Mindy Blackford
MOA President

First of all, I want to thank you all for the opportunity and honor of serving as MOA president. From before my first day of optometry school, I was taught by my mentors how important it is to be involved in your state association. As a student I saw firsthand how important grass roots keypersons systems can be and will work on making our system better over the next year.

I may be approaching this position a bit differently than most of my predecessors. I am a female and an employed optometrist. When I interviewed for board secretary, one of the questions they asked me was “what do you hope to accomplish as an executive officer.” My response was to do my part to make the profession of optometry better in the state of Missouri and to serve as an example to other females or employed doctors who might be afraid to take the leap and become involved in the MOA. We have had other female presidents, but it has been awhile, and I know many employed doctors who think they are not a good fit for the MOA because they are not practice owners. These are both reservations I had in my early days on the board, but I have learned that in both cases I was wrong. We all have different situations and those perspectives are important to best represent our members.

As MOA members, we have so many things to be thankful for this year. After many years of work on the part of some of our very dedicated members, our MOA Vision Plan is ready to roll out. I am proud to have been a part of this project. I sincerely thank all those who put in the long hours to make this insurance plan happen.

The Legislative Conference was January 13-14 in Jefferson City. Committee meetings as well as the Legislative Reception were at the Millbottom again this year. Thank you to everyone who made time to attend. Being a committee member is a great way to get involved in the MOA. In addition to committee meetings and CE, received information on implementing the MOA Vision Plan. MOA is also introducing our patient protection bill again this year. We have a lot of new faces in the legislature and we need keypersons. Please contact your trustee or the central office if you have a personal relationship with any of our Senators or Representatives.

This year we are changing up the Leadership Retreat. Optometry’s Meeting is in St. Louis June 20-23. In order to increase efficiency for our volunteers we will be having our board and committee meetings on Sunday June 23 in St. Louis. I urge you all to attend both events.

I feel like my personal motto for this year is “change is a good thing,” coincidentally there are some changes coming for the MOA as well as we implement the new society structure. I know this is a big change for the MOA, but it is necessary for the continued health and growth of the association. This new structure will help us to ensure we have the most qualified and dedicated trustees serving you on the MOA board.

My presidential term is off to a great start, I have visited the St. Louis and Kansas City Optometric Societies. I enjoy getting to meet members and get a taste of how each society functions. I am so excited about the next year for the MOA, I hope it will be one of growth and success. I promise to do my best to serve the patients and optometrists in the state of Missouri. Again, I thank you for this opportunity. If you have any questions, please reach out to me.

Mindy Blackford, OD

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