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eyeContacts in Action: Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch Visits Practice of ASCRS Past President, ASOA Vice President

On March 31, ASCRS Past President Robert Cionni, MD, and his practice manager, ASOA Vice President Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, CCRC, welcomed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to the Eye Institute of Utah, where they presented him with a check on behalf of eyePAC, the non-partisan political action committee representing ASCRS members.

Sen. Hatch, who is up for re-election in 2018, is chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over health programs like Medicare and Medicaid. During the meeting, Dr. Cionni took the opportunity to discuss ASCRS’ legislative priorities, including the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), MACRA implementation, and regulatory relief. Sen. Hatch then took the time to tour the clinic, seeing an ophthalmology practice in action, as well as how policies and regulations can affect doctors, staff, and patients. According to Ms. Bachman, the Senator was “gracious and friendly,” sharing many personal and political stories during his visit.

Dr. Cionni and Ms. Bachman are both ASCRS•ASOA eyeContacts who regularly participate in the societies’ grassroots advocacy efforts, including attending the annual Alliance of Specialty Medicine Legislative Fly-In, held each summer on Capitol Hill. They are among a group of members who understand that involvement in the political process is important to the future of their profession and their patients. Like other eyeContacts, they are developing relationships with their elected officials, and volunteering to hand-deliver an eyePAC check to a Senator or Representative is just one way to do that. Some eyeContacts simply respond to action alerts and surveys when asked, while others host fundraisers in their states for key candidates who support our issues.

If you would like to join members like Dr. Cionni and Ms. Bachman and become an eyeContact, please visit today or contact Tami O’Brien, manager of PAC and grassroots, at

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