Save the Date: October 3-6

For the 2019 Annual Conference we will be returning to the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks for our fall conference — Welcome to Parrot Eyes!! — which will be held October 3-6 at Margaritaville (formerly Tan-Tar-A).

Mark your calendars and save that date for the best in continuing education, exhibit hall space, and networking opportunities!

2019 Legislative Conference

The weather was again the topic of conversation at this year’s MOA Legislative Conference. Winter storms covered central Missouri before the conference. However, the weather didn’t stop members from attending important functions at this year’s event.

One of the important functions at the conference is the volunteer committees that work to lay out a course of action for the MOA Board for 2019. These meetings were held on Sunday afternoon, January 13th, with a good turnout. It was nice to see many new faces joining us despite the weather. The MOA Board held meetings on Sunday before the busy conference agenda continued Monday.

The Legislative Conference day began on Monday with a presentation by Daniel Carey from the AOA titled “Preparation for Future Legislation: Are We Ready?” This was followed by two hours of continuing education about integrating the MOA Insurance plan into your practice presented by Dr. Jason Lake, Dr. Kory Scullawl, Dr. Doug Herriott, and Dr. Lee Ann Barrett. This presentation was followed by lunch, and afterwards the MOA members listened to guest speaker, Senator Caleb Rowden, the Missouri Senate Majority Floor Leader.

We had several UMSL College of Optometry students attending the legislative conference, and it is important that students and MOA members learn about the legislative process and what it means to our profession.

Our profession was well represented by doctors as we then took the opportunity to visit our legislators at the Missouri Capital. These Doctors of Optometry distributed cinnamon rolls to legislative staff and members of the Missouri House and Senate. This was followed by a legislative reception Monday evening at the Millbottom Event Center.

If you have never attended a legislative conference, you are missing out on a unique opportunity. Make plans now to attend next year’s conference to become involved in the betterment of your profession.

Meet the AOA in St. Louis

The AOA will be returning to St. Louis for their 122th Annual Optometry’s Meeting later this year in June of 2019. It is not too early to make plans to attend five days of the best continuing education in the industry.

Stay up to date on the latest technologies and industry advances in the Exhibit Hall. Get engaged and network with your peers at more than 100 different events.

Other special events include the AOA Golf Tournament being hosted by the Missouri Optometric Association at Forest Park Golf Club. We will also be holding our summer MOA Leadership Retreat in conjunction during the last weekend of the AOA Optometry’s Meeting.

Other important events at the AOA and AOSA homecoming include optometry’s voice which is the meeting of the House of Delegates, the Essilor XXVIII Optometry Student Bowl, and a celebration of optometry at Cardinals Nation. There will be two floors of private stadium seating with prime views to watch the home team Cardinals play the Los Angeles Angels and former Cardinal player, Albert Pujols.

The AOA Optometry’s Meeting will be held from June 19-23 and is the 122nd AOA Congress and the 49th AOSA Conference. Registration and housing are open for the meeting and you may register now at the AOA website.

MOSA Update

At the 2017 Optometry’s Meeting in Washington, DC, the UMSL students won the Spirit Award at the Essilor Student Bowl.

As part of that award, the UMSL students won the honor of producing the “rules video” to be shown at the 2018 Essilor Student Bowl.

We have a talented group of students at UMSL!

Click here to see the video or visit

The MOA Congratulates Desiree Hougill-Houston

Desiree Hougill-Houston, the past president of the MOA Paraoptometric Section received the AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center 2018 Community Service Award for her volunteer work at Hope Network, Mission of Hope Clinic, Kansas City Free Eye Clinic and her church.

This award was presented during the 2018 Optometry’s Meeting in Denver, CO. Desiree was nominated by Dr. Jeffrey Harter, one of the optometrists at Advanced Eyecare/Blue Springs Optical where Desiree has worked for 9 years.

The MOA would like to share with everyone a part of Desiree’s acceptance speech which certainly explains why she was chosen for this award.

“Volunteering is a labor of love for me, which is why I am involved in many different organizations. The very nature of volunteering means choosing to help others without being paid – giving freely of yourself. Being highly involved in my church, (volunteering as a teacher, a leader and an usher) helps me experience the joy and peace that comes from obedience.

1 Peter 4:10-11 says “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms… so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” Serving is a form of worship, a way to express gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, and to share the love and grace we’ve been given.

Not everyone is born into a life of opportunity and many do not have a support system of friends and family when times get tough. Others make poor life choices and just need guidance, encouragement and something as simple as love.

Spending time helping people through tremendous organizations such as the Kansas City Free Eye Clinic who gives low-income and homeless people access to preventive eye exams and glasses, Hope Network where the mission is to offer hope to the hungry and hurting through delivering exemplary care, affirming value and basic needs and Mission of Hope Clinic who provides healthcare to the uninsured and undeserved in our community, helps me shift my focus off myself and onto others.

I begin to see others as Jesus sees them.”