Explore UAB

by Satina Richardson

The UAB School of Optometry is leading efforts to provide eye and vision care to World Games athletes during the multi-sport international event in Birmingham, July 7-17, 2022.

“Having the World Games take place in Birmingham is a historic and monumental occasion,” said Kelly Nichols, UAB School of Optometry dean. “The School of Optometry having a role makes this experience even more special. These athletes will surely receive expert eye care should the need arise!”

While the approximately 3500 athletes are in the city, Kathy Weise, OD, MBA, UAB School of Optometry professor, will be the first eye care provider called if an athlete experiences an ocular injury or emergency. Weise's team includes Mark Swanson, OD, UAB Eye Care's director of ocular disease, as well as dedicated ophthalmologists from the UAB Department of Ophthalmology.

Weise is a longtime provider of eye care for UAB athletes. She is the lead UAB athletics team eye doctor and founder of BlazerVision.

BlazerVision is a collaborative effort between UAB Athletics, the School of Optometry and the Department of Ophthalmology that supports UAB athletes by being on-site or on-call to provide care during sporting events year around. Support provided to the World Games will mirror this program.

 “I take great pride in being able to continuously support Blazer athletes in a diversity of sports,” Weise said. “The opportunity to do the same for a renowned event like the World Games in the place I call home is a tremendous honor.”

School expands international reach

Working with international athletes ties in with the School of Optometry’s international outreach goals. The Doctor of Optometry Program for International Students (DOPIS) welcomes its first cohort this summer.

International students who hold a Doctoral, Masters or Bachelors of Science Optometry degree from an accredited or recognized international optometric college/university can earn a Doctor of Optometry degree from the School in 24 months. This program is open to individuals living in the United States as well as to those living abroad. 

The Doctor of Optometry Program for International Students (DOPIS) is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.

“International students have long been part of the UABSO family,” Dean Nichols said. “The new program facilitates the opportunity specifically for international optometry students who want to practice in the United States to achieve their goal. Providing leadership at the World Games and launching this new program enhances our global impact in spades.”