News

Barbara L. Horn, O.D., Elected New AOA President

New AOA President Barbara L. Horn, O.D., of South Carolina, and other members of the AOA's Board of Trustees were sworn into office Saturday after elections during Optometry's Meeting 2019 in St. Louis.

The elections took place in the AOA House of Delegates as four days of Optometry's Meeting neared its close. The Board of Trustees helps establish AOA policy and advocates for the profession of optometry, both in state and federal governments, to help broaden optometry's scope of practice, protect and defend the profession, and expand the public's access to quality eye health and vision care.  
 
Dr. Horn was elected as a trustee to the American Optometric Association (AOA) Board in June 2011 and elected president-elect last year. Prior to her election to the Board, she volunteered her time as chair of the Clinical & Practice Advancement Executive Committee, Medical Eye Care Committee, and Membership Group. She has also participated in numerous other committees and project teams including the Program Planning Committee, Public Health Disease Prevention Committee, the Needs/Technology Project Team, and the Industry Relations Center Committee.
 
Dr. Horn is in a group practice in South Carolina. To read her full bio, click here.

In her inaugural address, Dr. Horn called the changing landscape in health care an epic moment for the profession of optometry. Health care is experiencing dramatic shifts in regulations, care delivery, technology and doctor-patient engagement, she observed.
 
In the past, in the face of change, doctors of optometry dared to charge a fee for their services and boldly blazed across the country in an effort to advance care by modernizing legislation, Dr. Horn said. AOA members carry that flame forward today.
 
Dr. Horn laid out multiple actions the AOA is marshalling to take on challenges and challengers in the year ahead, including, the AOA's new 2020 initiative: #2020EyeExam. The initiative will encourage Americans to make 2020 the year they schedule an in-person, comprehensive eye exam with their doctor of optometry.
The initiative includes:  
  • Enlisting visionary employers to make a pledge to build understanding and support for eye exams among their workforces. Already enlisted are the National Down Syndrome Society, Domino's Pizza, Rite Aid and Johnson & Johnson Vision.   
  • Through its First Practice Initiative, continuing to support affiliates in their efforts to modernize state practice acts to expand patient access, ensure continuity of patient care, and keep the practice and profession of optometry on the leading edge.  
  • Reaching out to a range of health care professionals to support doctor-to-doctor communication and collaboration.  
  • Unveiling a national media campaign called Start with Eye that will be directed at caregivers for children and adults. It will underscore the essentialness of in-person, comprehensive eye exams.   Revamping the AOA's website, aoa.org, so that it is more intuitive and state-of-the-art.  
  • Toolkits and additional resources on the initiative can now be found at aoa.org/2020.
 
Members of the 2019-2020 Board of Trustees are:
Executive committee
President:  Barbara L. Horn, O.D. (South Carolina)
President-elect:  William T. Reynolds, O.D. (Kentucky, newly elected)
Vice President:  Robert C. Layman, O.D. (Ohio, newly elected)
Secretary-Treasurer: James P. DeVleming, O.D. (Washington, newly elected)
Immediate Past President:  Samuel D. Pierce, O.D. (Alabama) 
Trustees
Teri K. Geist, O.D. (Nebraska, newly elected)
Terri A. Gossard, O.D, M.S. (Ohio, newly elected)
Steven T. Reed, O.D. (Mississippi, reelected)
Lori L. Grover, O.D., Ph.D. (Illinois, reelected)
Ronald L. Benner, O.D. (Montana)
Jacqueline Bowen, O.D. (Colorado)

For full coverage of Optometry's Meeting 2019, click here.