Mid-Year 2019

mindyblackford

Mindy Blackford
MOA President
2018-2019

I can’t believe fall is here. The past year has gone by so quickly.  I have enjoyed my time as your MOA president.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this wonderful organization.  I have been on the MOA Board for twelve years.  That sounds like a long time but looking back the time has flown.

I have enjoyed getting to travel around the state and meet so many of you.  Thank you for your hospitality.  Missouri truly is a diverse and beautiful state.  But regardless of if we are in Kirksville or Joplin we are all united and want what is best for the patients in Missouri.

As some of you know, I changed jobs in February.  Nothing like adding a little more stress to an already busy year!  I want to thank my colleagues for their support and flexibility during my year as President.  They made my transition to a new practice almost seamless and were very understanding when I needed to be gone for MOA events.  Thank you all so much.

I am very proud of the work the MOA Board has done over the last year.  These individuals give up precious time with their families and practices to serve on the Board.  They truly act in the best interest of the members they serve, and they are all passionate about the MOA.  Thank you all for the work you’ve done this year, I have enjoyed serving with you.

I also thank the MOA committees; they do important work, but they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.  Their work helps direct the actions of the Board, and I appreciate each of the committee chairs for agreeing to serve over the last year and each of the members for their service to the profession.  If you want to get involved in the MOA but are not sure how, serving on a committee is a great way to get started.  I strongly encourage you all to consider serving on a committee as a way to give back to our profession.

This past year was not productive for the MOA in a legislative sense.  Our ever-changing political climate makes being a legislated profession a little more difficult at times.  I think that is something not all optometry students and new grads know.

I have worked with many pre-optometry students over the last 13 years, and one thing I stress to them is the importance of being involved in your state organization. Because we are a legislated profession, your state organization is the key to protecting the profession.  I encourage you all to answer the call if asked to be a keyperson.  Do not be afraid of the process.  We have a phenomenal staff that is always willing to help should you need assistance.

,While I’m on the topic of staff, I want to thank Sue and LeeAnn.  These two do an awesome job keeping the MOA running smoothly.  Our leadership changes yearly but these two are the constants that keep us all in line.  Thank you both for all you do.  I truly appreciate all your hard work.

The MOA Dental, Vision and Hearing plan is now being sold!  We started talking about this concept before my youngest child was born and it has been almost as intense a process as raising a child.  It has been a wild ride to get to this point, and thank you to all the individuals who have worked to make this plan a reality.  This plan will be a huge benefit for our patients and our members.

As my year comes to an end, I want to thank my family for supporting me over the last year.  I could not have done this without their help.  Thank you to my parents and in-laws for your help making sure the kids were taken care of.  My kids are used to mom being gone for a meeting because they were both born while I was on the board, so this is their normal.  I hope they realize it is possible to have a family and love them with all your being and also be an individual who wants to give back and make a difference in the world.  It is possible to balance the two.  Thank you to my husband, Shawn, whom many of you have never met because he is the one who picks up the slack at home when I need to be at a MOA event.  When I questioned my ability to take care of my family and serve the MOA, he is the one who told me to follow my heart and said he would make sure everything was taken care of at home.  Thank you.  I love you all.

I have enjoyed my years serving the MOA as a Board member and I hope to be able to serve the MOA in the future in whatever capacity is needed.  I can remember being a student at NSU and hoping I could someday serve my profession as a state leader.  Thank you all for the opportunity of a lifetime.  I am honored to have been your 2018-2019 MOA President.

I am excited about the future of optometry and the MOA.  We have a great group of leaders who will ensure that optometry in Missouri continues to be a strong and vibrant profession.  I wish you all the best as we finish out 2019 and look forward to 2020.

Mindy Blackford, OD

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