Promoting the professional stature of opticianry through educational opportunities, legislative activity, and national communications.
Promoting the professional stature of opticianry through educational opportunities, legislative activity, and national communications.


Spring Convention Deadline

Dear OAW Members and Partners,

We only have until March 27nd to book your rooms for the special rate of $159 per night for our annual Spring Convention Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine WA.

When booking online at go to make a reservation and click on check availability, enter the code in the far left box under Group Code (OAW) along with the dates of stay and then submit. The OAW 2017 Annual Spring Convention & Tradeshow rates will be displayed for your guests to book.

Our guests are also able to call the central reservation number at 855.917.3767 and book under the OAW 2017 Annual Spring Convention & Tradeshow with the same code of OAW. Block closes Monday March 20th 2017.

Don’t miss out on this special rate. See You At Semiahmoo.


Donna Hatch LDO, HFOAA
Executive Director

Legislative Update 2-22-17

HB 775 Georgia (Passed): Banned “Opternative” and other online refracting technologies. It also prevents neutralizing and duplication of lenses by opticians.

HB 2378 Arizona (Failed in Committee): Dissolution of Arizona Optical Dispensers License. It is still in committee (on hold) but was essentially killed after Feb 17 due to not being brought up for discussion. However, it does have 19 different bipartisan cosponsors, It could be brought back to life. The Arizona state board of dispensing opticians does mention the bill on their website but do not seem overly concerned.

HB 1497 Virginia (Passed House and Senate, Governor must sign by 2-24-17 to become law): Requires, for ophthalmic prescriptions written on or after July 1, 2017, that an ophthalmologist or optometrist establish a bona fide provider-patient relationship with a patient prior to prescribing spectacles, eyeglasses, lenses, or contact lenses, and sets out requirements for establishing such relationship, which includes options for examination of the patient either in person or through face-to-face interactive, two-way, real-time communication or store-and-forward technologies.

HB 617 Ohio (Failed): Ohio Optical Dispensers Board is being recommended for consolidation in a new super board, Vision & Hearing Professionals Board. Being proposed again in 2017, more to come.

FTC Contact Lens Rule: September 2015, the FTC sought public comment on the costs, benefits, and impact of the Contact Lens Rule as part of its regular review of all current FTC rules and guides. The Commission received 660 comments from interested parties and stakeholders, many of those were from our State and National Associations as well as individual opticians. The new proposal will require optometrists to obtain a signed agreement stating a prescription was received by the consumer. The signed acknowledgement must be kept on file for three years.

In Loving Memory

It is with a heavy heart that I report to you the loss of one of the greatest friends that Washington State Opticians have ever known, Judy Haenke.

Judy, a longtime HSQA employee, died unexpectedly Jan. 3. Her passing is a sad loss to all of us who worked with and knew her.

Judy was an original Department of Health employee. She transferred to the agency when it was formed in 1989, coming from the Department of Licensing. She worked as a program manager in what is now the Office of Health Professions, overseeing work involving numerous health professions over the years, including the Optometrists and the Optician Examining Committee.  Judy retired in 2015. 

A memorial service for Judy will take place at 1 p.m. Feb. 25 in Bethel Church, 132 Kirkland Road, Chehalis. Her brother, Pat Smith, is planning the service. He would like to know how many people might attend. People may contact him by email. 

In a 2014 interview in conjunction with the Department of Health’s 25th anniversary, Judy spoke about the satisfaction of knowing that our work contributes to making Washington a safer, healthier state. She also talked about the importance of relationships in our workplace.

“You get a real friendship,” she said. “You know how people work. It’s like a family.”

Tim Alden, former LDO: I worked with Judy on the Examining Committee for six years, and conferred with her on various projects afterward. I remember her explaining our mission. “Our main objective is to not set unprepared Opticians on the unsuspecting public.” I will so miss her sense of humor.

Judy was indeed part of our optical families. We will miss her.

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PO Box 2489
Yakima, WA 98907

Phone: 509.961.4169