Letter From Our President
Wow!! What a privilege and honor it is to serve as the AZOA president for 2019-2020. I appreciate the trust you’ve shown and I promise to represent the association the best I can. We had a great spring congress in Tucson! Special thanks to AZOA staff members Kate Diedrickson and JoAnne Edmonson and our CE committee chair Dr. Shannon Steinhauser that made it happen. I’m grateful for Dr. Beth Pyle-Smith who has shown me what it takes to be a successful AZOA president, and Dr. Stacey Meier who has been tremendous in his support and leadership. We have a wonderful Board of Directors ready to move AZOA forward.
At the AZOA awards dinner in April, I introduced two new initiatives for 2019-2020 that I’d like to share with those of you that might not have been in attendance. The first initiative, as we approach the year 2020, is the $20/$20 initiative. I’m asking every OD in the state of Arizona to donate at least $20 each month to both OPACA (our Arizona PAC) and the AOA PAC (our National PAC). That comes out to $480 a year. We need your help to protect our profession. I recommend just doing a recurring quarterly credit card payment to both OPACA and AOA PAC. You’ll forget about it and won’t even miss it. For our Arizona PAC, go to www.azoa.org/page-1075184 or contact JoAnne in the AZOA office. For AOA PAC, go to www.aoapac.org. Please contact me if you have any questions or are having difficulty getting your donations set up.
The second initiative is the bring a friend initiative. I’ve invited each AZOA member to bring a friend to one of our 3 CE events to come and see what we are all about. If a nonmember signs up for the AZOA, they will get the next CE meeting for free. The “friend” doctor that brings them will get ½ off the next CE meeting. We need to continue to get the word out to all of our colleagues about how great the AZOA is. We need them to help continue moving forward.
It’s been a busy few months for me since being installed as president. I flew to Washington DC the morning following being sworn in to attend the AOA advocacy meeting. What a great event! Our Arizona delegation had a chance to meet with each Arizona congressman or congresswoman or one of their staff to discuss issues important to optometry. The most pressing issue affecting our profession in DC is the pending FTC rule changes regarding the release of contact lens prescriptions. The rule change
would require each patient to sign a form in our office acknowledging that they physically received a copy of their contact lens prescription. This would need to be done each year and kept for 3 years. This would obviously be a huge burden on all of our practices and is estimated to cost the industry $13 million. The Langford-Sinema letter is gathering signatures from Senate members in opposition to this proposed FTC proposal. A similar letter has already been sent by house members. For more information, go to www.aoa.org/news/alerts-recalls-and-updates and click on Lankford-Sinema.
This spring, I was able to attend both an Arizona democratic and republican fundraiser. I really appreciate Dr. Annette Hanian, Don Isaacson and Cheyenne Walsh for introducing me to so many of our state legislators. It’s so important for us to continue to build these grass roots relationships with our state legislators.
In May, I attended two great events at the AZCOPT in Glendale. We staffed an information table at the resident’s day CE event. Later that month, I spoke at the pinning ceremony for the incoming third year students as they begin their clinic training. These students represent the future of our profession. We are encouraging the students to attend our CE events and to network with current AZ docs. Please reach out to these future colleagues and help them feel welcome at our events.
I just returned this past weekend from Optometry’s meeting in St Louis. It was great to be a part of the House of Delegates and also meet with the association presidents of all of the GWCO states. Our profession is rapidly changing. We are in good hands with the AOA and the direction we are heading. They are aware of what’s happening in our profession and have been proactive in addressing many of the challenging issues of our day. The AOA is also very supportive of scope expansion across the country. AOA and AZOA are working on ways to help promote optometry in 2020. We need to help educate the general public that eye health is not vison correction and that trading convenience for standard of care is not ok. It was also an honor for our Arizona delegation to be at the National Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Dr. Don Jarnagin.
Please let me know what I can do to make your AZOA experience better. What scope changes would you like to see? What concerns do you have for the future of optometry in Arizona? I’d love to hear from you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see everyone in Sedona this fall!!!
Connect, Evolve and Thrive.
2019-2020 AZOA President, Dr. Jon Wold