New AOA president announces 2020 eye exam campaign
DENVER – Newly inducted American Optometric Association President Samuel Pierce, OD, urged his colleagues in the House of Delegates here at Optometry’s Meeting to join the AOA in its 2020 eye exam campaign to talk about eye exams and focus on optometry.
He said, “2020 must be a new time for dialogue about eye health and vision and optometry’s essential and expanding role in the health care system,” Pierce said. “We will have laser light focus on getting more Americans to their AOA doctor to safeguard their health and vision. Join us not only in spirit, but in action.”
Optometrists provide access to 99% of U.S. patients, but scope of practice laws in some states are “antiquated,” Pierce said.
“Evaluate your current scope of practice and make any necessary changes to offer patients the best care, including laser treatment,” he said.
With the AOA Future Practice Initiative, “we can evaluate where your state is and decide where you need to be,” Pierce said.
AOA leaders work closely with state associations to strategize, and the group plans to increase on-the-ground support, he said.
“This is the right thing to do for patients and the right thing to do for the profession,” Pierce said.
“The AOA is kicking off an initiative to mobilize the profession in examining emerging issues, creating opportunities for discussion and, more importantly, determining the actions we need to address the future needs of the profession,” he continued. “Starting now, we will provide opportunities to engage each other, optometric leaders and visionaries, health care professionals and policy makers to develop optometric action plans. Through these efforts, we will set a road map grounded in our strategic plan to lead the country in addressing the eye health and vision care issue that Americans face today.”
Pierce urged his colleagues to embrace evidence-based technology and evaluate new innovations.
“We will educate the public with our straightforward and direct message about the benefits of our eye examinations, the impact of our personalized care, and the power of our early diagnosis of life-threatening and sight-threatening diseases and conditions,” Pierce said. – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO