A Special #OM2017 for the History Books

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lincoln.PNG    Another AOA Optometry’s Meeting in DC is a wrap!  A week of little sleep, nonstop action, refueling with great frends, and taking care of the business of our profession.  #OM2017 included two days on the Hill, AOA+ kickoff for new grads, and over 2300 students joining future colleagues for education, committee work, and a lot of fun!  For many of us the Hill is familiar territory, but for many more soon-to-be doctors, it was the first time stepping into the House and Senate offices of their home state representatives. On a personal note, I made a valiant run to enhance the strengths of the existing Board as a new Trustee, and hope to bring it home in Denver 2018.  I’m still verklempt from the overwhelming amount of support shown from across the nation that will always be a special memory.  Flying home, I couldn’t help but think about the impacts we each make as doctors of optometry every day and everywhere.  Dr. Mamie Chan gave my nomination speech, unexpectedly interrupted by applause from the House of Delegates (Mamie, it was incredible as are you – many thanks!) when she stated that seven of our twelve 2017 AOA House Resolutions had been drawn from/impacted by my years of advocacy and service – from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and our extensive 2016 report that serves as a U.S. roadmap for reducing vision impairment and improving our nation’s health through comprehensive eye care, and also from my Hopkins public health training in health services research and policy utilized to help develop our AOA evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and gain their acceptance into the National Guideline Clearinghouse. Seven of twelve formal resolutions specifically referenced my work done on behalf of optometry!  And not in isolation – it takes a team, and we have one of the best in all of health care.  But it’s truly humbling and fills me with immense pride – as an AOA member of 27+ years, I’m still processing the scope and breadth of just how how my advocacy has impacted our association’s strategic agenda and the future of the profession.  As I’ve progressed through my career and the AOA, it has always inspired me to see how the incredible work of my many talented colleagues does exactly that, contributing to our forward progress. I’m filled with pride that my paying it forward is now inspiring other members and emerging leaders to do the same. Optometry remains a great family – come join us! And we’ll see you in Denver.

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