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Legislative Update

Insight 2nd quarter 2020
Legislative Report

The only words that I can say for what has occurred so far this year are best summarized by the phrase "may you have an interesting life." (By the way, this phrase was referenced in ancient times as a polite form of a curse!)

I tend to view the meaning of this phrase to be a challenge in terms of a person not leading a life that is boring or mundane...and that certainly applies to all of us right now. The best news is that it appears as though we are winning the war against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For those of you who are too young to remember the swine flu, or the avian flu (H1N1), viral outbreaks similar to COVID-19 have plagued us before with many individuals impacted and suffering varying degrees of illness. However, when we look back at those pandemics...we won. And by working together, we will win again. We will win due to our personal resiliency combined with a healthcare system devoted to reducing the numbers of newly infected individuals and providing the fastest recovery possible to those already ill. All of this is made possible because we have the opportunity to work together as a strong and united front as opposed to fighting individually. To these ends, over the past two months, many of you have called me personally and asked some great questions:

"What can I do to maximize my chances for getting PPP money so I can take care of my employees and keep them working?"

"When is my area going to re-open in terms of routine eye care, business in general, and travel?"

"What is my best approach to protect my staff and patients in terms of the CDC guidance and PPE?"

"Should I close my office down completely or remain open to meet the needs of my staff and patients?"

"Are things looking better or worse for the control of the COVID-19 virus in Florida?"

These are just a few of the great questions that many of you have asked. Although I have been happy to offer my personal advice (and some published guidance), the final decision has rested with you. You hold the real decision-making process in your hands. That is the advantage to the position you hold as an essential, independent, primary eye health care physician. You gained your status in the health care system through years of hard work and a coordination of effort with the FOA. That is why I always refer to the "FOA" as "your FOA". Your FOA exists to make certain that you are included and eligible for all benefits made available to physicians, especially in a time of crisis, during the COVID-19 pandemic. I certainly hope that all of you take a moment to thank your FOA Board of Trustees, FOA staff, and FOA Legal Counsel, as they have worked tirelessly to ease your burden and stress while dealing with COVID-19. In fact, due to our concerted efforts, it appears that we are all moving towards a more normal way of life, perhaps by the end of this year. In the meantime, I wish you, your family, staff, and patients the very best of health and happiness. Please let me know if you need any help or assistance...who would have guessed the year of 2020 would be so "interesting"?

P.S. Dr. Stam – You’re doing a great job as FOA Board President, and you are certainly not "bored"...
Go Dr. Kosanovich, and win your election for AOA Trustee!

P.S.S. My favorite office billboard sign: "BYOB...of hand sanitizer that is!"



Kenneth W. Lawson, OD

FOA Legislative Chair




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