Dr. Kathy Weise received the 6th annual Hall W. Thompson Hero for Sight Award from Sight Savers America. Weise was selected for the award because of her longtime dedication to improving children’s eye care in Alabama.

“We are pleased to honor Dr. Kathy Weise as our 6th Annual Sight Savers America Hall W. Thompson Hero for Sight Award recipient,” said Jeff Haddox, Founder/President & CEO of Sight Savers America. “This award is designed for individuals or organizations that have made a profound impact on children’s eye care. I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Dr. Kathy Weise. Kathy is a well-known leader in the pediatric eye care community and an inspiration to her colleagues. She is passionate about making a difference in children’s lives.”

The UAB School of Optometry has had a partnership with Sight Savers for more than 20 years. Weise, professor, and director of UAB Eye Care Pediatric Optometry Services, has been involved since the beginning. She said the relationship benefits all involved.

The joint collaboration between Sight Savers and UABSO coordinates and provides the following eye care services for children: eye examinations, eyeglasses, specialty glasses, vision therapy, low vision evaluations, electronic video magnifiers, optical vision aids, other treatments and referrals for surgery and other ophthalmological services. The care provided is either free or discounted.

Providing these services allows optometry students to care for even more patients, which is crucial to the learning experience for the school’s future doctors, while also supporting pediatric clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The outreach helps develop collaborations across campus and across the state as well.

“This honor represents a true team effort by UAB Eye Care, students, faculty and administration,” Weise said. A child who gets an eye exam at UAB Eye Care through Sight Savers America helps us and our students go on to help exponentially more children.

“I look forward to continuing the partnership well into the future. The care we provide is from the heart. There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing a child light up when he discovers better vision for the first time, and knowing that we have improved the quality of life for a child.”