President’s Message: November 2010

Dr. Duane Thompson, MOA President

Duane Thompson, OD, MOA President

It is my pleasure to serve as your MOA president for the upcoming year, and I am eager to give back to the profession that has afforded me such opportunities. Optometry is a great profession with great professionals and great passion. Through our unity we can continue to move the profession forward and improve the welfare of our patients.

As I reflected over my last eight years on the board, I thought about the challenges the association has faced and the elements involved with each of those events. In each of those circumstances, one common denominator came through, the member. Each individual is the core structural component that gives the MOA its strength. We, the MOA board, serve on your behalf and at your request, always seeking to best represent the profession of optometry and providing the voice for Missouri optometry.

Advice I received as I proceeded through the chairs was to “have a goal or direction in mind for your presidency.” As I thought about what my direction would be for the coming year, I realized my focus would be on reinforcing those foundational elements of the MOA. We as a profession have internal and external forces that seek to divide us. We have challenges ahead of us, and only through a strong foundation can our profession thrive and succeed.

There are two areas that I wanted to focus on for the upcoming year. Membership growth and MOPAC contributions. Both of these are fundamental to protecting the future of our profession.

Each One Reach One
Our membership has remained stable for many years. We have around 500 members of the MOA, but nearly 1000 ODs practice in the state. Of the 500 members, only 340 are full dues members. Frankly, we need a greater voice for optometry in Missouri. If we are to overcome the challenges of the next few years, we will need to represent more of the ODs in the state.

Whether you are an employed, commercial, private, military or government OD, the MOA Represents you. The Each One Reach One program debuted at the MOA annual convention to promote growth in the membership with a goal of 10% growth in the MOA full member category in one year.

The program’s premise is that each MOA doctor knows a doctor who has chosen not be a member of the MOA. They are classmates, colleagues, partners, and friends. We need your assistance in reaching out to those doctors. Share your MOA story, share why the MOA is so important to you, your practice, and your patients in protecting your privileges. Through personal relationships, we can promote the benefits of membership within the MOA.

Attached to this program is an incentive of $100 per new full dues paying member to the referring MOA member. These reward dollars can be applied to MOA convention expenses or MOA dues.

Our MOPAC fund needs your assistance. During the last quarter, our funds dipped to the lowest point in my eight years on the board. Like it or not, we are a legislated profession practicing at the will of the legislature. MOPAC dollars allow the MOA to support and promote legislators who are aware of the importance that optometry plays in the visual welfare of Missourians.

Currently, of the 500 members in the association, only 68 are contributing regularly to MOPAC. We need you! Now more than ever, we need to increase the MOPAC funds. We need to protect our current privileges and secure our place in the Health Care Reform Legislation and we can’t do it without your help.

If you already contribute think about increasing your monthly contribution. If you are not contributing monthly, call Central Office or go online to and sign up today.

Our goal is to double the contributors to 120 by October 2011. Any contribution you make is an investment in your future and the future of Optometry.

The MOA is here for you. We are strong because of each of you and those who have come before us. The MOA board and myself and all the rest of the officers and trustees are here to serve and represent you. We will work to protect your practice, your profession, and your dreams.

I look forward to meeting you as I travel to each of your societies this upcoming year. Please contact me if you have any questions at [email protected] or 660-734-0996. It is my honor to serve you.