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Winter 2016 Newsletter

We hope everyone had a good holiday season and a happy new year! As we kick off 2016, we wanted to give you an update to current actions at TOS. As per the guidelines of TOS by-laws the board would like to announce Dr. Michael Santarlas has been elected and named President. Dr. Santarlas is passionate about optometry, policy and practice concerning public health. He currently practices full scope optometry in California and is working towards an MPH in Health Policy.

During 2015, your TOS has represented you and your interests, ensuring that the Voice of the Individual Optometrist is heard. A brief summary of The Optometric Society presence includes:

1- SECO 2015 – Atlanta, GA - TOS introduced its Public Education Campaign, “Eye Before See” brochure, highlighting the importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam.

2- Board of Directors Meeting at Optometric CE 2015 in Dallas and met with TOS members to hear their concerns and make certain their voices are heard.

3- Notified New York State Optometry & Medical Boards & Government Officials about the potential risk to the public with the Launch of EyeNetra’s Blink, which is currently available in NYC, where technicians provide at home refractions without eye health examinations.

4- Responsible for introducing a resolution at the CA House of Delegates in San Jose, CA regarding the inclusion of CME Level 1 and Osteopathic CE IA for CA license renewal. COA HOD defeated this resolution. The issue was presented to the CA State Board of Optometry, with TOS testimony, and CME Level 1 and Osteopathic 1A are currently in the final stages of adoption for CA CE credit.

5- Testified before the California State Board of Optometry meeting in Sacramento, CA about On-Line or Kiosk Based Refraction and that it is a serious issue that needs addressing. If not for the efforts of TOS members this never would have even been on their agenda or even discussed.

6- Attended and represented TOS at ARBO’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.

7- Notified all States of Opternative’s launch in their state. (Opternative is an on-line refraction without an eye health assessment.)

Currently most Optometry State Boards have either not responded, feel these business practices are inevitable or have no control or authority to protect the public and our licenses.

As we start 2016, your TOS board will continue to work hard at the issues that affect our profession. These issues include:

1- The continued growth of On-Line and At-Home refractions, without a health assessment, performed by unlicensed individuals.

2- The responsible use of technology.

3- Vision Care Plans on-line presence, communication and direct sales of vision products to our patients.

4- Vision Care Plan partnerships with other entities.

5- Vision Care Plans ultimate future goals, decreasing reimbursements and more control over the way we practice and do business.

6- The governance of CE requirements.

7- The opening of new Optometry Schools.

TOS will continue to carry out its mission to be the Voice of the Individual Optometrist and listen to our members. We encourage you to contact any board member and we will do our best to listen to your concerns and address your issues.

We would also like to remind you that 2016 dues are currently due and membership is $150 per year and is available online at:

www.theoptometricsociety.org.

Or May Mail to:

The Optometric Society

PO Box 8288
La Jolla, CA 92038

If you have already renewed your membership we thank you. We invite you to become involved and make your voice heard. You may contact TOS at

admin@theoptometricsociety.org