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  • It is an incredible honor and privilege to be nominated to serve as Academy president. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at this critical time for our members and profession as we continue to recover from the many challenges faced during the pandemic. In addition, our Academy will be in the midst of transitioning to a new CEO following the retirement of David Parke II, MD, whose tenure resulted in many innovative and transformational changes, such as the IRIS® Registry.  

    As a solo ophthalmologist, I am well aware of the challenges and issues our members face in private practice every day with reimbursement, HR, prior authorization, electronic health records (EHR), drug supply and costs, to name but a few. Since medicine is highly regulated, our only option is to continue our fierce advocacy on behalf of our patients and profession.

    Our choice to become physicians comes with the responsibility to advocate for our patients. Physicians understand the complex nature of our healthcare system and the discrepancies in care provided.

    Over the past 25-plus years, I have worked with multiple stakeholders at both the state and federal level to ensure our patients right to high quality safe eye care. Without the dedicated resources and physician leadership of the Academy and state societies, our efforts would be ineffective. I also continue to be passionate about developing future leaders in ophthalmology through my commitment to the Academy’s Leadership Development Program which has helped us tremendously at the state, national and even international levels.

    As an Academy advocacy leader, I have collaborated with many of our members whose dedication to our patients is inspiring and always keeps me motivated. I look forward to hearing from many of you with issues we can take on at the federal and state level together as any success comes from an engaged team.

    The AAO is blessed with immeasurable talent within its membership whose volunteer efforts supply us all with innumerable benefits. We are also blessed with extraordinary staff whose dedication provide the structure for us to excel. As a leader at the Board of Trustees the past 12 years as well as chair of Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co. (OMIC), I am keenly aware of many of the concerns our members have and will continue to be accessible and open to all who reach out. We are coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic with new challenges in an ever-changing environment and I look forward to facing and overcoming these challenges together. I am confident with the dedication and talent of the AAO leadership, members and staff we can rise to the challenge and thrive. Thank you for your support and advocacy engagement over the many years!