Optometrist of the Year
Fred Farias III, O.D., of Texas, has been selected as the 2016 Optometrist of the Year for his years of service to his patients, AOA and the profession, along with his commitment to public service. Certified as a therapeutic optometrist and an optometric glaucoma specialist, Dr. Farias is CEO of 20/20 Vision Care in McAllen, Texas.
Since graduating in 1987 from the Southern College of Optometry, he has made numerous contributions to the profession. He is the immediate past president of the Texas Optometric Association, which named him its 2015 Optometrist of the Year. Additionally, he has served as president of the Rio Grande Valley Optometric Society, which he joined in 1988.
Among his contributions to the state and national organizations, he has served as state coordinator for Vision USA organizational meetings and promoted the Vision USA initiative through public service announcements and newspaper articles. He also volunteers as an InfantSee® provider. A frequent attendee at AOA advocacy conferences, he has been an AOA Keyperson for more than 20 years. His commitment to advancing the optometry profession continues in his work as a member of the AOA Federal Legislative Action and Keyperson Committee.
His service extends to the public in a range of activities. Last February, Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Dr. Farias to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Gov. Rick Perry also called on his expertise, appointing him to the Texas Optometry Board from 2001-2007.
Always focused on the visual welfare of the public, Dr. Farias is a charter member of the Optometry Cares Society, the giving society of Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation. Additionally, he organizes and sponsors vision screenings for underserved communities in south Texas. As part of his outreach, he has supported the McAllen Lions Club. Dr. Farias shares his passion for eye care by talking to teachers and nurses on the importance of vision and regular eye exams. He also lectures at optometric seminars and meetings both in the United States and internationally.