Gussie Branch, OD, class of 2016, was named the 2021 Young Optometrist of the Year by the Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA). 

Branch graduated from Judson College in 2012 and received her Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry in 2016. Dr. Branch practices optometry in Albertville and Guntersville. She opened Eyes on Albertville in 2017 and Eyes on Guntersville in 2019. 

Branch was recognized by her peers as a leader in the Association and in her community. She is currently serving on the Board of the Alabama Optometric Association and on the UAB School of Optometry Alumni Board. She is a member of the Albertville Rotary Club and is enrolled in the Marshall County Leadership Challenge. She has also coordinated and led week-long optometric service trips on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. 

The Young Optometrist of the Year award is presented to a qualified Alabama optometrist in recognition of outstanding service to the Alabama Optometric Association, to the profession of optometry, on behalf of the visual welfare of the public and/or to their community.