• 10 Tips for a Great Mid-Year Forum

    Join Academy leaders in Washington, D.C. for Mid-Year Forum 2018, April 18 to 21. Follow these meeting-preparation tips to help shape our profession’s future and sharpen your ability to advocate for those who rely on our care.

    1. Review the Congressional Advocacy Day webinar. Prepare for Congressional Advocacy Day by watching last year's webinar, hosted by the Congressional Management Foundation. During this hour-long presentation, you’ll learn an easy, step-by-step process to prepare for your meetings with members of Congress and their staff.

    2. Download the Academy’s advocacy app. Get the tools and information you need to successfully advocate on behalf of ophthalmology and your patients on Capitol Hill or at home. Download the app today to access:

    • Talking points;
    • A map of Washington, D.C., with key locations identified;
    • Information on your lawmakers;
    • Advocacy tutorial videos;
    • Pre-written letters to your lawmakers anytime, anywhere.

    To get the free app, search “AAO Advocacy” on the Apple app or Google Play store.

    3. Use the official meeting hashtag, #MYF2018. See your peers’ tips and photos from Congressional Advocacy Day in real time, find colleagues to share a cab with or even use it to publicly thank a legislator you met with. Participants in the advocacy ambassador program will also compete in a social media challenge to determine the five best posts from Mid-Year Forum 2018.

    4. Review the program. See all the program and event details so you’re prepared to make the most of your time in Washington, D.C.

    5. Welcome 2018 advocacy ambassador program participants. Each year, many societies and/or training programs sponsor residents and fellows to attend Mid-Year Forum 2018 through the advocacy ambassador program. Invite your society’s sponsored advocacy ambassador(s) to join your table at the Congressional Advocacy Day dinner briefing, the Q&A breakfast and/or the Mid-Year Forum banquet. See all 2018 advocacy ambassadors and their respective sponsors in the electronic agenda book. You’ll also get to learn more about a pilot mentor program for 2018 ambassadors during the Council state section meeting from LDP XX, class of 2018 participant Darby Miller, MD on Saturday, April 21.

    Meron Haile, inaugural recipient of the Robert A. Copeland, Jr., MD Advocacy Education Fund award6. Welcome the inaugural recipient of the Robert A. Copeland, Jr., MD Advocacy Education Fund award. The Academy’s OPHTHPAC Committee is collaborating with the National Medical Association-Ophthalmology Section to ensure this fund recognizes a deserving resident each year with an all-expense paid trip to the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum. Dr. Copeland used to say, “To advocate for our ophthalmology profession is an honor.”

    With this award, we honor Dr. Copeland’s legacy of life-long advocacy. The OPHTHPAC Committee will recognize Meron Haile, MD, during the Congressional Advocacy Day dinner briefing on Wednesday, April 18.

    7Congratulate winners of the Academy’s EyeWiki contest. Two contestants won trips to Mid-Year Forum 2018 for outstanding EyeWiki submissions. The Academy will recognize the following EyeWiki winners for their winning submissions during the April 18 briefing and reception for advocacy ambassadors:

    8. Review this year’s Council Advisory Recommendations before the April 21 hearing, 9:45 to 11:45 a.m.

    Astronaut David Wolf, MD, EE9. Plan to attend keynote address by astronaut David Wolf, MD, EE, during the Mid-Year Forum 2018 welcome reception and awards banquet, 6 to 9 p.m. on April 19. Astronaut Wolf will enlighten us with insight on his space-flight experience, including science, medicine and the unique ways space flight affects the eye and vision changes. There’s sure to be some fascinating footage as well.

    10.  Contribute to the Surgical Scope Fund and OPHTHPAC Fund. This year, the Academy is collaborating with an unprecedented number of state societies to ensure quality patient eye care. Join your colleagues in contributing to the Surgical Scope Fund either before or during the Mid-Year Forum. Developing key relationships in Congress is also critical. OPHTHPAC committee members will be on hand in Washington, D.C., to ask you to join them by contributing.  

    Not Registered for the Mid-Year Forum Yet? 

    Join Academy and ophthalmic leadership in Washington, D.C., for Congressional Advocacy Day, the spring Council meeting and the Mid-Year Forum. Preregistration ends April 3. Register today.

    Onsite registration will open Wednesday, April 18, at 4 p.m.