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President's Report

Insight 1st quarter 2019

President's Report

It’s 2019, and most have started with New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions may include losing weight, eating a healthier and more balanced diet, exercising regularly, or getting more sleep.  Others make a resolution to read more books, save for retirement, learn a new skill, pay off loans, or to work smarter not harder. In fact, these have been my own resolutions at one time or another. I can tell you that none of these resolutions can be achieved and maintained without a proper work-life balance. So this year I ask for you to think about balance and implement an optometry resolution for 2019. After many years of practice, most optometrists enjoy financial security, which allows them to afford a comfortable living environment, a nice vehicle, fun hobbies, and vacations. However, without your career, it would be difficult to pay for all of the fun things in life, as well as other necessities, such as food, water, shelter, loans, and insurance. To safeguard your financial prosperity, I ask for you to think of the FOA as right-to-work insurance: the insurance to keep your profession on the right tract for years to come. For your New Year’s resolution, please consider actively adding one or more of the following:

·         Invite a colleague to your next local society meeting and explain the value of FOA membership. By encouraging membership as a team, we can push our profession forward. 

·         Become an officer in your local society or help your current FOA board leaders as a volunteer. We are all in this profession together. Working as a local society board member can help establish camaraderie with your optometric peers while promoting your profession. 

·         Register for our FOA Annual Convention. You will not only get top notch education, but also an opportunity to network with other optometrists around the state of Florida.  

·         Become a monthly contributor to OD-EYEPAC. If you are currently participating, consider increasing your donation. This money is used exclusively for our legislative effort to preserve our legislated profession.   

I assure you that your FOA Board of Trustees is working hard to represent our organization not only here in Florida, but also around the country. In November, the FOA Executive Board attended the AOA Health Care Advocacy Meeting in Washington, DC. Here, we engaged with other leaders to discuss Medicare, third-party payment parity, and managed vision care. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid program challenges were our primary discussion topic with regard to provider education, MACRA/MIPS, and AOA More. Other topics of discussion included congressional advocacy regarding contact lenses, contract negotiations, and optometry’s impact on diabetes and other eye disease processes.      

After a contentious Florida election, I’m pleased to report that your FOA has met and discussed issues relevant to our patients with both Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody. On January 8, 2019, the Chairman of the Board, Dr. Tad Kosanovich, President Elect, Dr. Bryan Stam, and I had the privilege to attend the Gubernatorial Inauguration. Our very own Dr. Ken Lawson was appointed in an advisory capacity to Governor DeSantis’ transition team as well. This demonstrates our intense commitment to ensure you, as a Florida optometrist, have a continuous voice in Tallahassee. 

In mid-January, Dr. Bryan Stam, FOA Operations Manager, Ms. Sarah Langley, FOA’s operations manager, and I attended the AOA Presidents’ Council meeting in La Jolla, California. This annual event allows every state president, president-elect and executive director to network with other leaders, exchange information, undergo leadership development, and continue strategic planning for our state. I was honored to be chosen to be on the AOA Presidents’ Council Committee and I will personally tell you it took nine months to coordinate and facilitate this engaging and educational event. 

In February, we held our semi-annual Regional Board of Directors meeting. The FOA Board of Trustees invited local society leadership to a one-day meeting to discuss important FOA business. This allows local society presidents and other officers to go back to their local society meetings and distribute FOA information to their societies.

So please, make it a priority to be engaged with FOA this year, either with your time, talent, or patronage. We need to strengthen our association and continue to move our profession forward.  Make this goal your New Year’s resolution now and actively engage all year so that we may enjoy a prosperous 2020 and beyond!



Denise Burns-LeGros, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Florida Optometric Association, President  



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