ISEPS Grassroots Action Center . . .
Optometric Surgery

These resources are available to ISEPS members (individual doctors and practices) to assist in informing members of the state legislature about our deep concerns about proposals in state government to allow optometrists to perform surgery and give injections around the eye.

Legislator Contacts

Find your legislators -- CLICK HERE

Use this form to report any contacts you have with state legislators.

The form will ask for your contact information, the date you reached the legislator, a place for comments (the substance of your report) and whether the lawmaker committed to our position.  Also, there is a place for you to note whether you have a personal connection to that legislator, such as a neighbor, friend, patient, etc.

It is vitally important for ophthalmologists (and their office staff and colleagues) to be in touch with their State Senators and Representatives in the Illinois General Assembly . . . both where you live -- and vote, and where you practice.  By reaching out to lawmakers where you see patients -- including all of your satellite offices -- is critical.  The legislator will understand immediately the impact you can have with the thousands of his/her constituents you take care of as a physician.

By reporting your contacts with lawmakers -- either in person, by phone or otherwise -- ISEPS can keep track of who we've reached, and our lobbyists can circle back and "seal the deal" or provide whatever follow-up is needed.

How To Do It

View this YOUTUBE VIDEO of ISEPS Vice President Nina Goyal, MD describing how she went about visiting with her State Senator.

Here are some suggestions about how to effectively communicate with a state legislator . . .

  • Visit your Senator or Representative in their district office
    •  Call the district office to make an appointment.
      • Click Here to identify your state senator and state representative (by street address)
      • Look up the address/phone number for your Senator or Representative
      • Be sure to state you are a constituent (live in the district) or that you practice in the district.  This matters to the legislator!
    • Expect the meeting to be relatively short... 15 minutes or so.  You can be friendly and conversational.  Be willing to share something about your practice, how many employees you have and how many patients.  Ask the legislator about him/herself...what are their priorities.
    • If you are there to discuss a particular subject, get to the point fairly quickly, and be clear about what you want the legislator to do...such as vote for/against a particular bill.  If pending legislation, make sure you know the bill number.
    • When you are ready to leave, "as a physician" offer to be an information resource on any health care issue.  Give the legislator your business card... consider writing your personal cellphone number on it.  
      • Always answer a call from your senator or representative!  If you give your office number, make sure your front office staff puts the call through immediately!
    • Follow-up within a few days with a short thank you letter.  Mention the day/location you met, state the subject you discussed, and thank the lawmaker for their time and consideration.
    • DO NOT bring a campaign contribution or offer to make one during a meeting at the district office or any time you are discussing legislation.
    • Submit your contact report to ISEPS using our ONLINE FORM
  • Call your Senator or Representative on the phone
    • Right up front, say that you are a constituent or that you practice in the legislator's district
    • State the purpose of your call . . . "I'm calling in opposition to Senate Bill (number) that would allow optometrists to perform eye surgery."
    • Ask if the legislator would be available to speak with you for a few minutes, but don't be offended if they're not available.  Tell the staff person your position and ask if the legislator can call you back, and provide your cellphone number.
      • If the lawmaker calls, BE SURE TO ANSWER!
      • Thank the legislator for the call-back and state your position on the bill briefly.
      • Offer to be an information resource on this or other health care issues.
    • DO NOT mention a campaign contribution when discussing legislation!
    • Submit your contact report to ISEPS using our ONLINE FORM
  • Write a letter to your Senator or Representative
    • It's always fine to send a letter to the district office, but if you know the General Assembly is in session, it's ok to send your letter to the Springfield address.
    • Look up your Senator or Representative's address - click here for the General Assembly website
    • Follow THESE TIPS in writing your letter
    • State the purpose of your letter, and refer to a bill number if applicable.  Tell the lawmaker if you want them to support or oppose the issue you are writing about.
    • NEVER, EVER threaten a legislator in any way!
    • Please share a copy of your letter with the ISEPS office, as well as any response you get from the legislator.
      • Illinois Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons; 10 W. Phillip Rd., Suite 120; Vernon Hills, IL  60061
        Fax:  847-680-1682
  • A few thoughts about sending email to a legislator
    • In general, an email would be the last option for communicating with your state senator or representative.  Lawmakers receive hundreds of emails every day, and an electronic communication from somebody they don't know will have very little impact.
    • An email is ok if you have previously met the legislator, or if you are following up on an issue 
    • Write the email as if it's a formal letter.  Don't us slang, and don't assume they will know immediately what subject or bill your referring to.  Be sure to include the bill number, if applicable.  
    • Be sure to SIGN your email with your complete name, address and phone number.  Don't leave off your name, or sign with just your first name.  Do not assume the legislator will be able to recognize you from your email address alone.
    • This should go without saying, but PROOFREAD your email!  Typos, misspelled words and grammatical errors definitely will detract from your message.

If you ever need assistance with contacting a legislator, please get in touch with the ISEPS office.



Last Updated on Saturday, March 10, 2018 02:18 PM