President's Column

Advancing the Association

by Dr. Scott Emely

In my last column I introduced my slogan for this year, which is Optometry Next. Keeping the future of optometry in mind, I would like to discuss the importance of engaging our younger optometrists and determining how we can best increase their involvement within the association. Our future is bright, and to continue to move forward as an association and profession we need to involve our younger members.

While we have an incredibly active Young OD network and several successful graduates of our Leadership GOA program, it is now time to transition those young ODs into volunteers within the GOA committee structure. They will help provide us with ideas, strategies and a path for what the GOA could and should look like in the future. It is critical we begin that process now, and an integral part of that process is understanding the role technology will play.

It is important we use advances in technology to reach our members and also facilitate communication among members. The days of faxing and even e-mailing are coming to an end. We need to be able to address the needs of everyone via mobile technology.

For many people, if it is not on your phone, it doesn’t exist. I was very glad that the GOA Board of Trustees approved monies for the creation of a GOA mobile app. We have since been working diligently to develop this app and are looking forward to launching it prior to the Fall conference. Please stay tuned for details about how to download the GOAEyes app and the features it will offer. It will be available on all Apple and Android devices.

We would like to provide as much information and original content as possible via the app so that it is available to every member at all times. In addition, we want to foster communication between members, and the app will serve as a platform to do so.

It is also amazing to me that many of our members are not using social media to help educate and attract patients. Some practices don’t even have a website. But the days of simply placing an advertisement in the yellow pages and having patients arrive at your office are over. Doctors need to connect with their current and potential patients via social media whether its Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. The GOA has worked to provide original content for its members to utilize on social media, and I am going to work with our members to find out how the GOA can help its members best utilize these new technologies to promote eye care health and their practices.

I look forward to working with you to determine how we can use technology to not only engage with our younger members, but also become more engaged with each other. This, in turn, will allow us to apply information we learn from each other to the betterment of our practices.