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ODs can recognize the value of paraoptometic staff by registering them for AOA associate membership

September 10, 2013

The recently passed AOA bylaws changes open AOA membership to paraoptometrics and expand access to educational benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2014, all at no additional cost to AOA-member doctors or staff. Registering staff as AOA members is a top way to recognize the value optometric staff bring to practices across the country. With Sept. 15-22 designated as Paraoptometric Recognition Week, current AOA Paraoptometric Section (PS) officers reflect on the bylaws change.

“When I left the House of Delegates, my mind envisioned all the possibilities ahead for the profession,” said PS Immediate Past Chair Beverly Roberts, CPOT. “The section will soon transition to the Paraoptometric Resource Center and begin a new chapter in delivering programs and services to paraoptometrics. Open access to member benefits will translate into helping paraoptometrics provide even better patient care.

“The new bylaw will automatically open the profession to a brighter and stronger future, facilitating membership growth and providing more educational and networking,” said Linda Rodriguez, CPO, PS chair-elect. “I could not feel more proud and honored to be part of an amazing profession representing thousands of members throughout the country, all committed to helping provide the best eye care and duly recognized as an essential part of optometry.”

AOA member optometrists will be able to begin registering their staffs during the fourth quarter of 2013, but can begin preparing now. (See below.)

“The new Paraoptometric Resource Center will fulfill the Paraoptometric Section’s mission statement to reach all paraoptometrics and provide education and training for them,” said Lori Kindschy, CPO, PS chair. “I was honored to be part of the leadership that forged forward with new ideas that will impact optometry in such a positive way.”

For more information on the bylaws change and on paraoptometric benefits, visit www.aoa.org/paraoptometrics.

Registering staff for the NEW Paraoptometric Resource Center by year’s end

BEFORE going online to register staff:

  • Determine your practice’s main contact. Will the doctor be registering staff and providing updates or will another individual, such as the practice’s office manager, be designated to act on the member doctor’s behalf?
  • Staff may only be linked to a single location. If the practice has more than one location, determine which staff will be linked to which practice location. If a practice has more than one AOA member, determine what staff will be linked to which AOA member ID. You will need to have AOA member ID number(s) in order to register staff.
  • Gather the following information for each paroptometric/optometric staff to complete the registration form:

 Name
 Maiden name/other name known by
 Date of birth
 Unique email address for each individual (no practice group email accounts)

Remember: There is no additional cost to the doctor or the staff member.

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