By Satina Richardson

Robert Kleinstein, OD, MPH, PhD, retired UAB School of Optometry professor, received the Henry B. Peters Memorial Award from the American Academy of Optometry Foundation.

This honor is a Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Award given to an individual for his/her exemplary contributions to public health and/or environmental vision over many years. The award is named for the founding dean of the UAB School of Optometry, who recruited Kleinstein to UAB.

“I knew Hank (Henry B. Peters) first as an optometry student at UC Berkeley,” Kleinstein said. “He encouraged my interest in public health, which led to my pursuing an MPH degree, in addition to my PhD. After graduation, he recruited me to UABSO where I joined the faculty with a secondary faculty appointment in the School of Public Health. He also encouraged and supported my starting the Diplomate program in the American Academy of Optometry Public Health and Environmental Vision section.”

The marriage of Kleinstein’s interests in both public health and optometry allowed him to have great impact in the field. Of note, he helped have eye and vision objectives added into the Healthy People initiative, which stated the national health goals for the nation. Kleinstein also started the first OD\MPH joint degree program among schools and colleges of optometry.

“It is fitting that Dr. Kleinstein is the 2019 recipient of the PHEV Henry Peters Award,” said Dean Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO. “Working with all six UABSO deans, and having a huge heart for the school and public health, Dr. Kleinstein represents the best that UAB faculty have to offer the profession.”