Get Politically Active
Alan Kimura (LDP XIV-2012) shared how he and his LDP colleagues are participating in local advocacy in his home state of Colorado.
Leo Seibold (LDPXVII-2015) organized the Colorado Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons’ (CSEPS) Day at the Capitol, an opportunity for physicians to meet with legislators at the state capitol. Jeff Pettey’s (LDP XIV-2012) strong work in Utah at the Moran Eye Center stimulated the Colorado society to emulate their ophthalmology residency advocacy. “We can all learn from one another!” said Alan.
LDP graduates Alan Kimura (LDP XIV-2012), Dave Johnson (LDP V-2003, and former LDP Director) participated in the event as CSEPS Board Members along with organizer Leo Seibold (LDPXVII-2015). On the day of the event a morning snowstorm snarled traffic all across Denver, interfering with planned participation in the event by Colorado ophthalmologists. Fortunately, however, young ophthalmologists (YOs) from the residency program were all able to attend.
Photo: Alan Kimura (LDP XIV-2012), Dave Johnson (LDP V-2003, and former LDP Director), and Leo Seibold (LDP XVII-2015) meet with Colorado state representative Beth McCann during the Colorado Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons’ Day at the Capitol.
Several young ophthalmologists who have participated in the Academy’s Mid-Year Forum as Advocacy Ambassadors were also present, including 2016 ambassadors Cara Capitena, MD and Gabriela Rodriquez-Colon, MD, and 2015 ambassador Amy M. Cherof, MD. “Hopefully Colorado can develop a farm team and develop future players for the Big Leagues,” said Alan. Alan hopes that as the careers of these young ophthalmologists develop, they will also develop into key players in Colorado’s advocacy efforts.
During the CSEPS Day at the Capitol, Dave, Leo and Alan discussed optometric scope of practice, the Surgical Scope Fund, OPHTHPAC, and how young ophthalmologists can and should participate in advocacy.
Alan also incorporates advocacy efforts into his other interactions with YOs. As one of two community doctors that lecture to ophthalmology residents at the University of Colorado, Alan shared, “I always weave in population health, the patient experience of care, and costs into my retina lectures to them. Residency is ideal time to speak about advocacy, for once residents are out of training and just starting their practice, it is very challenging to get them to take even a day off work.