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.

The MOA Remembers Dr. Frank Fontana

Achievement, Commitment, and Advocacy

Few people have had as much positive impact on so many as did St. Louis optometrist Dr. Frank Fontana. Affectionately called “Uncle Frank” by hundreds of peers and friends throughout optometry, Dr. Fontana earned his nickname by serving as a mentor and advocate for countless optometric educators and future leaders of the profession. He was an internationally recognized speaker and a true pioneer during the early years of contact lenses, helping train many of his colleagues throughout the US in this then new technology. He died in Las Vegas on October 3 at age 96, after suffering a stroke a few days earlier while attending Vision Expo West, a major eyecare conference.

A St. Louis, Missouri, native, Dr. Fontana was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and became a supply sergeant in a medical battalion during World War II. Decorated for his actions in Europe, Dr. Fontana would use his GI Bill to graduate from Illinois College of Optometry in 1949. Only a year later, Dr. Fontana would open his practice in St. Louis and specialize in contact lenses.

A pioneer in the field, Dr. Fontana published countless articles and clinical investigations related to contact lenses, in addition to consulting and lecturing on the topic throughout his career. He was named chair of AOA’s then-Contact Lens Committee in 1979 and was co-founder of AOA’s Contact Lens Section before chairing the section in 1983.

An active volunteer in his local optometric society, the Missouri Optometric Association and AOA, Dr. Fontana served on AOA’s Communications Committee and joined the Optometry’s Meeting® Exhibit Committee in 1999, serving there for over a decade.

His extensive expertise earned him editorial positions with many trade publications, as well as adjunct teaching and researcher positions at both the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry and Washington University School of Medicine.

Inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2012, Dr. Fontana was awarded the AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) Legend Award, the AOA Contact Lens Section Man of the Year Achievement, and countless other industry recognitions throughout his career. Additionally, Dr. Fontana was awarded the AOA President’s Award for a lifetime of distinguished service to the profession in October 2017.

In Memoriam – Scott Marrs Remembered

a legislative institution and a good friend to the Members of the Missouri Optometric Association

According to his obituary, Scott Marrs passed away late Friday night, October 26, 2018, after a brief illness. He was the principal lobbyist and representative in the state capitol for various organizations throughout southwest Missouri and the Ozarks, including the City of Springfield, Missouri State University, Boys and Girls Club, Mercy, Bass Pro, City of Branson, the Missouri Optometric Association and many others.

His obituary says that he leaves behind his beloved family, his loving wife of 37 years, an educator, his daughter Katharine, a national political advisor, and his son William, a law school graduate of the university of Missouri and political consultant. His mother Barbara Bullington, his brother David Marrs, his sister Julie Hendrickson; all from Springfield. As well as Stan Bullington of Poplar Bluff, and Michelle Marrs Cannon of Springfield.

His family writes that Scott was a hard worker and diligent citizen promoting causes related to the place and people he grew up with in the Ozarks. He was a graduate and true son of the University of Missouri: with a Master’s in Public Administration from the Truman School of Public Affairs, a political science graduate of Drury University, and an avid Mizzou Football fan. He was a friend to all, and loving father. Scott loved the outdoors, respected the natural beauty of the Missouri Ozarks, and taught his family to do the same. Scott was a believer in Christ and followed New Testament teachings, promoting kindness, grace, and service to others wherever he could. His quiet contributions to the city and region he loved made it a better place to live.

According to the Missouri Times, lobbyist Jay Hahn said, “Scotty was one of my longest and most trusted friends in the capital. We are all going to miss him.”

Marrs, who was known as “Scotty” by his friends and he is going to be missed by so many of his friends in the MOA. Everyone who encountered Scotty had tremendous respect and admiration for him. He was a hardworking, loyal, man with a wonderful sense of humor. He will be remembered as a true friend to the members of the MOA.