In 2009, the House of Delegates of the American Optometric Association chose to endorse the creation of the American Board of Optometry ignoring the wishes of the large majority of its members that still to this day remain opposed. The divisiveness of this action alone created the American Optometric Society.
Look what we’ve done!
NATIONAL AND STATE ADVOCACY
State Boards of Optometry: Initiated formal communications with all of the Boards regarding potential conflicts and legal issues with ABO/AOA Board Certification.
American Board of Optometry: Successfully granted a permanent injunction to enjoin the ABO from continuing to make false and misleading statements regarding its board certification program and the competency of ABO certified doctors.
California Optometric Association: House of Delegates - Helped draft resolutions to reform the voting process and to hold leadership accountable for their anti-membership actions and eliminate block voting.
ARBO: Made a formal presentation about the AOS and held ongoing informative discussions regarding a responsible format for a program of certification of maintenance of continued competency and uniform continuing education.
Puerto Rican Optometrists: Supported the Puerto Rican optometrists in their quest to be able to prescribe TPAs.
Oversupply of ODs: First national optometric organization to address the issues of the number of new optometry schools and increased number of OD graduates and their possible adverse effect on the profession.
VCPs: First national optometric organization to address the specific drawbacks of a major vision care plan contract (EyeMed) and start the discussion of its potential harm to the profession.
AOA: Participated in AOA HOD, Legislative Day; supported the Harkin Amendment.
Encouraged: Actively encouraged optometrists to contribute to their state/national PACs and support their political allies.
Encouraged and Supported: Member involvement in their state association boards of trustees and state boards of optometry.
VSP: The AOS Board interviewed VSP Chairman Tim Jankowski, O.D., and CEO Rob Lynch to hear directly from VSP about its expanded plans for promoting VSP in Costco and other retail commercial outlets and published the full transcript of the interview.
3rd Parties: Met with CMS, VSP, etc. regarding 3rd party inclusion requirements for ODs. Re-affirmed that there are no plans to require any additional certification beyond state licensure for panel membership/reimbursement.
PRESENTATION AND EXHIBITING
Presentations: AOS Board Members and State Liaisons gave presentations at various state and local society meetings.
Exhibiting: Exhibited at many National, State and Local CE meetings, including SECO, EastWest, Heart of America, and the American Academy of Optometry.
Vision Monday Summit: Presenter in the annual VM Summit.
Media Coverage: Regular interviews in the print media and on OD Wire.
Blog and Social Media Contributors: Active contributors to Optcom, OD Wire, Twitter, etc.
PROFESSION AND MEMBER BENEFITS
Internet: Maintained a presence on Optcom and ODWire, two professional discussion groups and electronic information sent directly to 20,000+ optometric professionals.
Liaisons: Established a State Liaison Network for activist members nationwide.
Continuing Education: Successfully delivered top-notch education in four beautiful locations, offering free registration to uniformed services personnel.
PSAs: Ran a series of public service ads promoting optometry on nationally syndicated radio shows and Armed Forces Radio reaching millions of eye care consumers.
Student Scholarships: Provided an annual scholarship, the Dr. Harvey Yamamoto Award, to a fourth year Optometry student.
Member Benefits: Provided numerous member benefits, including insurance, credit card transaction opportunities, etc.
Transparency: AOS v ABO: Published the only source for all transcripts, court documents, testimony and depositions in the matter of the AOS v ABO regarding the AOA/ABO program for a false board certification program.
Newsletters & E-Blasts: Published regular member newsletters and e-blasts to the profession.
Member Surveys: Conducted and published regular surveys of the membership regarding issues of concern to the profession and our members.
White Papers: Published numerous white papers and informational pieces on PQRS, the proliferation of schools and colleges of optometry, etc.
The AOS is committed to giving our members a voice in their profession. The AOS leadership consists of a board elected by the full membership from candidates who have run for the office. The AOS board is member directed, supporting the common goals of our members and advocating for our members within other organizations. The American Optometric Society is an inclusive, transparent organization that works with local, regional and national optometric organizations. The AOS and our members remain committed to open communication with and the fair and equal representation of our members. Above all, the AOS is dedicated to excellence in patient care and the growth and expansion of optometrists’ ability to serve the public.
Grassroots Work is Never Done