Awards & Recognition

The Paraoptometric Resource Center has developed several professional recognition awards for its members. The Paraoptometric of the Year, Community Service, and Bridgeway awards culminate at the Awards Reception being held during the 120th Annual AOA Congress & 47th Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry's Meeting®, June 21 - June 25, 2017, in Washington DC.

Paraoptometric Recognition Week

September 17-23, 2017

Paraoptometric Recognition Week is an opportunity to encourage paraoptometrics to think of themselves as professionals, take pride in their responsibilities, and pursue professional development. It is the only formal observance in the nation specifically intended to honor optometric practice staff.

Recognition of paraoptometry as a profession hinges on the strength of paraoptometric members and support of optometrists and other health care providers. By paraoptometrics seeking education, acquiring new skills and becoming certified, the high standards for the profession will challenge other support personnel who work within the profession to do the same.

Paraoptometric Recognition Week is observed annually during the third week of September by the American Optometric Association Paraoptometric Resource Center.

Doctors are encouraged to be creative in planning their recognition of staff.  Thank you for supporting the value of your staff by using the materials in the Paraoptometric Recognition Week (PRC) kit at your practice. 

Paraoptometric of the Year Award

Awarded annually to an optometric assistant or technician who has made the most outstanding and worthwhile contributions to the profession of optometry and the general public.

The Awards Committee will judge the nominees' performance based on the following criteria: service to optometry and paraoptometric associations, public service, and personal endorsement.

Nominees do not have to be winners of the state Paraoptometric of the Year Award. State winners are not automatically entered in the national contest. Nominees must be AOA associate members, not currently serving on the PRC Executive Committee. Nominations can be submitted by a state, regional, or local paraoptometric organization, an AOA member OD, or an AOA associate member.

The honoree will receive a plaque, roundtrip airfare to Optometry's Meeting®, three nights lodging reimbursement at a contract hotel, and $500 to assist with travel expenses.

Nomination forms, rules, and criteria are available through state associations and here.  Completed forms must be postmarked on or before February 1, 2017.  For additional information pertaining to this award, e-mail or call (800) 365-2219, ext. 4108.

View the 2016 Recipient

Community Service Award

Awarded to an AOA Associate member who is not currently serving on the Paraoptometric Resource Center Executive Committee and who has generously donated his or her time and talents to the profession. Each nominee is evaluated based on his or her performance as related in the following categories: community service within the optometric practice in which he/she works, self or practice-sponsored community service, as well as the individual's personal and professional goals of community service.

The recipient will be presented a plaque of recognition, a $100.00 personal cash award, and a $100.00 award to the charity of the recipient's choice.

Nomination forms are available here and may be submitted to Completed forms and recommendations must be received by the Paraoptometric Resource Center on or prior to March 31, 2017.

View the 2016 Recipient

The Bridgeway Award

Each year the PRC recognizes a state association/section that helps promote the profession of paraoptometry at the state and national levels. States may earn points annually that determine the winner of the award. The winner receives their award at Optometry's Meeting® during the Awards Reception. They receive a plaque recognizing their state's contributions, and an Education Library of staff development materials available through the PRC (a $650 value).

Learn more about accumulating criteria points.

View the 2016 Recipient

CPC Lifetime Achievement Award

As a way to honor retired certified paraoptometrics, the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification has created a new award called "The Lifetime Achievement Award." This award will recognize those who are currently retired and who have served the profession of optometry by continually giving of themselves in areas of patient eye care, office management, mentoring colleagues, and in service to the paraoptometric profession. 

Nominations can be submitted by a state, regional, or local paraoptometric organization, an AOA member OD, an AOA associate member, or a certified paraoptometric.   Unlike the other paraoptometric awards, this award will be presented at a state association meeting.   

Nomination forms, rules, and criteria are available here.  Completed forms must be postmarked on or before February 1, 2017.  For additional information pertaining to this award, e-mail or call 800-365-2219, ext. 4135.

2016 Paraoptometric Recognition Week (PRW) Downloadable Kit