In review: 6 highlights from Optometry’s Meeting®

In review: 6 highlights from Optometry’s Meeting®

If Optometry's Meeting® was all about mapping the profession's future, now is the time to embark on that course as optometry's premiere event concludes.

Here are six highlights from Optometry's Meeting that AOA members will want to know:

  1. AOA leadership takes office
    The 118th Annual AOA Congress concluded session Saturday with the AOA Board of Trustees election and official swearing-in ceremony of new officers for the 2015-16 year.

    AOA's new president, Steven A. Loomis, O.D., of Colorado, addressed the AOA House of Delegates in his inaugural address and proclaimed, "This is our time." Dr. Loomis discussed opportunities, challenges and achievements the AOA has met with increased participation in federal government, and discussed how it's important for optometry to remain vigilant with development of new technology and growth of medical eye care.

    "I look forward to doing great things with you," Dr. Loomis said in closing.

  2. Bylaws amendments, resolutions considered
    The AOA House of Delegates took action on four bylaws amendments presented for vote on the final day of session.

    The first bylaw amendment adds a new paragraph to the Membership section, and describes a process for admitting members on behalf of both AOA and an affiliated association through an online process on a provisional basis as an addition to—and not a substitute for—current practices for admitting new members. The amendment passed by unanimous vote.

    The second bylaw amendment also affected the Membership section, and allows for graduating students to automatically be reclassified in an appropriate AOA and affiliate membership category upon graduation for the remaining calendar year. The motion was strongly supported by the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), and was unanimously approved in the AOA House of Delegates.

    The third bylaw amendment adjusted the House of Delegates section, stating that members who receive dues waivers for reason of economic misfortune or partial or total disability, or as part of a special pilot program, will not count toward an affiliated association's total membership count for determining the number of delegates or votes at House of Delegates in the calendar year following the calendar year to which the waiver applied. The motion passed with a two-thirds majority.

    Finally, a proposed bylaw amendment would have adjusted the Councils section, requiring at least one AOA member of the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) to be an employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This member would be one of three not affiliated with a school of optometry or state board of optometric examiners. This motion was not approved.

    Delegates also adopted two separate resolutions on optometric continuing education (CE) accreditation and the potential health risks of emerging technologies in eye care.

    The first resolution directed the AOA Board of Trustees to continue refining a model of CE accreditation, including a model for accrediting CE providers, by seeking additional input from various key organizations, including discussions with the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) on the direction of the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).

    The second resolution directed the AOA to adopt the position that the optimal delivery of comprehensive eye health and vision care requires an in-person examination and that emerging technologies, while potentially valuable, are not in any way a substitute for in-person care.   The resolutions are subject to review by the Judicial Council before becoming effective.

  3. Seattle 5K winners
    The Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by The Vision Council and Transitions®, featured top male performers, Nathan Morrow of Indiana; George Veliky, O.D., of New Jersey; and Brian Johnson of Pennsylvania; and top female performers, Rachel Schreiber, of Oregon; Jane Trimberger, O.D., of Illinois; and Felicia Slate, of Michigan.

  4. AOA MORE member benefit
    AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) by Prometheus Research took the spotlight in Thursday's AOA House of Delegates session as the Quality Improvement and Registries Committee introduced optometry's own clinical registry.

    The secure, private database systematically aggregates anonymous patient data from multiple electronic health record (EHR) systems and facilities secondary uses of the data to help enhance outcomes, procedures and standards of practice.

    Jeff Michaels, O.D., Quality Improvement and Registries Committee chair, also reported that hundreds of Optometry's Meeting attendees had already signed up in the first four days. The registry is an AOA-member benefit to those who are current with their dues, and will be available to nonmembers for an $1,800 per year fee.

  5. Students raise crystal trophy, incorporate AOA in mission statement
    Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University clinched the coveted crystal trophy in the Varilux® Optometry Student BowlTM XXIV, sponsored by Essilor, while Pacific University College of Optometry was given the Spirit Award for their passionate display of school spirit.

    As part of his report to the AOA House of Delegates, AOSA President Hunter Chapman reported that AOSA's concurrent 45th Congress approved a change to their mission statement to incorporate a commitment to AOA membership. The mission of the AOSA now reads, "The purpose of the American Optometric Student Association is to improve the visual welfare and health of the public, to promote the profession of optometry, and lifelong commitment to the AOA and AOA State Affiliates, and to enhance the education and welfare of optometry students."

  6. Optometry’s Meeting finale
    Just as Optometry's Meeting commenced on a high note, it also went out strong. At A Celebration of Optometry, sponsored by HOYA, performance artist Brian Olsen entranced the crowd with his speed-painting of Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein while comedian Sinbad left them holding their sides with laughter.

Want to see more of Optometry’s Meeting in Seattle? Take an informal tour of optometry's premiere event through the eyes of your colleagues with AOA's dedicated social media page.

And prepare now for Optometry's Meeting 2016 in Boston, June 29 to July 2.

June 30, 2015

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