01 July 2010

July 2010 - President's Message

As another Mid-Atlantic summer heats up, so does the events calendar at the MOA association headquarters.

Last week, I had the privilege of representing the MOA at Optometry’s Meeting in Orlando along with Dr. John Burns, Dr. Tom Wong and MOA executive director Jennifer Thornton. We participated in the AOA House of Delegates where Dr. Joe Ellis of Kentucky was sworn in as our new AOA President. During his inaugural address, Dr. Ellis congratulated all of optometry on the landmark legislation that our AOA Advocacy team secured in the form of the Harkin Amendment as part of the health care reform bill. This amendment, which will take effect in 2014, will serve as the “basis of a new relationship between optometry and health plans,” protecting and extending access to patient care.

Dr. Ellis continued to call optometry to action and stand up for our patients and our profession in the nation’s capitol as well as state houses across the country. As the country embarks on unprecedented health care reform, our profession has never before needed the AOA and the MOA as it does now; and never before has health care needed optometry more than now.

Optometry is in a unique position to help ensure that we are represented well both in Annapolis and in our nation’s capitol. Please watch your inboxes for an optometry only fundraiser in the next few months that we are planning for our greatest allies in the Annapolis State House. In addition, I urge everyone to support on of optometry’s greatest assets in Washington, DC: Rep. John Boozman from Arkansas. Rep Boozman is the only optometrist in the House of Representatives, and he is currently making a strong run for the Senate. I can’t stress enough how significant it would be to have one of our own in the US Senate to watch out for our profession and our patients.

In addition, the executive director of the Minnesota Optometric Association is making an impressive run for US Congress. Since 1998, Jim Meffert has worked closely with the Minnesota Optometric Association and would be another great asset for optometry in DC.

As the election year activities get into full swing, it is important to have a healthy PAC to guarantee that optometry’s voice is heard. I ask that everyone donate to our state and federal PAC as well as to Rep. Boozman’s and Jim Meffert’s campaigns. Any contributions will be credited to your overall PAC total for recognition by the MOA. Individual checks for Rep. Boozman can be made to “Boozman for Arkansas” and sent to MOA headquarters. Contributions to Jim Meffert’s campaign can be made directly to the MOA Fundraising page at: http://jimmeffert.helpmycampaign.com/MdOptomAssoc/

Thanks for helping us keep optometry’s voice strong.


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