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Southern College of Optometry hosted its fifth annual State Day event on January 9 as a group of current state leaders and legislators visited campus to discuss the importance of the legislative process and the need for students to become involved with their professional associations.
Leading off the day’s program was a presentation by Dr. Steve Loomis, AOA Secretary-Treasurer. Dr. Loomis discussed many legislative milestones in optometry, the changing role of optometry in healthcare delivery, and the importance of maintaining a strong optometric profession.
The legislators each discussed their role as lawmakers and their interactions with the profession of optometry. Senator Heitmeier shared his belief that optometry is one of the most caring healthcare professions. He recalled how optometrists across the nation were the first to volunteer aid after his Louisiana practice was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Joining the lawmakers in stressing the importance of optometry students becoming involved with their state and professional associations early in their careers were numerous representatives of 14 state associations and the American Optometric Association (AOA). During an afternoon tradeshow event with booths, these representatives networked with hundreds of students.