LEADING OFF: New AOA President Sets Sights on Three Goals

Newly elected AOA President Barbara Horn, O.D., says that her agenda for the association includes promotion of the 2020 Eye Exam Campaign, carrying the torch of the AOA Future Practice Initiative and driving AOA membership.

“The AOA safeguards our profession and fosters and protects our livelihood,” Dr. Horn says. “That’s why I’ve been so active in it for roughly 20 years and why I’m so excited to work for the organization as its president.”

Specifics regarding her agenda:

2020 Eye Exam Campaign. The multi-channel campaign — which engages doctors, government officials, employers and patients — educates the public about the importance of eye health and encourages everyone to make 2020 the year that comprehensive eye health exams become a part of their health routine. The campaign will build on the AOA’s long-standing partnership with the Think About Your Eyes campaign, which strives to focus the public on the significance of regular, in-person comprehensive exams and optometry’s associated role.

“The year 2020 lends itself to educating about the importance of comprehensive eye health exams, given its tie-in with 20/20 vision,” Dr. Horn explains. “Our plan is to utilize every possible mode of communication to get the word out and the care optometrists provide. As examples, we will use the hashtag #2020EyeExam to activate people through social media, and we’re working with employers to pledge their commitment. . .”

AOA Future Practice Initiative. Started by outgoing AOA President Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., the initiative works with AOA state affiliates to support expanding scope of practice laws that enable O.D.s to practice to their full skill set. Georgia O.D.s are the most recent to achieve scope-of practice expansion with injectables.

“It’s a 10-year initiative to ensure optometry’s role in health care, and I’m dedicated to continuing to provide our state affiliates with the resources they need,” Dr. Horn says.

AOA Membership. Dr. Horn says that she’s eager to get non-AOA member O.D.s “fired up” about the benefits of the organization by carrying on the AOA’s United in Possibilities membership campaign (see ) and having the organization’s board meetings on the campuses of the colleges and schools of optometry, so board members can meet with students and faculty face-to-face. OM