontline of care while utilizing the highest forms of technology during in-person, comprehensive eye examinations is key to our patients' health. AOA and our affiliates will remain vigilant in protecting our patients, increasing access to quality care, ensuring payment parity and enhancing our scope of practice."  

William T. Reynolds, O.D., of Kentucky, has filed for the office of secretary-treasurer after serving on the board since 2012. Dr. Reynolds is a member of the AOA Finance Committee. READ MORE.  

"It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve as trustee on the AOA Board of Trustees these past five years.  As secretary-treasurer, I will continue to serve by ensuring our dues are spent efficiently and cost effectively while maintaining adequate funding for important activities such as advocacy, membership growth and providing our members the tools and services they need to be successful in practice."  

Ronald L. Benner, O.D., of Montana, has filed for re-election to the board after service as a trustee since 2015. Dr. Benner serves on the AOA Advocacy Executive Committee, as well as the Federal Relations, Federal Legislative Action Keyperson, Third Party Center and State Government Relations Committees, and was chair of the AOA-Political Action Committee. READ MORE.  

"It has been a privilege to serve this organization. We must always remember we are an advocacy organization that is membership driven. Regulations and health care continue to change, so the AOA must remain a strong, effective voice advocating for both the profession and our members. I'm committed to maintaining a unified voice and creating the tools necessary to be successful in the turbulent health care marketplace. No challenge is insurmountable when we work together."

Jacqueline M. Bowen, O.D., of Colorado, has filed for re-election to the board after service as trustee since 2016. Dr. Bowen has served on the AOA Volunteer and Member Engagement Committees, as well as the Professional Relations Committee, serving as its chair from 2007 to 2010. READ MORE.  

"As a practitioner of 25 years, I am personally affected by key issues threatening our profession today.  I have, in my practice, been affected by unscrupulous, online retailers, disruptive technology (e.g., apps that claim to replace an eye exam), and third-party bullying. As a trustee I am able to listen to the opinions of people from all walks of life and build consensus to achieve the specific goals we have for optometry. I stand firm in my convictions, while remaining open-minded, intelligent and poised as I represent the best interests of our patients. I'm optimistic that optometry will be the go-to profession for health care policy makers on a national and global level for years to come."    

Fred Farias III, O.D., of Texas, has filed for election to the AOA Board of Trustees. Dr. Farias is a member of the VISION USA Committee, the AOA Federal Legislative Action and Keyperson Committee and has been an AOA Keyperson for more than 20 years. He is a past president of the Texas Optometric Association, and the 2016 AOA Optometrist of the Year. READ MORE.

"As a long-time advocate for our profession, I relish the opportunity to get involved in all of optometry's advocacy issues, both at home and on a federal level. Listening to our membership and building strong relationships with national and state leaders is what makes our optometric team work. If elected to the AOA board, it's my goal to use my passion for advocacy to represent the interests of our membership and profession."

Lori L. Grover, O.D., Ph.D., of Illinois, has filed for election to the AOA Board of Trustees. Dr. Grover has served on the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee since 2012, and has previously served on AOA's Quality Improvement, Volunteer Engagement, Member Engagement and Optometry's Meeting Continuing Education Committees. She also chaired the AOA Vision Rehabilitation Section, serving on its executive council from 1999-2010. READ MORE.

"Now more than ever, we must reinforce our reach across clinical, legislative, educational, governmental, public health, and policy arenas to promote optometry's value. My skills enhance existing AOA leadership and volunteer strengths to bolster optometric advocacy, address challenges, and identify opportunities to improve health for populations that require our care."  

April L. Jasper, O.D., of Florida, who previously announced her intent to run, withdrew in May. "I believe that my talents are best served in my home state of Florida as we work diligently to pass our expanded scope of practice legislation in 2018. I have been honored by receiving support from many of you and deeply appreciate the trust and confidence you have granted me through this process. I look forward to a great year for all of us in 2018," Dr. Jasper said in an announcement to Florida Optometric Association members.

March 9, 2017

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