The AFOS Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce our endorsement of Dr. Margaret “Marrie” Read for the American Optometric Association (AOA) trustee position for 2022. As you know, Marrie is a proven leader and advocate for our profession! She has served AFOS in numerous committee and leadership positions culminating in leading our organization as President. Additionally, she has continuously been active in the AOA volunteer structure, serving in key roles including Federal Relations Committee, Chair of Nominations Committee, and Registry Committee. She is an avid advocate for our profession serving on the Board of Healthcare Alliance for Patient Safety and as a Federal Advocacy Representative. Her expertise is continuously sought after to brief updates on Federal policy that influence Veteran’s affairs and the Department of Defense.
Marrie’s extensive experience in strategy, oversight, and health care policy as well as clinical management, electronic health records, and patient care make her an ideal AOA Trustee. She has over 20 years of leadership, advocacy, and volunteer experience. She is dedicated to leveraging her experience and perspective to advance expansion of opportunities for our doctors and our patients.
We are excited about the opportunity to have one of our own, that truly understands our unique organization and federal optometry challenges, serve as an AOA trustee! Please join us in our support of Dr. Marrie Read!
*Denotes Currently serving
Captain in the United States Navy with extensive experience in strategy, oversight, and health care policy as well as clinical management, electronic health records, and patient care.
Service to the greater good brings me joy. Whether is it service to our country or service to our great profession, I have used my various skillsets to advance our priorities. I have over 20 years of leadership, advocacy, and volunteer experience. I am dedicated to leveraging my unique experience and perspective to advance expansion of opportunities and access for our doctors and our patients. Trustee of AOA is the natural progression of service to Optometry.
I have extensive experience in strategy, oversight, and health care policy as well as clinical management, electronic health records, and patient care. Working and volunteering at the Federal level provides unique perspective and a novel voice to the AOA Board. Federal optometry influences practice across our great nation. Understanding the legislative and regulatory process (and occasional bureaucratic stalemate) is a benefit to our profession as we advocate for advancements in varied arenas, such as national practice standards that support our doctors to practice to the fullest extent of their education, licensure and certifications and expansion of laser privileges in our Federal institutions. Removal of the laser ban at our Veteran’s Administration facilities was the first step in this process.
We, AOA, need to ensure we remain relevant to our members. We have members in rural and urban areas; private, corporate, and Federal practices; affiliates with advanced scope and those still fighting to achieve it. Recognizing these differences in order to balance the needs of our members, while continuing to advance and defend our profession, is crucial to remaining relevant to our membership and expanding their participation in our organization.
We now have eight states with laser procedures within their scope. Continuing to support scope expansion is critical in expanding opportunities and access for our patients and our doctors. However, there are additional areas we need to focus. For instance, Medicare covers physical therapy services but not vision therapy. Changing federal regulations to include vision therapy, a service well within our scope, expands opportunities and access. As our national professional organization, we need to continually be looking for ways to expand opportunities and access for our patients and doctors through scope expansion and regulatory inclusion.
We cannot remain relevant or expand opportunities and access without advocacy. From grass-roots efforts at the State level to engaging Federal regulatory agencies and Congress, we must advocate for our profession. Clearly defined, objective engagement with our legislative leaders to promote relationships and understanding of our profession is essential. Encouraging our new graduates as well as long-time members to participate by contributing their time and financial resources must be a priority.
The doctor-patient relationship is the cornerstone to caring for our patients. As we continue to encounter challenges and opportunities as a result of advanced technology and the growth of virtual healthcare, keeping the doctor-patient relationship as our primary focus allows us to frame these issues in order to achieve applicable solution sets. As such, the doctor-patient relationship must be the North Star in our decision-making and policy development.
Margaret “Marrie” Read, OD, MBA