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CDR Cespon acts as USPHS/IHS representative to the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS) and the American Optometry Association (AOA). As an affiliate of the AOA, the purpose of AFOS includes advancing, improving, and enhancing eye care of federal services beneficiaries. It provides a forum for optometrists to improve the art & science of optometry practice, while elevating practice standards. The AOA is a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations. The AOA serves members consisting of optometrists, students of optometry, paraoptometric assistants and technicians, and leads the way in its mission of improving the quality and availability of eye and vision care. The AOA sets professional standards, helping its members conduct patient care efficiently and effectively, lobbies government and other organizations on behalf of the optometric profession, and provides research and education leadership.
As AFOS Abstract Coordinator, LCDR Davis ensures that recent journal article summaries are submitted for the quarterly AFOS newsletter. Optometry residents in the federal service are invited to submit summaries to the coordinator for editing and possible inclusion in the newsletter.
The AMSUS optometry subcommittee members serve as Public Health Service volunteers on the AMSUS conference planning committee. Optometrists with an interest in presenting a poster are encouraged to contact the AMSUS optometry representatives for more information.
Serves as a resource person to optometry staff and others providing information and consultation regarding awards processing and career advancement. When called upon, serves as a representative of the Optometry Program in matters pertaining to awards and career progression. Encourages, coordinates and oversees the initiation, processing and presentation of appropriate awards and recognitions for optometry staff in the Indian Health Service and affiliated programs.
As a health scientist and representative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Duenas keeps OPAG abreast of issues relating to preserving, protecting, and enhancing vision health, including issues related to; programs, early detection, disease disparities, access to care, cost of vision loss, vision disability, eye disease, coordination and integration of care, service delivery and quality of life.
The OPAG Communications Subcommittee is responsible for maintaining and updating the national optometry website on an annual basis. This includes maintaining accuracy of the optometry list serve using a monthly rotating schedule. Every three years, the committee will improve the optometry website.
CDR Clary acts as the Liaison between OPAG and the National COA to keep OPAG abreast of any issues impacting Optometry in regards to the Commissioned Officer’s Association and vice-versa. She also works with the USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium to ensure continuing education for optometry at the conference.
The HS PAC provides advice and consultation to the Surgeon General and the Chief Professional Officer on issues related to professional practice and personnel activities of the Health Services category of the Commissioned Corps. CDR Nichols was the former Awards Subcommittee Chair and is currently serving as the co-chair.
As Health Services Associate Recruiter Lead, CDR Bellware acts as Liaison between the Division of Commissioned Corps Recruitment and Health Services Associate Recruiters to assist with the implementation of the Associate Recruiter Program. As Administrator for the Health Services Applicant Placement Program he coordinates with the Division of Commissioned Corps Recruitment office to receive updated applicant lists, assign applicants to Discipline Liaisons, coordinate placement efforts with Discipline Liaisons, and manage the Health Services Applicant Placement Program to facilitate the placement of applicants and reduce the backlog of applicants. As Discipline Liaison for Optometry he works directly with applicants, and various government agencies and offices to assist with the placement of USPHS Optometry applicants.
The JOAG representative welcomes new optometry officers and assists in orientation to the Commissioned Corps. The role also includes; participating in Junior Officer Advisory Group conference calls and reporting important information to OPAG, assisting with mentor matching for optometry officers, facilitating communication with junior optometry officers by using email and teleconferences, organizing junior optometry officer meetings and social outings, such as the Biennial IHS Optometry Meeting, and providing leadership, advice, and guidance on other issues important to junior optometry officers.
The OFRD Sub-Committee conveys information to members about important changes and facts relating to maintaining Basic readiness. It also passes information from the membership to the OFRD regarding ideas, concerns, and questions about readiness specifically as it pertains to the discipline of Optometry.