By Caleb Jones

Keshia S. Elder, OD, MS, FAAO, associate professor of optometry and an attending in the UAB Eye Care Primary Care clinic, has been selected to participate in the Health Leadership Academy (HLA). She will be a member of the 2022 cohort, which includes a select few from a cross-section of individuals from UAB schools, the UAB Health System and UAB Medicine.

The HLA is founded on the premise that the future of academic health systems will be led and managed by clinicians and executives who operate at the frontiers of medicine and possess the leadership skills required to guide their organization into an increasingly complex future.

Elder said she believes that her dedication to the UAB School of Optometry and her willingness to commit time and effort to into actively becoming a more effective and dynamic leader made her HLA application stand out. An associate professor, Elder serves as the school’s first director of diversity and is the externship program director. She is also a clinical attending in UAB Eye Care’s Contact Lens Clinic.

“I am excited about the opportunity to participate in this program,” Elder said. “Highly respected UABSO colleagues have completed the program in the past and I am honored to join their ranks. I look forward to working with the diverse array of health care personnel in the HLA Class of 2022.”

The HLA training program includes classroom sessions, team projects and experiential learning activities designed to identify and strengthen leadership skills and capabilities. Elder said she hopes to gain better insight into her strengths and weaknesses as a leader so she can leverage her strengths and lessen her weaknesses.

“I will be equipped to think more strategically and globally about UABSO in the context of its place within UAB as well as within the field of optometry,” Elder said.