Longtime AOA leader leaves legacy
It is with great sadness that the AOA notes the passing of Beth Kneib, O.D., 62, on May 8, 2019. A longtime AOA leader and volunteer, Dr. Kneib is remembered for an enduring passion toward her work, family and her colleagues.
"Beth was a dedicated, driven leader for the profession of optometry. Beth was a passionate advocate for patients and for quality improvement in the field of optometry. She will truly be missed by all her colleagues here at the AOA. Our heart goes out to her family," says AOA President Samuel D. Pierce, O.D.
Beginning in 2011, Dr. Kneib held leadership roles in the following AOA initiatives and committees: Optometric Registry, Ophthalmic Standards, Ethics and Values, New Technology, Community Health Programs, including InfantSEE ®, Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® and VISION USA. Most recently, she served as director of the AOA Clinical Resources Group, including the AOA Council on Research, Health Promotions Committee, and development, management and production of the AOA's monumental, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
"The guidelines were her passion and a core element of her professional work. The clinical guidelines are not only a great legacy that Beth will live on by and leave behind, but also one of the greatest tools that doctors of optometry have to drive evidence-based clinical practice for the benefit of our patients for many years to come," says Andrew Morgenstern, O.D., AOA consultant.
Prior to her visionary work with the AOA, Dr. Kneib served for more than 20 years on numerous committees for professional organizations and continued to promote educational initiatives for continuous quality improvement. She was a member of the Agency for Quality Alliance (AQA) Steering Group, overseeing AQA activities, strategic planning and governance structure.
Dr. Kneib graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry and completed her residency in hospital-based ocular disease at the American Lake Veterans Administration Medical Center. She worked in hospital-based services, surgical co-management centers, surgical quality assurance, and directed professional relations programs for both privately and publicly owned companies. She developed and delivered training materials and programs for optometrists throughout the country and served as an adjunct faculty member to three optometric colleges and universities.
Dr. Kneib was a true trailblazer in the profession. In 1985, she was the first American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) female president leading the first AOSA all-women executive council.
"As a person so proud of and focused on her family, a skilled and accomplished doctor, a highly respected health industry executive, a longtime AOA volunteer and, of course, cherished staff leader, and an extraordinarily caring person, Beth touched, aided, healed and improved many, many lives. Her resilience, great courage and undiminished sense of humor throughout the time of her illness will remain a testament to her admirable strength and powerful spirit," says AOA Executive Director Jon Hymes.
A memorial service and celebration of Dr. Kneib's life will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Beck's Tribute Center, 405 Fifth Ave S, Edmonds, WA 98020. View Dr. Kneib's obituary.
Please share memories with the family at beckstributecenter.com.
Please consider making a contribution to Optometry Cares ®—The AOA Foundation in memory of Dr. Kneib and to honor her commitment to community health programs like InfantSEE and Healthy Eyes Healthy Children.
Although about 13% of the U.S. population is Black, they are woefully underrepresented in optometry. They represent about 2% of practicing doctors of optometry and a little over 3% of full-time students in optometry schools and colleges, according to studies. Black doctors of optometry seek to grow those numbers.
A crusader for vision and eye care in local, state and national communities, Patricia spread her love for the AOA across the country. The AOA sends condolences and thanks to the Hopping family for their years of service.
Learn how you can apply or nominate a doctor of optometry for the 2024 AOA Leadership Institute.