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.

Four Ways to Write a Better Career Center Post

If you’re looking to hire an associate optometrist, or even a partner in your practice, you’ve likely considered posting an ad through an industry resource like the AOA’s Optometry’s Career Center. But, how can you be sure that your posting stands out from the rest and attracts the caliber of talent that you seek? These four tips will ensure that your opportunity is a top choice for the most qualified candidates:

  1. Be specific in your headline – Instead of a generic headline like, “Seeking Associate Optometrist,” write something specific like, “Seeking Associate Optometrist with Focus on Pediatrics, Full Benefits.”
  2. Describe the role in detail within the post – Be sure to explain the culture of your practice, what your patient base is like, and the equipment utilized in your practice. It’s important that an applicant has a clear view of what life will be like working for and with you.
  3. Clearly list all benefits, both expected and unexpected – All applicants will want to know what is offered in the way of retirement plans, health insurance, and paid time off. But, don’t forget to include any unique benefits that you may offer. For example, does your practice pay for staff MOA and AOA membership dues, or attendance to any CE events or conferences throughout the year?
  4. Sell the greater community as well as your practice –What makes your community a great place to live? If an applicant is considering relocating to take your position, what sort of local amenities can they enjoy in their free time?

Writing a winning career post is an important step to finding your dream hire, but equally important is deciding where to post it. Optometry’s Career Center is the official career center of the AOA and uniquely caters to the optometric industry. MOA members can save up to 50% on their postings, which comes with free access to a resume database. Opportunities begin here – maximize your search nationwide and get started today.

Member Benefit: “Prioritizing Cyber-Security and HIPAA Compliance” Bootcamp

In today’s digital age, addressing key cyber-security and compliance requirements is now more important than ever as compliance and security go hand-in-hand in protecting your practice.

Creating an effective cyber-security and compliance program gives you the tools that you need to document your processes and assess any areas of vulnerability that could lead to potential security incidents and violations.

Take advantage of this MOA member benefit where AOAExcel’s HIPAA compliance partner, Compliancy Group, outlines actionable tips you can use to make your practice more secure, all while addressing your federally mandated HIPAA requirements:

“One Hour Security and Compliance Bootcamp” webinar
Tuesday, February 26 at 2pm EST
Register here

Compliancy Group gives eye care professionals confidence in their compliance with a total HIPAA solution to address the full extent of the regulatory requirements. With guided support, clients are given the tools they need to maintain the privacy and security of health care information, all while growing their business. As a MOA benefit, members receive three additional months free, included with a one-year subscription. Compliancy Group is dedicated to helping eye care succeed.

For more information about Compliancy Group, and the HIPAA resources available to MOA members through AOAExcel, please visit