Sunday, August 31, 2014
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FOS Webcast

What's New

Atlanta 2014

The FOS held a meeting on Thursday, March 13th 2014 in Atlanta and webcast the meeting live (see above iPad mini and iPhone 5 screen images).  FOS members across the United States and in Europe connected with portable smart devices and computers and some dialed in just to listen.  The FOS is convinced this technology provides huge benefits and will use webcasts extensively in the near future.

FOS Webcast

The first live FOS webcast provided many lessons learned, and the first lesson is to teach the end users what to expect and how to use the webcast application.  In the next few days, we'll post an image-heavy walk-thru so users will know how to connect and how to control the interface on portable devices.  This technology allowed members to watch and listen to the meeting while riding the subway or while they were on the other side of the world and is platform-independent.

New FOS Director

The FOS wishes to congratulate and welcome LTC Greg Hutcheson to the Board of Directors.  LTC Hutcheson replaced COL Emery Fehl when COL Fehl's term expired on 31 DEC 2013.  We look forward to LTC Hutcheson's enthusiasm and experience to guide the FOS into the future.

New Dues Payment System

After a few weeks of study, installation and troubleshooting, the member dues payment system has been replaced with a new subscription-style member dues system. This allows automatic member status tracking and greatly simplifies membership renewals. New members can select an appropriate member plan and pay during registration and existing members can simply click on their profile after logging in to find renewal information at the bottom of the page.  Invoicing is also improved and automated.

New Optometry Organization

On January 5th, Dr. Dave Carlson announced the newest optometry professional organization called THE Optometric Society (theoptometricsociety.org). This new organization allows ODs to maintain individual representation in the profession. If you want to influence the profession, you might consider joining or even running for one of the leadership positions in this new organization. The FOS is not affiliated in any way with THE Optometric Society, but as a national professional association, membership in THE Optometric Society qualifies FOS members for the TeamPlayer discount on FOS member dues.

New NBEO Board Certification

In mid-December 2013, the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (optometry.org) announced their newest board certification program, NBEO-BC. NBEO already conducts optometry national board examinations as well as the ACMO exam developed to support optometry residency programs hosted by the Veterans Administration.  If you have an interest in securing additional credentials, you now have another option.

CE database

The FOS is gathering COPE approved CE information to populate a database of federal OD COPE-approved CE courses.  If you are a federal service optometrist and have any COPE-approved CE lectures, please let us know by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  If you provide your name, we can look up your courses information in the COPE directory.

Current Efforts

Quarterly Webcasts!!!

Based on the success of the first live webcast, the FOS will begin a quarterly webcast program.  Initially this will include mentorship and management content from members, but will eventually become the primary mechanism to provide COPE Approved CE to FOS members.

Membership Boom!

The FOS is happy to announce a 15% increase in membership over the first two months of 2014 - it looks like this will be a great year for the organization.

European FOS meeting

The FOS is working on a proposal to host a meeting for federal ODs living and working in Europe. If you are interested in organizing, sponsoring or speaking at this event, please contact us. Based on the success of the FOS live webcast, the European FOS meeting will likely be a live webcast.  This technology allows the host to change presenters throughout the meeting.  Each presenter can control the screen during the presentation, so one presenter could be in California, one in Maryland, one in Japan and one in Germany and each could present and control the lecture when appropriate.

FOS Mentorship

This never-ending process is critical for organizational success.  Leaders MUST build the bench to prepare subordinates, peers must share knowledge to elevate the entire organization, and subordinates must inform leadership through cooperative interaction. The FOS exists largely for this purpose. FOS members make themselves available to fellow members for advice and guidance, and increasingly, highly qualified professionals in the industry are making themselves available to FOS members for the same purposes.  If you have any questions, ask an FOS member.

Federal OD COPE database

Did you know that as of as of 1 JAN 2014, only four Army officers have unrestricted COPE lectures! The FOS plans to motivate federal ODs to prepare and present unrestricted COPE lectures by providing mentorship opportunities and A-list lecturer advice.  Part of this process is to identify the current state.  As this database grows, it will allow regions and organizations to identify federal ODs to invite as speakers for local or regional meetings.

FOS Award Program

This has proven to be more challenging than first anticipated, but the FOS recognizes the importance of taking a very deliberate approach to this program so we get it right the first time. Dr. Terryl Aitken, a Founding Member of the FOS, is drafting the proposal and will submit it to the FOS Board of Directors for consideration in the first quarter 2014. The FOS Award Program promises to be an innovative and inclusive opportunity for high-achievers.

ARBO Online CE Policy

In September 2013, Dr. Auvil requested an ARBO policy change to update COPE approval requirements for online continuing education. If successful, these changes will greatly benefit federal service ODs as the current federal budget crisis becomes the new normal and commands are no longer able to fund optometry continuing education. ARBO expects their Continuing Education Committee to make a decision by the end of January 2014 and the FOS will certainly share their decision.

Member Resource Section

The Member Resource Section includes the following categories: Clinical Operations, Professional Development and Mentorship Development.  FOS Members can share files on the Member Resources page including video, PowerPoint slides, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Adobe PDF documents, etc.

FOS Brand Promise

"...to be the premier, in-house venue for federal optometrists to share knowledge..."

Qualification Criteria

You can join the FOS if you are or ever were a federally-employed optometrist or if you are currently attending optometry school on a federal scholarship. There are various member categories depending on employment status, including student membership, resident membership, active and retired memberships. The membership category drives the rates for dues.

Membership Dues

Membership dues depend on your federal employment status and are reduced for qualifying membership in other organizations. There is also a temporary Founding Member category for people interested in helping the organization get off to a good start. For the first year of the organization, members may choose to join as a Founding Member at a rate of $200. Renewals will then be at the normal member rate,...

Why Should I Join?

     Members will have access to top-quality, low-cost, COPE-approved CE during FOS sponsored meetings. The FOS will also offer Mentorship Education (ME) and Professional Education (PE).  These tracks will target members at various milestones in their careers to offer advice through prepared lectures and member interaction.      Our annual meeting will...

How do I join?

First, congratulations on your decision to join the Federal Optometric Society. There are just a few things you need to do to join the organization - you have to register, decide whether or not you want to be a Founding Member, and then pay your membership dues. Simply click on the register link at the top of the home page, fill out the demographic information, and submit your registration request....

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