I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday season with your families and I wish you all a very happy new year! Over the years I have gained so much professionally and personally through the San Diego County Optometric Society and therefore, am honored to have the opportunity to give back and serve as your new president in 2016. We have an excellent group of volunteer doctors on our Board of Directors and I am excited for all we are going to accomplish together this year.
Thank you to Dr. Amanda Dexter for your leadership as president this past year! Her ambitious and steadfast management brought many productive changes in our infrastructure and made for a smoothly run year. Congratulations to Dr. Dave Sherman, our 2015 optometrist of the year, who had another successful year co-captaining the Diabetes Walk with Craig Hansen of Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute. We also honored Dr. Ketan Bakriwala as our young optometrist of the year. We are lucky to have such amazing doctors and leaders in our community!
I am committed to maintaining our legacy as one of the best optometric societies in the country. In addition to being one of the largest in California, we are also one of the most active. We provide a wealth of continuing education opportunities to our members, including 6 2-hour and 3 5-hour CE meetings, making it easy and convenient to keep up with your continuing education locally. We also have many volunteer outreach programs which allow for our members to be active and give back to the community, including our Lions Optometric Vision Clinic and Monarch School Screenings. I would encourage our members to take advantage of these programs, which not only make for an incredibly rewarding experience, but help to make us a strong force and presence in the San Diego!
As optometrists, it is important for us to continue support the needs and interests of our patients by reinforcing COA’s legislative efforts. It appears that 2016 will be an exciting year at the capitol! We will continue to fight for SB 622, legislation by Senator Ed Hernandez, OD, which aims to expand the scope of practice of optometrists. We are also supporting the efforts of the State Board of Optometry to pass SB 402 which supports the need for an eye exam for children before they enter school. The battle for Unilateral Pricing Policies (UPP) continues as we have learned 1-800 Contacts will be introducing another bill in 2016. We will have to work together to explain the real health problems that can occur when contact lenses are purchased on-line and follow-up care is forgone. In addition to keeping healthy communication with your local lawmakers, please consider joining us for Legislative Day on April 20th in Sacramento when we come together to educate legislators and support our profession. Your presence will make all the difference!
As your SDCOS president, I promise to work hard to provide you with another great year of education, resources to enrich yourself and your practice, and opportunities to network with other doctors and vendors. I will make myself available for any questions, comments, and ideas so our society can continue to grow and thrive. I am confident that together we will have an amazing year!