Optometry Shines Brightly
"Today Show" segment illustrates to the nation that optometrists
not only provide care, they do care.
WALTER D. WEST, O.D., F.A.A.O., Chief Optometric Editor
month on the "Today Show," Scott Jens, O.D., did himself and optometrists everywhere
proud. Dr. Jens, a representative from the American Optometric Association, and
President Jimmy Carter announced the "birth" of the InfantSEE program, which is
sponsored by the AOA and Vistakon. Show host Matt Lauer led the discussion and his
questions as well as insights were right on the money.
Optometry was in
the spotlight during that segment. The show recognized the efforts of hundreds of
AOA officers, committee members and state representatives along with some
7,000 volunteers from the ranks of the AOA for their accomplishments in delivering
the program to the infants of the United States.
The excitement builds
of the moment for optometry as a profession, and specifically members of the AOA,
was enhanced by the endorsement of President Carter. He explained how a program
such as InfantSEE could have provided timely detection and treatment of amblyopia
in two of his grandchildren.
President Carter was asked how he had been able to get some 7,000 optometrists to
agree to provide free care, he responded that,
"they were already onboard."
The sense that
I got from the interview was that optometrists care, as well as provide care. And
of all the messages that we can send the general public as well as our patients,
the message of caring is the one that we
most want them to hear.
For those optometrists
who intended to sign up as an InfantSEE volunteer but never got around to it, it's
not too late. Patients are just beginning to recognize InfantSEE and flow into the
designated practices. If you are interested in participating please contact your
AOA representative or visit the AOA website (www.aoanet.org) for more details.
It's about the service
This is not a time
to concern ourselves with who served first but rather who is serving now and who
will serve in the future. With InfantSEE, the AOA and all of its participating
members have put themselves in the position of the servant, yet in so doing have
Optometric Management, Issue: July 2005