Serving our patients and providing unsurpassed healthcare to the citizens of Louisiana is a tremendous privilege we have. It was not long ago that optometry in Louisiana consisted of only refractive services. We now enjoy a scope of practice in which we prescribe all oral and topical medications for treatment of the eye and its adnexa, order all pertinent bloodwork and neuro-imaging procedures for our patients, perform minor surgical procedures on the eye and the adnexa, and maintain our own DEA numbers to prescribe Schedule III & IV controlled substances, all while maintaining our refractive expertise.
We also now actively serve on numerous state healthcare committees, have our first colleague in the Louisiana Senate in Dr. David Heitmeier, receive reimbursement for our full scope of services from major medical insurers including Medicare and Medicaid, and have case law on the books that prevents discrimination against our profession. My, how far we've come!
And NONE of those accomplishments could've been achieved without organized optometry and the sacrifices of so many who've gone before us. The Optometry Association of Louisiana is stronger than it's ever been and stands ready to assist you in any way, from graduation through retirement. We maintain standing committees dedicated to legislative concerns and initiatives, third party issues, healthcare reform, membership concerns, InfantSEE, and public relations. The OAL also provides a job placement service, quarterly newsletters, state and local society meetings with continuing education, networking opportunities, CE tracking, a "locate-a-doctor" feature for the public, and numerous member benefit services, in addition to the multitude of benefits available through concurrent membership in the American Optometric Association. We also oversee the Dr. Mark Franks Trust Fund at SCO, which provides low interest student loans per Dr. Franks will, and have worked diligently to restore and maintain state funding for the SREB contract seats which allow Louisiana students the benefit of in-state tuition at four schools and colleges of optometry, in addition to fostering relationships with our students and new graduates. The OAL also maintains and helps staff a charity eye clinic in Nicarauga in a cooperative agreement with the Cristo Sana Mission and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
But the OAL will never be all that it can be without YOU! Your active involvement over the course of your career will determine where we go from here - forward or backward. Join with us to stand united for optometry as we work tirelessly to increase our clinical expertise, our business acumen, and our personal leadership skills, while staying engaged in our profession. You, your patients, and your profession will benefit tremendously if you do! (And don't forget to let us know of any change in your address or email)