Launch of AOAExcel and Health Care Reform Highlight Events At AOA’s ‘Optometry’s Meeting’
CHICAGO—Members of the American Optometric Association (AOA) gathered here last month at their annual meeting to discuss a broad agenda that ranged from the legal issues affecting optometry to health care reform and professional career development. Highlights of the four-day event, which ran from June 27 to July 1 and is known as Optometry’s Meeting, included the AOA’s launch of a wholly owned subsidiary known as AOAExcel and two unanimous votes by the AOA House of Delegates to defend the status of optometrists as physicians in federal law.
| AOA board members cut the ribbon on the exhibit hall.
|| Optometry schools competed in the Varilux Optometry
Student Bowl XXI.
Optometry’s Meeting also featured the induction of incoming president Ronald L. Hopping, OD, MPH, the annual Essilor-sponsored Varilux Optometry Student Bowl XXI, a half-day event about “Philanthropy’s Role” in optometry, and the Essilor-sponsored opening general session titled “Hollywood Comes to Chicago” that brought movie executives out to discuss the technology of making 3D movies plus a half-day CE event about 3D as well.
During the opening general session, outgoing president Dori Carlson, OD, discussed her “20/20 Tour” in which she spent the year visiting optometry schools throughout the country as a means of encouraging students to renew and maintain their AOA membership even after graduation. She then presented awards to leading eyecare professionals. The Paraoptometric of the Year Award went to Vera Kohler, CPOA, secretary/treasurer of the Pennsylvania Paraoptometric Association. Chris Wroten, OD, of the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic in Louisiana won the Young Optometrist of the Year Award. Melvin Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH, dean of the Ohio State University College of Optometry, was named Optometrist of the Year. Rear Admiral Michael Mittelman, OD, won the Distinguished Service Award. And a new award, Optometric Educator of the Year, went to Tony Carnevali, OD, associate professor of the Southern California College of Optometry.
The House of Delegates meeting included a “recognition of industry” by Carlson, who acknowledged corporate sponsors of the AOA, stating, “. . . education would not be possible without the support of corporations.” Among them were diamond level sponsors Alcon and Vistakon and platinum sponsors Essilor and Luxottica. Immediate past president Joe Ellis, OD, announced the launch of a new AOA venture known as AOAExcel, that he described as “a wholly owned subsidiary of the AOA dedicated to supporting the business and career needs of the AOA members.”
On Saturday June 30 the AOA House of Delegates passed two resolutions reaffirming the AOA’s commitment to defend the status of optometrists as physicians in federal law. Both resolutions were approved on a roll call vote with every vote cast in favor. The first calls for the AOA Board “to reaffirm and defend the physician status of optometrists by any and all available means.” The second resolution calls upon the American Optometric Society (AOS) to join the AOA in petitioning a federal judge to correct his June 12, 2012, order stating optometrists “are not physicians.” That statement was included in a summary judgment ruling issued by U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz in a lawsuit filed by the AOS against the American Board of Optometry.
Officers and trustees elected during the House of Delegates meeting were president Ronald L. Hopping, OD, MPH; Mitchell T. Munson, OD, president-elect; vice president David A. Cockrell, OD; secretary-treasurer Steven A. Loomis, OD; trustee Hilary L. Hawthorne, OD; trustee Christopher Quinn, OD; board member William T. Reynolds, OD. Carlson will assume the office of immediate past-president. Continuing in service are trustees Andrea Thau, OD; Barb Horn, OD; and Sam Pierce, OD.
AOA’s Optometry’s Meeting also included many other events for eyecare professionals. Next year’s Optometry’s Meeting will be held June 26 to 30, 2013, in San Diego.
To reach customer service, please call (800) 825-4696.
© 2013 VisionMonday. All Rights Reserved