AOA Meeting Comes to a Close With New Officers and Think-Tank Launch

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Shown are AOA's new president Christopher Quinn, OD, immediate past president Andrea Thau, OD,  and Samuel Pierce, OD, president-elect for 2017-18.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Optometric Association’s annual meeting, Optometry’s Meeting, came to a close this past weekend with the swearing in of the association’s new officers and trustees for 2017-2018. The five-day meeting, the 120th annual congress of AOA, closed Sunday.

Christopher J. Quinn, OD, of New Jersey and Samuel D. Pierce, OD, of Alabama were sworn in as the new president and president-elect, respectively. Andrea P. Thau, OD, of New York, is the immediate past president.

The new officers of AOA are: Barbara L. Horn, OD, of South Carolina and Michigan, vice president, and William T. Reynolds, OD, of Kentucky, secretary-treasurer. The board of trustees helps establish AOA policy and advocates for the profession of optometry, according to an AOA announcement.

The AOA trustees for 2017-2018 are: Robert C. Layman, OD, (continuing to serve) of Ohio; James P. DeVleming, OD, (continuing to serve) of Washington; Ronald L. Benner, OD, (re-elected to serve) of Montana; Steven T. Reed, OD, (continuing to serve) of Mississippi; Jacqueline Bowen, OD, (re-elected to serve) of Colorado; and Fred Farias III, OD, (newly elected) of Texas.


The swearing in of the AOA's new board.

Separately, AOA announced that it was launching the AOA Health Policy Institute (HPI), a policy think tank that will develop evidence-based research, analysis, and solutions in health care policy. The mission of the new entity is to further AOA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession and patients by analyzing trends, weighing evidence and mapping out policy options to support eye health and vision care, according to the announcement.

Quinn, in his inaugural address Saturday to AOA’s House of Delegates, underscored the importance of continuing to focus on health care policy issues as they relate to eye health care and the profession’s place in the overall health care arena. “It has become critical for us to provide our leadership and staff with improved tools and expertise to carry out our mission,” he said.

“By bringing experts from inside and outside of the profession, we can work carefully to analyze information and evidence and then use that material to guide policy development and advance our profession and patient eye health and vision care.”

HPI will be under the direction of past president Steven A. Loomis, OD, and AOA staff member, Rodney Peele as director, according to the announcement.

Quinn also noted that AOA envisions HPI “building on and supplementing the work begun by the National Commission on Vision and Health (NCVH) almost 10 years ago.

The NCVH, a national, non-partisan group of public health leaders, works to improve the nations’ visual health by helping assure access to vision care as an integrated part of public health programs at the national, state and local levels, according to AOA’s announcement.