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WOODWARD, OKLA., May 22, 1964. Representative KENNETH 4. ROBERTS, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.:
Our sincere appreciation to you for introducing H.R. 8546 on loans to optometry students.
Dr. Max QUILLIN, President, Oklahoma Optometric Association.
SACRAMENTO, CALIF., May 22, 1964. Hon. KENNETH ROBERTS, Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, House Interstate and
Foreign Commerce Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.: The California Optometric Association, representing 2,000 practicing optometrists in this State vitally interested in H.R. 8546, H.R. 8560 by Congressman Harlan Hagen and other identical bills before your Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety scheduled for hearings next week. These bills provide for loans to students of optometry under the student loan program. Our profession and this associated feel that such legislation is just and equitable.
BERNARD R. GARRETT, O.D., Chairman, Legislative Committee, California Optometric Association.
G. BRADLEY BARNES, O.D., President, California Optometric Association.
MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA, May 22, 1964. Hon. BEN F. JENSEN, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.:
Iowa Optometric Association endorses H.R. 8546 relative to Federal loans for optometric students. Request above statement be included in record of hearings taking place May 26, 1964, before House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, chaired by Congressman Kenneth Roberts of Alabama.
C. M. LONG, President, Iowa Optometric Association.
FRANKFORT, Ky., May 26, 1964. Hon. KENNETH ROBERTS, Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, House Interstate and Foreign
Commerce Committee, Washington, D.C.: The Kentucky Optometric Association strongly supports H.R. 8546 for Federal loans to optometry students; 37 counties in Kentucky are without the services of full-time eye care practitioners and new men are not filling the ranks of those who die or retire.
More optometrists are needed in Kentucky and this law would give more students an opportunity to practice in our State.
Hoping that this statement may become port of the record of your hearings, I remain, Respectfully yours,
Dr. GEORGE I. OLIVER, Administrative Director, Kentucky Optometric Association.
STATE OF OHIO, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,
STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY,
Columbus, Ohio, May 23, 1964, Hon. KENNETH ROBERTS, Chairman, Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, Washington, D.O.
DEAR SIR: I want to urge passage of H.R. 8546 to allocate Federal funds to optometry students.
We are examining high caliber young men and women and licensing them. W should have more to meet the present needs of Ohioans. The trend of Ohio population is such that even increased numbers will be needed in the near future.
This will be a definite help to students who can in turn render their services to the people of Ohio. Very truly yours,
J. T. KEITH, President.
FLORIDA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Orlando, Fla., May 22, 1964. Congressman PAUL ROGERS, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.O.:
It has come to my attention that H.R. 8546 relating to Federal loans for optometry students will be discussed in a hearing to take place May 26 before the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety.
You are probably aware that the State of Florida felt a great need for additional optometric services and practitioners in 1961 when our legislature provided for State support of scholarships for prospective students.
There is still a tremendous shortage in Florida for in 1961 we had a ratio of 1 optometric for each 11,000 persons. This ration shouldn't be over 1 to each 7,000 if the public is to receive adequate visual care.
Efforts on your part to see that these statements are included in the record of the hearings will be greatly appreciated.
I have heard many fine comments from Dr. William Harmon and others on your accomplishments and want to wish you well in all your efforts for the good and welfare of our great State as well as the Nation. Cordially,
PAUL M. KESSLER, O.D., President.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOARDS
May 21, 1964.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE ROBERTS: The International Association of Boards of Examiners would appreciate your support of the amendment to the Federal assistance to students loans (H.R. 8546).
A survey of eye care throughout the United States has shown a great number of areas in which eye care is not available.
In order to meet this shortage of optometrists this association has undertaken a recruitment program of great magnitude.
However, there are many students who are unable to continue their education without assistance. For this reason, we hope you will act favorably on this bill. Sincerely yours,
ALBERT H. RODRIGUEZ, O.D., D.O.S.,
SOUTHERN COUNCIL OF OPTOMETRISTS,
Atlanta, Ga., May 21, 1964. Hon. KENNETH ROBERTS, Chairman, Subcommittee on Health and Public Şafety, Interstate and Foreign
Commerce Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN ROBERTS: On behalf of the some 2,000 members of the Southern Council of Optometrists in 12 Southern States, I am writing to respectfully request the earnest consideration and approval by your subcommittee of H.R. 8540, relating to Federal loans for optometry students.
Recognizing that the population explosion and dynamic industrial growth of the South required our special action, several years ago we launched a regionwide movement to provide voluntary scholarships and to enlist State aid to assure that future citizens would be provided with adequate care.
We are pleased to report that many scholarships are now being offered both by optometric organizations and that five States—Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Texas—have met this challenge in a way through providing limited tax funds to assure an uninterrupted flow of practitioners in the future. There are indications that some others will follow suit. However, the need is still far outstripping the means of solving it.
The cost of 4 years of professional training in optometry, like other professions, is out of the reach of many otherwise capable young men and women. In other professions this problem has been met with Government loans and tax aid, as well as assistance from industry. We feel that people are entitled to first-rate vision care the same as any other type of health service.
We estimate that 350 more optometrists, over and above those for replacements due to deaths and retirements, will be needed by the States of our area than will be provided to meet increasing population between now and 1970. The cost of an optometric education and the inability to compete with other professions due to their Government-aid plans and scholarships handicaps us in attempting to meet this need.
Studies have shown that there is a very definite relationship between the incidence of eye disease and the number of eye care practitioners in an area. Since the South is at the bottom in the Nation in the number of practitioners, it is, therefore, not surprising that it is likewise the area of the highest incidence of eye disease.
Likewise, we would like to respectfully call the attention of the distinguished members of your subcommittee to the fact that optometry is basically a profession serving the eye care needs of millions of rural people in the South and the Nation. We provide the only vision care services available in a majority of the counties of the South. Therefore, we feel that we speak in the interest of the rural people, particularly, when we respectfully request your committee to approve H.R. 8540.
Any consideration you and the committee see fit to give this matter will be appreciated. We are pleased that your outstanding committee is holding hearings on this matter. We congratulate you upon your spirit of public service and concern for the well-being of the public.
We would like to request that this letter be made a part of the record of the hearing which we understand will be held on May 26 by the Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety. Sincerely yours,
JAMES F. LOOMIS, O.D., President.
THE ALABAMA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,
May 21, 1964. Re H.R. 8546. Hon. KENNETH A. ROBERTS, Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign
Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR KENNETH: I want to take this opportunity and means to again thank you for introducing this amendment to Public Law 88–129 so that the loan provision of the Health Professions Education Assistance Act of 1963 might be available to optometry students.
As you know, we have no optometry college in Alabama and our State government provides no support whatsoever to our students of optometry who must go into other States for their education. Net result of this is the fact that some 17 Alabama counties do not have the full-time services of an optometrist. This dire shortage of optometrists is on the increase as far as Alabama is concerned and we see little hope for improvement for the future except through this and other worthy legislation.
Aga thank you for all your past efforts on behalf of optometry. Thank you for calling the May 26 subcommittee hearing on this bill. May I ask that this letter be included in the records of this hearing? Yours most sincerely,
FRANKLIN C. MINTON, O.D., President.
OREGON OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,
Portland, Oreg., May 21, 1964. Hon. KENNETH A. ROBERTS, Chairman, House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CHAIRMAN ROBERTS: The 161-member Oregon Optometric Association respectfully commends passage of H.R. 8546, relating to Federal loans for optometry students, and asks that this statement be included in the record of hearings you will conduct before the House of Representatives Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee on May 26.
Considering the mounting program to encourage young people to enter healing arts professions, through loans and grants to them in their student years, it seems proper that intensified assistance should be given to optometric undergraduates.
Overall, the Nation had 283 fewer optometrists on March 1 of this year than on March 1, 1962. We suffered markedly in the Northwest-Oregon's optometric population dropped from 335 to 331 in these 2 years, Idaho’s from 96 to 95, Montana's from 98 to 91.
In Oregon, we have launched an intensive recruiting drive to attract young people to the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, one of only 10 optometric colleges in the United States. Our men began last Friday a drive to raise $300,000 by private subscription, to match funds which will be sought under H.R. 12 for the construction of an additional 22,500 square feet of classroom space at Pacific University, part of a $1,100,000 overall expansion plan on its campus.
But our resources as individuals cannot go past a certain point. We cannot create adequate loan funds to students from our modest membership dues treasury.
There are no optometrists in such cities as Barnes, population 5,076; Empire, 3,781; Four Corners, 4,743, and similar towns with populations between 4,000 and 5,000, whether incorporated or not.
Ours is a fairly large and rambling State. In some rather isolated counties, such as Harney, there is 1 optometrist for 6,744 people. But in the event of his illness or death the other nearest towns are about 150 miles away. In Lake County, to serve 7,158 people, there is only 1 optometrist. In Malheur County, 22,764 people, there are only 2 optometrists, both in Ontario, and none in Vale or Nyssa, the county's other 2 major cities.
There are no optometrists at all in Gilliam County, population 3,069 ; Sherman County, population 2,446; and only 1 optometrist in Wallowa County, population 7,102.
Pacific University is also strengthening its curriculums and faculty, to accommodate 16 new students a year by 1967 and to launch a 6-year academic program by 1970. That expansion will be mockery without students to take advantage of it, and the public health could be seriously impaired due to a lack of vissioncare practitioners.
As a small but hard-working State in the Union, we commend to you the passage of H.R. 8546. Sincerely,
TED HALLOCK, Administrative Director.
TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS IN OPTOMETRY,
Austin, Tex., May 21, 1964. Hon. KENNETH A. ROBERTS, Chairman, Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN ROBERTS: We understand that H.R. 8546 will be before your committee for public hearings right away. We hope that you will support an amendment to include optometry students in any loan provisions of the bill. The need for encouraging young people to go into the profession of optometry is as great as in any of the health care professions.
We are sure that you understand this and trust that you will give this amendment your support. Sincerely,
IRA E. WOODS, O.D., President.
IDAHO OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,
May 22, 1964. Mr. COMPTON WHITE, U.S. Representative, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN WHITE: In behalf of the Idaho Optometric Association I sincerely urge you to personally support and use your influence in the support of H.R. 8546 relating to Federal loans for optometry students.
Respectfully I request that my following statements be included in the record of hearings scheduled for May 26 by the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Public Safety, chairman, Congressman Kenneth Roberts, of Alabama : "There has been only a nominal increase of the number of optometrists practicing in the State of Idaho during the past 5 years despite substantial increases in the population. Idaho needs 1 new optometrist for each 5,000 increase of population in addition to the number required for replacements of retiring practitioners, if the vision of the Idaho residents is to be adequately cared for." Your truly,
C. P. HIBBARD, O.D., President.
IDAHO OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,
May 21, 1964. Hon. COMPTON WHITE, House of Representatives Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN: I feel that it would be to optometry's and the public's interest if you can support and include an endorsement in record of the hearings to be held May 26 on H.R. 8546.
The hearing is being held by the Foreign Commerce's Subcommittee on Health and relates to Federal loans to optometric students. Congressman Kenneth Roberts of Alabama is the chairman of this committee.
Idaho has less than 100 practicing optometrists ; not adequate to fulfill future demands of a growing population. Thank you for past courtesies and the consideration you may extend in furthering the bill mentioned. Sincerely,
PETER G. SCHROECK, O.D., Secretary-Treasurer.
VIRGINIA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION,
Richmond, Va., May 21, 1964. Hon. J. VAUGHAN GARY, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. GARY: This is to advise you that the Virginia Optometric Association unanimously endorses H.R. 8546 relating to Federal loans for optometry students.
There is a real shortage of optometrists in Virginia and we feel this piece of legislation would help to correct this situation and assure better eye care for residents of our State.