Paul C. Ajamian, O.D., of Georgia, is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Ajamian is a 1980 graduate of the New England College of Optometry and became one of the first ODs to participate in a post-graduate fellowship program at the Bascon Palmer Eye Institute (BPE).
Following his post‐graduate training, he stayed at BPE and developed the first optometry clinic and continued to develop and coordinate the student externship and fellowship program. In 1982, Dr. Ajamian left BPE to found the first optometric co‐management and referral center, now called the Omni Eye Services of Atlanta. Dr. Ajamian helped pioneer the referral center concept and engaged community optometrists to share in the post‐surgical care of their patients and encouraged them to become active participants in their patients' medical care. He has trained center directors from across the country to open and run similar centers.
Dr. Ajamian serves on the faculty of 14 different schools and colleges of optometry. He also founded and serves as director of an accredited residency program at Omni Eye Services, affording ODs from across the country the opportunity to participate in post‐graduate educational opportunities. Dr. Ajamian has presented at more than 800 meetings across the country and globally regarding eye care.
An active member of the Georgia Optometric Association (GOA), Dr. Ajamian served as president in 2000-2001. While serving as president, he helped in the passage of legislation to expand the scope of practice for optometry and helped increase GOA membership significantly.
Dr. Ajamian has volunteered much time to the AOA, serving as chair of the AOA's Task Force on Radial Keratotomy and the Committee on Vision Screenings (2003-2004). He's also served as a member of the AOA's Glaucoma Advisory Project Team (2005-2006) and the Diabetes Eyecare Project Team (2006-2007).
Dr. Ajamian is also immediate past chairman of the American Board of Optometry and has worked as a clinical investigator for the National Eye Institute.