The WOA has existed for over 100 years. During that time, the association has evolved and grown tremendously. As a professional organization, the WOA leadership continually looks for ways to improve benefits and increase the value of membership. Although the core functions of the WOA have not changed dramatically, the association has made numerous changes to its organizational structure, management and services to best serve optometrists in the state of Wisconsin.
The following are among the most significant member benefits provided by the WOA:
Legislative Advocacy- The WOA is the eyes, ears, and voice for Wisconsin Optometrists. The Association strategically addresses issues in the legislature, courts, and regulatory agencies that benefit its members and the patients they serve. Given the fact optometry is a 'legislated' profession, everything you can and can not do as a doctor of optometry is dictated by the legislature and regulatory agencies. Therefore, legislative advocacy is among the most important services the WOA provides to its members.
WOA members have the opportunity protect their profession and their patients' rights by getting involved in WOA’s legislative activities. Members are encouraged to volunteer for the WOA Legislative Department, be active in their local society and participate in political events.
Third Party Consultation - The WOA keeps you up to date on the latest information regarding insurance systems. Members and staff may get individual advice from a professional coding consultant provided by the WOA at anytime free of charge. This service has proven extremely valuable to members over the years, especially given the ever changing world of third party reimbursement.
Continuing Education - The WOA is committed to providing the highest quality of continuing education with experts from around the nation to satisfy Wisconsin’s CE requirements. Under Wisconsin law, all licensed doctors of optometry must have a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years. This now includes all doctors, whether they are TPA certified, just DPA licensed or have neither. The WOA Education Committee works all year to provide the most current and affordable education possible for its members. There are three major WOA sponsored education event each year:
•Spring Seminar - The WOA's Spring Seminar is an annual education event held in April of each year designed to provide members with up to date CE courses.
•Annual Convention - The WOA Annual Convention is held in September of each year and offers over 24 hours of education, top exhibitors and much more. The WOA's member business meeting and association leadership elections are also held at this meeting.
•Primary Care Symposium - Education event held in November of each year designed for specific CE courses.
Public Relations and Communications - One of the most important functions of the WOA is to keep the public well informed about the profession of optometry. WOA communications includes internal and external communication and branding for optometry and the association through media relations on behalf of the WOA and its members. The WOA produces monthly press releases which are included in the WOA Newsletter. Members are encouraged to take these releases to their local media and offer to be the vision and eye health expert in their communities.
Referral Source - The WOA is the resource to the public for referrals to local doctors and specialty practices. By providing the WOA with current practice information, members are able to guide the public in the right direction so they can find the help they need.
Discounted Rates - All WOA members receive discounted rates on professional liability coverage, WOA sponsored education, events, programs, and materials, saving hundreds of dollars each year. It pays to be a WOA member.
The WOA Newsletter - The monthly WOA newsletter is filled with interesting articles on your profession, the ophthalmic industry, state and federal legislation, and information on upcoming WOA events around the state. Additionally, the newsletter provides members with a connection to their colleagues around the state. The WOA monthly newsletter is an excellent way to stay informed!
Membership Directory - The WOA provides members with a reference to their fellow optometrists in & out of state, including district and committee information. WOA members receive this directory each year in their convention packets.
WOA Website - The WOA website is the information resource for members to receive press releases, legislative updates, continuing education updates, referrals, and much more.
If you have any questions or are in need of additional information regarding WOA membership, please contact the WOA at 1-800-678-5357.