08 October 2012


As I tried to celebrate the end of summer, I went to Ocean City with my family and unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans. Upon hitting the beach we discovered the flies were all over us. Locals blamed the wind coming off the bay. We retreated inside and I stumbled upon a TV show called “Bar Rescue” where they take a bar in danger of closing and transform it into a successful one.

In each episode the theme of the bar/restaurant was modified to adapt to environmental changes, which had not been accounted for or addressed by the owner.  Of course this brought about apprehension from the staff and owners, and as with all reality TV there was plenty of drama, but if you looked at the end result it was simply amazing.  Watching these transformations unfold made me think about change and how it relates to success.  Change is never easy.  It usually involves a lot of hard work to overcome obstacles that stand in the way.  This said, almost all success stories depend upon change to some extent.

Reflecting back on my first nine months as President I began to think about the transformation going on in the MOA.  We hired an expert (Dr. Jim Caldwell) to help us develop a strategic plan. Realizing that public health and legislative policy goals would be important moving forward, we hired a Director of Legislative Affairs, Jennifer Levy. Jennifer’s years of experience in Annapolis have greatly assisted us in achieving goals outlined in our new strategic plan.  Like the bars and restaurants I watched on TV, the MOA transformation has been slow and not without some obstacles, even hesitation.  However, the successes we have seen and those we anticipate as a result of changes the MOA has instituted thus far are real and exciting.  We are becoming well known in Annapolis and within the national and State public health community. We have even been recognized nationally by the AOA as a result of optometry’s victory with a Maryland ERISA plan offered by Shore Health Systems on the Eastern Shore.   Jennifer has set up a wonderful legislative section on the MOA website. The section is packed with information about the practice of optometry in Maryland and information about state and national policy agendas that impact us.  Check it out and use it as a resource by visiting the MOA website at http://maryland.aoa.org/x13892.xml. Please read our Legislative update for news on our Mission 2020 Campaign.

I would like to congratulate the following award recipients for 2012 who will be recognized during our convention at the annual meeting and luncheon on Sunday, December 2:
            Optometrist of the Year - Dr. Lamont Bunyon
            Young Optometrist of the Year - Dr. Kevin Johnson
            Mel Waxman Award (distinguished service) - Dr. Jim Eickhoff
            Eugene McCrary Award – Ms. Margaret Hayes - Maryland Public Health Association

I would like to thank Dr. William Davis for years of dedicated service to MOA as Education Chairman.  He and his family will be moving out of state shortly. I did receive some interest on this position last month, but we could use additional volunteers and committee members.  If you are interested, please contact the MOA office at
moa@assnhqtrs.com.  William did a remarkable job in landing nationally known speakers Drs. Ben Gaddie and Paul Karpecki for our convention this December.

During our last board meeting, I was quite shocked to learn that we lost over 30 members last year. Obviously this cannot continue. We need every licensed optometrist to be a member so we can continue to make advances for optometry in this state.  If you are not a member, please join the association, and we have a referral program to get colleagues to join with you.

Please join us when we call upon you to help us in transforming MOA’s theme and securing optometry’s future in Maryland. I think the ROI at the end of our show will be huge, but our success depends on everyone working together. If Buck Showalter can do it with the Orioles, we can do it with the MOA.

As for Bar Rescue, I may not watch it again until the next time inclement weather traps me indoors, but I do plan on going to Murphy’s Law in Fell’s Point during our December convention.  Consider joining me there to see a true success story and tell me what you think our success story should look like.


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