The American Optometric Association (AOA) has appointed Dr Steven A. Loomis as its new president.
The announcement was made at Optometry’s Meeting 2015, the annual congress of the AOA and the American Optometric Student Association, which took place in Seattle last week (24–28 June).
Dr Loomis, who practices at the Mountain Vista Eyecare and Dry Eye Center in Colorado, takes over the presidency from Dr David A. Cockrell.
In his address to delegates at the meeting, the incoming president highlighted the ageing US population as a key challenge for the profession, commenting that the shift in the number of Americans over the age of 65 will “have aftershocks on our economy and way of life for many years.”
Dr Loomis said: “All of us who care for patients understand the implications of an ageing population...The incidence of glaucoma, cataract and age-related macular degeneration will increase dramatically. Ophthalmological residencies are flat, if not diminishing. The conclusion is inescapable – our members will be called upon to meet the demand for eye care that is unprecedented.”
He added: “We must educate legislators, third-party carriers and sometimes even our own members about this profession and the pivotal role we now play and why we need their help to continue to play that role in the future.”
Image credit: American Optometric Association