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American Optometric Association (AOA) President-Elect Dr. Joe Ellis, a 1986 Southern College of Optometry (SCO) graduate, was the keynote speaker at December’s State Day event for SCO students. Dr. Ellis gave the keynote address at two separate sessions for SCO students.
Dr. Ellis offered an overview of healthcare reform legislation and AOA advocacy efforts to ensure that optometry is favorably included in the final version of any legislation that could be sent to President Obama. He also outlined the increased role of the AOA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) in working with lawmakers to safeguard optometry privileges gained over the past several decades.
He encouraged students to become involved in pro-optometry PACs sooner, rather than later, to establish a high level of engagement with lawmakers. Fostering these relationships will yield positive dividends through the complexity of any healthcare reform legislation in the future, Dr. Ellis added.
Dr. Ellis was joined by representatives from state associations from across the country. They interacted and networked with students during a trade show format. The event marked SCO’s second State Day event to provide students with information they need to plan their futures and to become involved with organized optometry.
“There is no topic more pressing than healthcare reform and it is only fitting that our program address the considerations that this may have on the profession of optometry,” noted Dr. Kristin K. Anderson, SCO’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “We were privileged to have this message delivered to our SCO students by one of our own, Dr. Joe Ellis. Our appreciation goes to him, the AOA and all of state and regional organizations that participated in this event for our students.”
Visit SCO's photo gallery on Flickr or the SCO website to view photos from the event.