It is Autumn in Ohio. My favorite time of the year. The month of November brings to mind falling leaves, the OSU-Michigan game, and Thanksgiving. Traditionally at the OOA, November marks the start of the annual membership drive. The OOA Staff, Board, and Membership Commitee are counting on you to renew your commitment to the profession by continuing your membership in the OOA. If you are not a member, we invite you to be a part of the group that represents Ohio optometry.
I frequently get asked, “what do I get as a member?” Many benefits are not always tangible. The OOA promotes and advances the practice of optometry by:
1) Serving as a Resource for Information– The OOA provides members prompt information about issues that affect optometry so we can make good practice decisions.
2) Advocating for Optometry- The OOA effectively represents our interests within the government, the insurance industry, other health professionals, and the media.
3) Promoting Optometry to the Public- The OOA actively markets to the general public and referring healthcare providers on a regular and consistent basis, delivering our message that we are the primary eye care providers. It also counters negative press that may harm our profession.
4) Providing Intraprofessional Networking Opportunities- The OOA is a place where we can connect with our peers, learn best practice protocols, find career resources, share ideas, and mentor each other. The East West Eye Conference, Practice Management Institute, and local Zone Meetings provide means for educational and career growth.
I’d like to also challenge you to make your membership meaningful. Membership is a two-way street. You only get out what you put into it. Stay involved by opening emails, visiting social media outlets, and reading the quarterly Perspectives newsletter. Attend a zone meeting and East West. Provide VisionUSA or Infantsee exams. Donate to the OOA Foundation or contribute to PAC. It can be as simple as that. Don’t like something that is happening to optometry? Volunteer on a committee or serve as a legislative liaison. You have the power to change and influence the direction of our profession.
There are many opportunities to enhance your membership experience. We look forward to having you be a part of such an active and important organization. You worked hard to become an optometrist. Membership in the OOA is your insurance policy to keep Ohio optometry strong for generations to come. Please renew your membership for the 2014 year.
Elizabeth Muckley, OD