Dale Heaston, O.D.

Distinguished Service

A graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. Dale Heaston joined his father in optometric practice and immediately began his service to his profession. His father, active in optometric organizations and a member of the Washington State Board of Optometry, imparted his belief to his son to "Invest in your profession so that you can provide the highest quality of care for your patients."

As an active member of the Tri-City Optometric Society, Dr. Heaston served as president for two non-consecutive terms, spearheading and organizing community service programs to educate the public about vision and eye health and providing care to underserved community members. At the state level, he has served in numerous positions with the Optometric Physicians of Washington (OPW), including trustee, and as the State Public Relations chair, implemented a key focus area for OPW to create public awareness of the profession of optometry and eye and vision care across Washington state through a public relations campaign that included print, radio, and television outreach and coverage. 

Dr. Heaston has also carried optometry's message to legislators. As a believer in the grass-roots approach, Dr. Heaston has organized hundreds of activities to support and elect those who are committed to supporting optometry. He once organized a group of doctors of optometry from towns in a 115-mile radius to canvass an entire small city in the district for one state senator, who understood optometry's important role in health care delivery and was ensured a therapeutic pharmaceutical bill's hearing and later passage. He has served as Washington State Federal Legislative Co-Chair and Chair for more than 20 years. He has worked closely with the AOA in disseminating legislative information and messaging to his state's members to deliver to elected officials and staff, continuing to serve today in an advisory role in addition to being a Federal Legislative Keyperson. He has actively supported the PAC organizations for his state and the AOA.

Appointed by the Governor, Dr. Heaston serves on the Washington State Board of Optometry, serving first as a member, then president, and immediate past president.

Dr. Heaston was tapped by the AOA to serve on its Interassociation/Interprofessional Affairs Advisory Committee, which worked on a child/school health emphasis project to develop a vision education manual for educators that was provided nationwide. He also assembled a team to create the "National 4-H Vision Education Program," which authored set of 21 manuals and conducted 4-H leader training for the program.

He is the recipient of the OPW's Young OD of the Year, President's Distinguished Service, and OD of the Year awards.