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Spotlight on National Volunteer Week: Dr. James Vaught

April 24, 2013

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), members of the AOA Volunteer Engagement Committee interviewed a few of their fellow AOA volunteers to find out why volunteering for their profession is so important to them.  Here, Dr. James Vaught of Conway, S.C., shares the reasons he devotes his time and talent to optometry and AOA via a “Top 10” list.

James Vaught, O.D., Conway, S.C., chair of the Federal Legislative Action Keyperson Committee and member of the Advocacy Group Executive Committee

James Vaught, O.D., Conway, S.C., chair of the Federal Legislative Action Keyperson Committee and member of the Advocacy Group Executive Committee

Reasons I Volunteer for Organized Optometry

1. Optometry has provided my family with a comfortable lifestyle. It is only because of volunteers working together through local, state, and national that this is possible.

2. Life is more fully lived and appreciated when you give back. I can’t imagine any OD not wanting to give back.

3. I have met many lifelong friends across South Carolina and the United States by volunteering my time for optometry.

4. I actually feel that I have been a part of helping my profession have as many options open as possible.

5. Volunteering and working with other ODs gives all involved a sense of family and belonging to our profession.

6. Volunteer efforts through the AOA and its affiliates are the only reasons that ODs can dilate eyes, prescribe medication, and in two states, perform laser procedures.

7. Volunteer efforts through the AOA and its affiliates are the only reason that ODs are allowed to participate in Medicare and continue to be included in health care reform.

8. Without volunteer efforts through AOA and its affiliates, optometrists would be excluded from most third-party insurance plans.

9. A side benefit of volunteering is the practice management tips that are inevitably picked up from getting to know other optometrists.

10. NO OTHER optometry organization has contributed to OD scope of practice, inclusion in third party plans, or equal reimbursement for optometrists. The more volunteers we have working through the AOA and its affiliates, the further our profession can progress and be united.

Share Your Story!

If you’re an AOA or state affiliate volunteer and would like to share your story about why volunteering is important to you, please leave a note in the comments or email your story to Laurie Bergman in the St. Louis office for possible future use. You can also share your story in the AOA Volunteers group on AOAConnect (member log-in required).

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