AOA adopts resolutions ranging from membership to media advocacy to veterans’ care
Before adjourning, the 122nd AOA Congress at Optometry's Meeting® adopted a range of resolutions and bylaw amendments to advance the practice of optometry and public access.
The resolutions, passed June 22 by the House of Delegates, include:
Voluntary Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participation and using AOA MORE to report MIPS data
Resolves that the AOA supports the use of AOA MORE (Measures and Outcomes Registry for Eyecare) to collect data from doctors of optometry to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The resolution also encourages (1) voluntary participation in the MIPS program by doctors who are not required to participate and (2) that current program participants report their MIPS data to AOA MORE rather than directly through the CMS site.
MIPS activity credit
Resolves that AOA member doctors of optometry engage with non-optometric physicians in their community to educate them on the need and value of comprehensive eye care, and the MIPS activity credit available to them.
Think About Your Eyes (TAYE) campaign
Resolves that AOA members use TAYE's resources to encourage patients to seek comprehensive eye examinations. The AOA is partnering with TAYE on the national public awareness campaign.
Support for the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
Recognizes a renewed dedication and commitment by the AOSA to the success of its membership, the AOA and the profession of optometry, and calls upon all AOA-affiliated associations to recognize the AOSA's extraordinary achievements and reward its efforts by strengthening outreach to optometry students and recent graduates. Among a number of AOSA projects in 2018-19, it adopted four pillars (education, advocacy, student experience and tools for success); embarked on a rebranding campaign; and developed an interactive map resource connecting student members with AOA-affiliated associations.
Support for the United in Possibilities Campaign
Resolves that AOA-affiliated associations be called upon to adopt and actively support the research-driven, award-winning United in Possibilities campaign to better inform potential members of the benefits of AOA membership, and to attract new members.
Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief (OFDR)
Resolves the AOA applauds the success of the OFDR program and the doctors of optometry and others who have generously supported it. The AOA also recognizes the OFDR as the primary charity to support doctors of optometry and students of optometry who have suffered as a result of natural disasters and encourages all AOA member doctors and supporters donate to the OFDR. In 2018, $37,500 was awarded to 16 doctors of optometry affected by disasters.
To amend resolution No. 1918, AOA Support of State Scope of Practice Issues (adopted 1996)
Resolves that the AOA continues to encourage affiliated associations to utilize the resources developed by the Advanced Procedure and Future Practice Education Task Force and the Future Practice Initiative, and encourages AOA-affiliated associations to promote these resources to their members and further, that the AOA Board of Trustees continues to explore additional ways to assist the affiliated associations in initiatives to expand or defend their optometric practice acts.
Safeguarding the highest standard of care for our nation's veterans, and saluting those doctors of optometry who provide that care
Resolves that (1) the AOA salute doctors of optometry on the front lines providing outstanding eye health and vision care to America's veterans, (2) that the AOA recognize the extraordinary efforts of its members and all AOA-affiliated associations to safeguard the standard of care provided to our nation's veterans and (3) that the AOA and the affiliated associations continue to cooperate on and prioritize efforts to safeguard the standard of care received by veterans and support doctors of optometry who provide the care.
Resolutions adopted by the House of Delegates are studied and reviewed by the Judicial Council prior to going into effect.
Delegates approve bylaws amendments
In other news, the House of Delegates approved a pair of bylaws amendments concerning a new associate membership classification as well as establishing a new course of action for removing an individual from the AOA Board of Trustees.
Regarding the former, a new AOA associate membership classification and qualifications for such were established for "research scientist members." This new classification is available for individuals without a doctorate of optometry but who hold a Ph.D. (or are a Ph.D. student) and are employed by an Accreditation Council on Optometric Education accredited or pre-accredited school or college of optometry. The AOA Council on Research first posed the amendment, noting that these non-O.D. individuals were not eligible for the AOA's optometric educator membership despite their vital contributions to optometric research. The new classification is expected to go into effect Jan. 1.
Additionally, delegates revised and adopted a new procedure for removing an officer or trustee from the AOA Board of Trustees. The process calls for the removal of an officer or trustee by a three-quarters vote of the Board of Trustees (excluding the individual under consideration) for serious or repeat violations of the AOA's policies or procedures, or other serious failures to fulfill the duties of office that the individual was elected to serve. As well as a specific timeline for the process to take place, the amendment also dictates that the board must immediately report the removal and their rationale to the House of Delegates.
Relive Optometry's Meeting
Optometry's Meeting in St. Louis has drawn to a close, but you can still see all that your colleagues experienced from the profession's premier meeting. View AOA's meeting roundup at aoa.org/news.
Rally 'round D.C.
There couldn't be a more auspicious time for the profession to be in our nation's capital than 2020, and Optometry's Meeting has big plans to capitalize on this once-in-an-ever opportunity. All roads lead to Washington, D.C., in one year's time as Optometry's Meeting 2020 convenes, June 24-28, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
Stay tuned to aoa.org/news for more information and announcements regarding this unique, extraordinary chance to celebrate and advocate for our profession.
Pre-register for Optometry’s Meeting
As 2020 concludes, the AOA’s Board of Trustees reflects on a year of unparalleled challenges and tireless resiliency as 2021 begins with promise.
The Atlanta doctor of optometry and civil rights advocate fought to open doors for Black students interested in the profession, including helping to found the National Optometric Association.
James A. Boucher, O.D., 83, founded his practice in Laramie, Wyoming, and served the community for five decades. Dr. Boucher specialized in cornea and contact lenses practice.