The Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) is committed to welcoming ALL optometrists to our association. Please consider the following information and join today!
Camaraderie: Optometry is among the last health care professions in which the doctors socialize with each other and enjoy spending time together. This is obvious whenever the profession gathers in Wisconsin and nationally. The WOA is a family. Just like our personal families, our members exhibit all kinds of personalities, interests, skills, abilities and resources. We function best when we work together for a common cause, such as providing benevolent care to infancts or underprivledged families or banning together to defend the profession against legislative attacks.
Shared History: The WOA was established in 1900 as a nonprofit organization to assist Wisconsin optometrists in the development and delivery of high quality, cost effective eye health for the citizens of Wisconsin. Optometry has grown tremendously over those years, and it has evolved into a highly respected, medically trained doctorial level profession, providing primary eye care to over 70 percent of Americans.
How Far Have We Come? In 1978, WOA members united in a legislative effort to pass the Diagnostic Authority for doctors of optometry. This effort set the stage for optometry’s significant evolution into Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents in 1989. This change in optometry’s practice act expanded state law to more closely match the education, experience and training of doctors of optometry. These and many other legislative changes advanced by the WOA have opened tremendous opportunities for ODs to take larger roles in the care of their patients. None of the changes would have been possible without the WOA and member doctors. Future challenges and changes on behalf of optometrists will also depend upon the WOA, and therefore upon our membership.
Shared Challenges: There are five health care professions in Wisconsin that require a doctoral level degree and training: medicine, dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic and optometry. Optometry is the smallest of the five, but faces all of the same challenges as the other four professions. Ironically, many of these challenges are a result of anti-optometry biases held by medicine and those who work with MDs in government, insurance companies, large clinics, etc. Because we are small, it is important that we work together to face these challenges, and that we involve a higher percentage of ODs in our effort.
Doctors of optometry seek respect for themselves as health care providers and for their profession. This quest must be pursued in the courts, in the legislatures, in insurance companies, in our communities, in our offices and clinics, with out employers, in our personal relationships, and most importantly with our patients. All optometrists share the goals to preserve our scope of practice, to raise the public's awareness for the need of comprehensive eye and vision health exams, to encourage children's vision exams, to provide the most innovative and advanced education for all optometrists, to bring equity to third party reimbursement for ODs, and to raise the profession's level of care to all patients. These are our goals for our profession to benefit our patients.
The WOA has changed, as its membership has changed, but its original goals remain the same. The WOA always has and always will work to promote excellent eye care for the citizens of the state of Wisconsin through continued growth and involvement of doctors of optometry. As always, these goals are accomplished through continuing education of doctors and staff, ongoing communication with doctors, public information regarding eye health and visual performance, as well as activities in the Legislature, with governmental agencies, advocacy with insurance companies and HMOs, work with other professions, cooperation with service organizations and foundations, and cooperation with the American Optometric Association and other state optometric associations.
None of this can be accomplished by one doctor of optometry working alone, yet all of this and more is possible with all doctors of optometry working together.
The WOA and you. Your formula for personal and professional success.
Check out the Membership Benefits page to understand how the WOA works for you!