News

By Ranjit Kaur, OD, 2020 Family Practice Resident 

The pandemic took a hard grip on the healthcare system, including Optometry. The last few months introduced us to challenges we were not quite prepared for as a healthcare system, and Doctors of Optometry have stood strong in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We focused on providing urgent and emergent care to our patients to reduce the burden on emergency departments, incorporating telemedicine into the practice in order to reduce exposure risk to the more vulnerable patients, and adopting a virtual clinical education platform for our students learning from home.

UAB EYE CARE PEDIATRIC OPTOMETRY SERVICES

As schools choose virtual learning and device-based instruction to enhance the education of children, the eyes are an important consideration. Below are facts, impacts, and recommendations for schools, teachers, and parents.  

In recognition of the year 2020 and the significance of 20/20 in the field of optometry, the UAB School of Optometry is recognizing alumni whose careers have impacted communities, set precedents, or moved the profession forward in some way. With this in mind, meet Ian Benjamin Gaddie, OD, FAAO. 

By Satina Richardson

Marina Gorbatyuk, PhD, associate professor, has been invited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as a peer reviewer in the study section for the Biology of the Visual Systems Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. The appointment is for 4-years and places Gorbatyuk at the heart of the NIH’s grant process. 

A residency at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) in Nashville, TN, has launched, bringing the total number of residency programs available at the UAB School of Optometry to seven, with a total of 12 positions. This is one of two pediatric residencies available. The other is in-house at UAB Eye Care, the clinical arm of the UAB School of Optometry. 

By Satina Richardson

 

Robert Kleinstein, OD, MPH, PhD, retired UAB School of Optometry professor, has been appointed Professor Emeritus in the Department of Optometry and Vision Science by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System. Kleinstein retired from the UAB School of Optometry in 2019 following 45 years of service.

By Satina Richardson

Two students from the UAB School of Optometry are now national leaders of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA). Walter Jackson has been elected President, while Dana Shannon will serve as Vice President. Both are fourth year students.

By Satina Richardson

 

Jason Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, has received the Contact Lens Cornea Section Legends Award from the American Optometric Association (AOA).

This award is given to optometrists who demonstrate intellectual depth and passion toward contact lenses, cornea, or refractive technology and quest for continued learning and firm foundation of basic and clinical sciences of contact lenses and anterior segment. Recipients also must exhibit exceptional leadership skills and mentoring, innovation, and desire to advance research.

In recognition of the year 2020 and the significance of 20/20 in the field of optometry, the UAB School of Optometry is recognizing alumni whose careers have impacted communities, set precedents, or moved the profession forward in some way. With this in mind, meet Wendy Marsh-Tootle, OD, MS, FAAO.  

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands to help prevent spreading germs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But what about those who wear prescription contacts and glasses? Are there added risks to touching your eyes during a pandemic like COVID-19? Ophthalmologists and optometrists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham provide answers to help you in your decision-making.

Read more on UAB News

Kelli Cannon, Vision Science Graduate Program student, is one of six UAB graduate students to be awarded Graduate Research Scholars Program awards for the upcoming fall semester, through Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

Researchers who made a knock-in mouse-model of the genetic disorder retinitis pigmentosa 59, or RP59, expected to see retinal degeneration and retinal thinning. As reported in the journal Cells, they surprisingly found none, calling into question the commonly accepted — though never proved — mechanism for RP59. 

Read more on UAB News 

by Satina Richardson

Felton Perry, OD, had never planned to have a career in optometry. Forty-five years after beginning work at the UAB School of Optometry, he has retired knowing that he had his perfect career that filled the need for eye care in Alabama communities. 

The UAB School of Optometry began treating patients in Alabama’s Black Belt communities through a formally organized program in 2002. Since then, more than 13,000 patients in this underserved area of the state have received access to care from the school’s vision scientists, doctors, and students. 

A UAB School of Optometry faculty member has been named the American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometric Educator of the Year for the third time in less than five years. Caroline Pate, OD, FAAO, is the 2020 recipient of the award.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) has awarded Kwaku Osei, OD, Vision Science Graduate Program student, the 2020 Mike Daley/Essilor Ezell Fellowship.

Kelly K. Nichols, OD MPH, PhD, FAAO, dean of the UAB School of Optometry, has been elected to serve on the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) and the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) Board of Directors in the class of 2020-2023.

Getting through professional school is challenging. Some students, like Kate Daluyin, 2020 class president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, would compare it to running a marathon. For the School of Optometry’s class of 2020, this rang true — especially in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read more on UAB News

 

Terri Call, OD, has been awarded the UAB 2020 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is based solely on outstanding accomplishments in teaching as demonstrated, in part, by her thorough knowledge of the subject area and exemplary classroom instruction. 

In recognition of the year 2020 and the significance of 20/20 in the field of optometry, the UAB School of Optometry is recognizing alumni whose careers have impacted communities, set precedents or moved the profession forward in some way. With this in mind, meet Mary Jean Sanspree, PhD, retired UAB School of Optometry faculty member. Sanspree served as director and associate scientist of education and outreach in vision research at the school. She was part of a team that saw a need for eye care in Alabama’s Black Belt. After being awarded multiple grants to initiate a longitudinal study about eye health in our Black Belt counties, outreach to the Black Belt that continues today through Community Eye Care (CEC) began.