What is a delegate? A delegate is a person elected or appointed to represent others. The POA House of Delegates will convene this year on Saturday, May 14 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. as part of the POA’s Spring Congress at the Radisson Hotel in Camp Hill. The House of Delegates is the legislative and policy making arm of the POA. All local society presidents are urged to attend along with society officers and general members. Besides the 2017 budget, which will be presented and voted upon, there will be a very special presentation from Jon Torrey, director of professional relations for the Think About Your Eyes (TAYE) program.
As you may have heard, Think About Your Eyes is a national public awareness campaign, presented by The Vision Council and the American Optometric Association, designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam. One feature of the program is a doctor locator website, which can be found at www.thinkaboutyoureyes.com. Consumers can search this website to find an optometrist within or near a zip code.
Here is some information behind the TAYE program that Mr. Torrey provided to me:
TAYE’s consumer advertising is reaching the public and increasing the number of exams given across America. Comprehensive exams are growing at over twice the rate as compared to the rate before TAYE’s national launch. Data from The Vision Council’s VisionWatch survey shows that during 2015 alone, over one million additional comprehensive exams occurred due to the advertisement. Those exams generated at least $55 million in clinical fees, and expenditures totaling $450 million for purchases of lenses, frames, and contacts.
Over the past year in Pennsylvania:
- Almost 140,000 patients visited the TAYE website to find a doctor.
- 418 patients dialed an office to make an appointment while viewing the locator on their mobile phone.
- 427 patients clicked on “Request Appointment.”
- 1,566 patients read a doctor’s profile, downloaded map directions, or clicked through to a doctor’s website or Facebook page.
Patient engagement numbers would jump if the POA had all its members listed, as opposed to the less than 100 members currently listed. Because of the higher “crawlability” of the TAYE doctor locator, having a listing helps increase the chances that a doctor will show up when a patient searches for optometrists online.
The POA has been presented with the opportunity to join 29 other states who have enrolled their entire association membership in this program. Currently, the fee for a basic listing for an individual doctor is $250 per year. If the POA commits to the program for its membership, POA members will receive an 80% discount off the regular fee, which will result in a charge of only $50 per member.
The optometric profession has been asking for years for a program that would mirror the dental profession whereby consumers are reminded to see their dentist every six months. This is our chance to have such a program for optometry. The AOA and 16 other industry partners are supportive of TAYE advertising campaigns. These national advertisements can be found on TV, radio, social media, audio services such as Pandora and Spotify, as well as in digital and print editions of popular magazines. Please make an effort to attend the House of Delegates where this important opportunity and other topics of interest will be discussed and voted upon. Your opinions and votes matter. You are the POA.
The Congress schedule can be found here. There is still time to sign up for great continuing education, the exhibit hall, golf, and a night the Hollywood Casino and Penn National Racetrack for dinner and live racing.
I want to take this opportunity to cordially invite everyone to attend the President’s Reception on Friday evening at 9:30 p.m. Our special musical guest will be the Andy Mowatt quartet. My wife and I look forward to being your host for the evening.
Mark M. Margolies, O.D.