Honoring the profession’s finest at Optometry’s Meeting® 2023
The 2023 National Optometry Hall of Fame inductees, from left: Mitchell Scheiman, O.D., Ph.D., Siu Wong, O.D., MPH, Joseph Shovlin, O.D.
Amid a whirlwind of ardent advocacy, student engagement, cutting-edge continuing education and professional networking, optometry took time to recognize the outstanding contributions of members to the profession and patients. Accolades ranged from outstanding advocacy to impact over a career.
“And to you, the many AOA and state volunteers,” AOA President Ronald L. Benner, O.D., said during Optometry’s Meeting. “We have the largest and most strategic volunteer group ever. Your service is not unrecognized. Your service is completely appreciated. Thank you for all the time you have given us.”
Dr. W. David Sullins, Jr., InfantSEE® Award
- Andrea Thau, O.D.
National Hall of Fame Inductees
Since 1998, the National Optometry Hall of Fame, administered by Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation, has recognized and honored doctors of optometry who are luminaries of the profession and imparted long-lasting contributions to optometry. Attendees gathered during the AOA Awards and National Optometry Hall of Fame ceremony to recognize the Class of 2023:
- Mitchell Scheiman, O.D., Ph.D.
- Siu Wong, O.D., MPH
- Joseph Shovlin, O.D.
AOA Distinguished Service Award
- Glen “Bubba” Steele, O.D. Watch Dr. Steele's award video.
Optometric Educator of the Year
- George Veliky, O.D. Watch Dr. Veliky's award video.
Optometrist of the Year
- Jon Pederson, O.D. Watch Dr. Pederson's award video.
Young Optometrist of the Year
- Amy Puerto, O.D. Watch Dr. Puerto's award video.
Student of the Year
- Caitlin Parks Watch Parks’ award video.
- Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety. Watch the Apollo Award video.
Paraoptometric of the Year
- Brandy Yeack, CPOA Watch Yeack's award video
Paraoptometric Community Service Award
- Brianne Speaks, CPOA
Paraoptometric Lifetime Achievement Awards
- Roberta Beers, CPOT
- Beverly Roberts, CPOT
- Erlinda Rodriguez, CPO
AOA Advocacy Awards
- Michael Mittelman, O.D., MPH, MBA (federal advocacy)
- Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (state advocacy)
- Jason Ortman, O.D. (payer advocacy)
- Meghan Elkins, O.D. (media advocacy)
- Viola Kanevsky, O.D. (media advocacy)
AOSA Optometry Student Bowl™ XXXI crowns champ
Zachary Ney, of the University of Houston College of Optometry, raised the winner’s trophy at the AOSA Optometry Student Bowl™ XXXII powered by EssilorLuxottica. Second place went to Nicholas Keinath, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, and, in a tie, third place to Sakshi Vasiu, State University of New York College of Optometry, and Sammy Haskins, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. The University of Houston College of Optometry also earned the Spirit Award.
5K Run winners
Competitors laced up their shoes for the Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation 5K Run, supported by Allergan, Tarsus and Neurolens. This year’s top 5K female finishers were Erin Hudson, Shannon Kirchmer, O.D., and Mora Boatman. This year’s top 5K male finishers were Justin Vo, Matt Valdes, O.D., and Kevin Harris, O.D. View the full Optometry Cares 5K race results.
September is Paraoptometric Appreciation Month, celebrating optometric practice staff around the country. Two paraoptometric professionals who provide eye care as active-duty veterans in the United States Armed Forces share their stories.