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July 2017 eNews

July 2017    Volume 14, Issue 7
Welcome to the IOA eNews! If you would like to go directly to a certain section, use the links listed below. Or for easy viewing, you can click: View in Browser

In this Issue:
IOA President
IOA Immediate Past President
IOA Legislative Trustee
IOA Membership Trustee

Convention 2017
Meet IOA's New Employee
Chip Card Technology
IOA Associate Members
Useful Links


IOA's Mission
The Illinois Optometric Association exists to protect, promote, and advance the profession of Optometry by providing exemplary resources and support towards serving and enhancing quality patient care.


IOA's Vision
The vision of the Illinois Optometric Association is to be the primary advocate for the advancement of optometry through education, legislation, public service, and membership development by providing a unified voice for all optometrists to ensure the practice of Optometry at the highest level. 

Christine Allison, OD
IOA President

The AOA meeting was held June 21- June 24 in beautiful Washington, D.C.  The weather was great, and the meeting was a huge success.  One of the new initiatives this year was the AOA+ program, which was held on Wednesday the 21st as a way to get more students and new grads to understand the importance of Advocacy and the importance of attending the AOA annual meeting.  Over 2,300 students and new grads attended with students being given $750 each to cover travel expenses.  The AOA+ group had a huge rally on Capitol Hill, which energized this group and really helped them to view their AOA membership in a different light.

The AOA also shared with us that some exciting new member benefits are coming our way.  They are working on a program with Laurel Road to help new graduates with Student Loan Consolidation to help them better manage their debt.  The AOA is also planning a Group Purchasing Program for AOA members with savings across the board for places like Office Depot, Fed Ex, and UPS, along with many other businesses.  The AOA has partnered with Williams Group to help members better in their practice transitions.  They have also started a new program entitled “Happy Eyes, Happy Children” to provide $5,000 grants to state affiliates and member doctors in order to develop programs in their areas to help provide comprehensive eye examinations to more children.

One of the most exciting things to happen with our Illinois group was that Taylor Harris, an Illinois College of Optometry 4th year student, won the Essilor Optometry Superbowl XXVII event.  Taylor is the first ICO student to win this honor in the 26 years that the event has been running!

As many of you know, Illinois did have Lori Grover, OD, PhD running for the position of AOA Trustee this year.  While Dr. Grover lost in a tight race this year, she has already declared herself as a candidate for next year, so please plan to attend the AOA meeting in Denver, Colorado to show her as much support as we can from Illinois.

Thank you and see you at IOA Convention in September!

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Brian Plattner, OD
IOA Immediate Past President

A Call Out To All Leaders

Leaders in our association play a key role in casting a vision of how optometry fits into the healthcare landscape of the future.  I have been blessed to serve as a leader on the President’s Cabinet of the IOA for the last 8 years, and it has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my professional career.  As my time on the board comes to an end at Convention this September, I am calling out for our next generation of leaders to rise up to the occasion.  You don’t have to have all the answers- just a steadfast love for the profession of optometry and a willingness to work hard on its behalf.  Anyone interested in running for a Trustee position this Fall should call the IOA office this month to get their name on the ballot.  If you’re not in a position to run for office at this time, that’s ok.  You can still contribute to the profession by calling the IOA office and nominating a colleague for our Optometrist of the Year and Young Optometrist of the Year Awards.  By recruiting new talent and by recognizing the efforts of our leaders, we continue to ensure the success of our profession for many years to come.

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Matthew Jones, OD
IOA Legislative Trustee


As you likely know, the fiscal state of this state is turning into a real crisis. Illinois faces a growing 15 billion dollar debt crisis and the risk of being placed on an unprecedented "junk" bond rating. Effective July 1, Illinois Senate GOP leader Christine Radogno resigned and Senator Bill Brady was elected by his Republican colleagues to replace her. On Monday, lawmakers voted for a controversial budget package that includes a 32 percent state income tax increase (from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent). The bill also included a corporate tax increase from 5.25 percent to 7 percent. The bill required a 3/5th majority (71 votes) to pass. The vote was 72-45. The bill was supported by 57 Democrats and 15 Republicans.  Governor Bruce Rauner has since vetoed the package on Tuesday, saying it would cost the state more in the long run.  The Illinois Senate and House voted to override the Governor’s vetoes of SB 9 (revenue increase bill--71-42), SB 6 (appropriation bill--74-37) and SB 42 (budget implementation bill--71-41). These bills now become law.

However, as pertains to our own organization, we have actually enjoyed success this legislative cycle.  We advanced two bills this year and we where able to pass both bills. House Bill 2700 added Optometrists to the list of health care providers who can supply services under the Consent by Minors to Medical Procedures Act. Under the bill, Optometrists will now be able to provide primary health care services to minors who are independent or lack a guardian with only the patients consent.  Additionally, House Bill 2909 dealt with glasses for Medicaid patients.  This bill will benefit a very needy group of patients that had been overlooked and will allow the Optometrist in Illinois to better serve them. Thank you for your support of these efforts!

On a national level, we continue to watch for the repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Also, Optometry's Meeting 2017 was held in Washington DC. A rally of an estimated 2,300 Optometry students took place on the Hill in front of the US Capitol building.  They were addressed by three congressional members, including two from Illinois: Representative Rodney Davis and Senator Tammy Duckworth.  Senator Duckworth shared with the students a personal story about how her eye doctor had prescribed safety glasses which would later protect her eyes from shrapnel of a grenade.  She shared that she believes that without that recommendation, she would likely be blind and unable to be a Senator. Additionally, Optometrists and Optometry students from Illinois had many private meetings with members of congress, where we were able to discuss current challenges and concerns that Optometrist in our state and nation currently face.  Thank you to all who were able to participate!

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Mindy Nguyen, OD
IOA Membership Trustee


Did you hear?! New to Convention this year...the Illinois Foundation for Eyecare will host its first annual Trivia Night on Thursday, September 14! Questions are not all eye-related so dust off that random knowledge that you have been keeping stored away behind all those eye diseases.

Who doesn't like some good old fun competition and bragging rights? 
So start putting your team together now! We are hoping to have at least one team for each society. Let's see which society is the best society! Represent!

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September 14 - 17, 2017

Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, IL

Convention 2017 will include 11 hours of TQ education, 3 separate tracks of education, internationally renowned speakers, a workshop on amniotic membrane, paraoptometric education, a packed exhibit hall with the latest in products and technology, the annual Golf Outing & Gray Cup at Bloomingdale Golf Club, Friday night laughs with Second City, Saturday night Presidential Banquet, a hospitality suite Friday and Saturday night.... and much more!




We'd like to welcome Dara Bose to the IOA team! Dara started at the IOA on Monday June 12 in the Finance and Business position. Dara will handle all Convention / CE registrations, dues/PAC donation processing, and all accounts payable/receivable.


Dara can be contacted at


Chip card technology: Why it is important and how IOA members can save $220

To swipe or to insert? When selecting a point-of-sale solution for your practice, the familiarity of “swipe and go” systems may be comforting—but chip card technology is on the rise, for three important reasons.

Now through August 1, IOA members who switch to Chase for credit card processing are eligible for a complimentary chip card terminal1, valued at $2202. Members will also receive negotiated AOA rates for an average savings of more than $770/year3, and:    

Increased Security. EMV chip-enabled debit and credit cards are a more secure form of payment, when they are used with a compatible chip card terminal. The chip card and the terminal can now exchange encrypted information to ensure the card is valid.

Limited Liability. As of October 2015,
most U.S. payment networks shifted liability for payment fraud to the party who is least EMV compliant, which can include merchants that have not upgraded to a chip card terminal. Enabling the use of chip card terminals provides a layer of fraud protection for both your patients and your practice.

·         Leading Technology. Chip card terminals also come with near-field communication (NFC), which enables mobile wallet payments. Your practice will be ready for the new trend in contactless payments, including Apple Pay®, Android Pay and Samsung Pay®.

Accept all major debit and credit card payments from your patients at the counter and online with Chase, a trusted leader with more than 30 years of experience.

To get your complimentary payment processing equipment and start saving today, call
1 (800) 579-8235, or visit our website for more information.

1Offer valid only for U.S. customers who open a merchant services account with Chase before 08/01/17 and may not be combined with any other offer.
Businesses are required to complete an application and agree to terms and conditions at the time of enrollment. All businesses are subject to credit approval. Offer valid for new U.S. customers only and expires 08/01/2017. Receipt of free EMV terminal equipment (Ingenico iCT250) is contingent upon the execution and approval of a Merchant Application and agreement with Chase and limited to one free EMV terminal equipment (Ingenico iCT250) per merchant account. Ingenico iCT250 operates exclusively with Chase's processing services. Early termination of the Merchant Application and Agreement may require the repayment of all or a prorated portion of the free EMV terminal equipment. Other conditions and fees may apply; see Merchant Services Application for more details. 
Savings based on comparison of AOA members using Chase merchant services versus third-party payment processing data (The Strawhecker Group, March 2017, Optometrists merchant type). Savings may vary based on processing volume.

Apple Pay is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Android Pay is a trademark of Google, Inc.

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Please visit the IOA Associate Members' Website Pages!
Click here for a full list of the IOA Associate Members.



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July 2017 eNews Link Administration 7/5/2017
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2017 May eNews Link Administration 5/8/2017
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