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Dear Christine,

Yay! It's Spring! Welcome to the March edition of the OAC newsletter, The OAC INTRACOM. The OAC newsletter is sent out electronically on a monthly basis to all OAC members. Know of someone who has not been receiving their newsletter? Have them
contact the OAC office and we will be sure to add them to our email list!

I'm just saying...

I looked up the phrase I’m just sayin’ in the urban dictionary; it is defined as:

A phrase that is used when someone is offended by something you said. This phrase then removes all the offensiveness of the previous statement, making it all good.
I love it. The fact is, though, we are all held to account for the things we say, and do especially as health care professionals. That is what we are right? We have committed ourselves to higher standards; higher education, license standards and fees to ensure that we have a regulated system under which to practice. Our belief is that we are regulated to ensure that the public will be adequately protected from harmful actions via unregulated persons or businesses. The regulation system is also there to protect the public from Optician practices that may be self-serving in such a manner that they avoid the public-protection factor. We are the ones whom were granted self-regulation authority.  

 â€œI think that when there is this strong of a commitment by the governments to make something happen, ignoring or fighting it, rather than finding a way to preserve public safety and still comply with it, is asking for the governments to intervene in our privilege of self-regulation,” McDonald warns. “We must remember that the legislation allowing for self-regulation belongs to each of the respective legislatures, and it can be easily amended or repealed.” -Robert McDonald, P.Eng., LLB, director of membership and legal services, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan.

Yes, let’s agree that from time to time the OAC will object (on behalf of our members) about high license fees, quality assurance program rules of which we may find lacking or too strict. We will raise concerns over illegal practice and/or unfair practice rules. All this is true; but in the end we must protect our right to self-regulation, for it is exactly what makes us professionals.  We cannot let others decide our fate…neither business nor the courts nor government; they do not understand the vision care delivery system or needs of the vison care consumers like the professionals do.  We need to be creative and progressive, and like MacDonald said we have to find a way…..

P.s. for anyone we may have offended in this article ….I’m just sayin’ … :-)

Thank you for being a member of the OAC and standing with your colleagues.  

Robert Dalton
Executive Director, OAC

FREE Tickets to Gala Dinner This Saturday
The OAC has free tickets available for the Ontario Opticians Association 70th Anniversary Gala Dinner this Saturday night. Bring a guest! Tickets are given out on a first come first served basis - email us . The dinner takes place at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel in Richmond Hill. Dinner is at 7:00 PM. Join us for an evening of delicious food and fun with live musical entertainment and dancing!

"So Much More Than An Eye Clinic" - AB Optician Reflects on Mission
by Lindsay Enns, Opticians Association of Canada

If you have ever spent time speaking to Alberta Optician, Christine Zacharko, about her medical missions to Haiti you know what an incredible individual she is. I had the privilege of speaking to Christine on the phone yesterday for over 2 hours about her missions she has been embarking on for the last 5 years, the most recent being the beginning of March. The passion she conveys while speaking of her experiences is beyond any I have ever felt before. She tells stories of woe as well as encouragement, hope and happiness.

Christine has travelled to the same village in Haiti, Marbial, for her last 3 missions. Marbial is in the jungle (4 hours  from the city of Port Au Prince); the conditions are unlike any of us have ever experienced or could even imagine.

The medical mission, through the
Jeff Cherubin Domond Foundation, includes dental, optical and medical services. Christine runs an eye clinic providing reading glasses, safety glasses, sunglasses, hats and eye drops. The method used to test vision is threading a needle; for many, this is their way of life... if they cannot see well enough to thread a needle to sew, they cannot make money to feed themselves of their family. Through her missions,  Christine has learned to focus on educating the Haitians about the importance of vision protection and caring for their eyes. "Self sustainability is very important for this population, education on health care issues will help them into the future."

In speaking with Christine over the phone, she continuously described her missions as "so much more than an eye clinic." Returning to the same village, Christine has developed many friendships and personal connections with the people of Marbial; many of them recognize her and are so happy to see her back again. The hardest part for Christine is knowing that the team cannot fix everything and help everyone, but knows the part they do play has an incredible impact.

You have to be mentally tough to go on these missions, "although you often feel like crying, it won't help these people" says Christine. Living, sleeping, eating and seeing the conditions these people live in is extremely difficult, yet Christine feels privileged to be able to share in their lives for the short time she is there. She is drawn back each year to "help make a difference in the small way she can".

Thank you for speaking with me yesterday Christine, and for opening my eyes to the gift of being born and raised in Canada;, something we all too often take for granted.

CLICK HERE to read more about Christine's mission to Haiti from March 2 - 14.
New OAC Director in B.C.
On March 20th at the Vision Vancouver event in Burnaby, the OAC members in B.C. voted Claudia Rojas as the new OAC director for the province. Claudia will represent the interests of B.C. Opticians both locally and nationally at the table of the OAC Board of Directors.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Gisele Klein who has made significant contributions as OAC Board of Director in B.C. over the last 2 years.  The OAC would like to thank all nominees for running.
Trending on Facebook...
'Stunning' operation regenerates eye's lens - A pioneering procedure to regenerate the eye has successfully treated children with cataracts in China -More than half of all cases of blindness are caused by cataracts - the clouding of the eye's lens. An implanted lens is normally needed to restore sight, but the operation described in Nature activated stem cells in the eye to grow a new one.Experts describe the breakthrough as one of the finest achievements in regenerative medicine. READ MORE
2016 Upcoming Events
  • April 3, 2016 (ON) - Inside Optics
  • April 24, 2016 (NS) - NSSDO Spring Education Event & AGM
  • May 1, 2016 (AB) - COA AGM & Convention 2016
  • May 15, 2016 (NL) - Newfoundland Education Day
  • September 11, 2016 (BC) – Vision Vancouver Fall Education Day
  • October 2, 2016 (NB) - NB Education Day & AGM
  • October 16, 2016 (MB) – Vision Manitoba Education Day
  • October 22, 2016 (SK) – Vision Saskatoon Education Day
  • October 23, 2016 (SK) – Vision Regina Education Day
  • November 4 - 6, 2016 (ON) - Vision Canada
Celebrating 70 Years of Opticianry In Ontario
2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the Ontario Opticians Association (OOA). To mark this momentous year, the OOA is hosting the biggest Inside Optics in its history on April 2nd & 3rd. The event includes a cocktail party with live music, a full day of education and trade show exhibit. The OAC is excited to be in attendance to help the OOA celebrate! READ MORE
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