Mark Swanson, O.D.

Mark Swanson

Educator of the Year  

A graduate of University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Optometry, Mark Swanson, O.D., completed his residency at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He joined the UABSO faculty in 1986 and continues in that role today. In 2003, Dr. Swanson earned his MSPH at the UAB School of Public Health, and was also a Geriatric Faculty Scholar from 2011-2012. 

Dr. Swanson participated as a Gerontology Trainee at the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry/Department of Health and Human Services. He also became an NIH research trainee at the Vision Science Research Center at UAB.

An author and/or co-author of more than 45 papers, Dr. Swanson has also authored nine chapters in books and co-authored a book. He is a frequent lecturer and has presented over 200 continuing education classes for optometrists.

He has held numerous leadership roles at the UAB School of Optometry including Newsletters of Interprofessional Continuing Education, Review Committee; Interprofessional Education Coordinating Committee; Interprofessional Clinical Experience Preceptor; Geriatric Education Center, Advisory committee; Faculty Senate; Chairman, Optometry Faculty Advisory Committee; and several others.

Over the last several years, Dr. Swanson has been honored with many teaching and clinical awards, including the UAB President's Teaching Award, Optometry; UAB School of Optometry Clinical Instruction Teaching Award 2013-14; William C. Ezell Outstanding Publication Award; Bernell Binocular Vision Award; and named as White House Conference on Aging Alternate Alabama Delegate in 2005.

In addition, Dr. Swanson has received several grants and participated in more than a dozen clinical investigations/FDA Trials.

Dr. Swanson has been active in serving the visual and other needs of the public. He is currently a reviewer for the IRIS telemedicine project, and a volunteer with Project Homeless Connect. He has served for more than 20 years with the Alabama Department of Public Health Diabetes Network Advisory Board, most recently as the current co-chair. Other organizations benefiting from Dr. Swanson's expertise and dedication include the Camp Seale Harris Vision Service Project for diabetic children, the Descriptive Video Task Force, and Project OASIS, a state-wide vision rehabilitation program for the elderly.

Dr. Swanson has been very involved with the Alabama Optometric Association and the Birmingham Area Optometric Society. He has also participated in development of several AOA clinical publications, including principal author/editor, Care of the Nursing Home Resident Manual, and co-editor, Hospital Privileges Manual. He also served on the editorial review board for Optometry-Journal of the American Optometric Association.