Earl Smith, O.D., Ph.D. ’72, ’78 was recently named one of the “Most Influential in Optometry” as part of Optometry Management’s (OM) 50th Anniversary edition. The magazine is recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the profession. OM editors asked key opinion leaders to nominate people who “have contributed, are contributing or are likely to contribute to the betterment and/or advancement of eye care.” OM Magazine placed no limit on the number of nominations and generated more than 400 nominations that were narrowed further to those who received three or more nominations.
This past weekend, August 15, UHCO was part of the 5th Annual Mayor’s Back to School Fest at the University of Houston. The function provides Houston area students with some of the tools they need to start the school year off right. Houston Mayor, Annise Parker, welcomed approx. 25,000 students, grades K-5, and their parents for the event. Pre-Registered students received a backpack with necessary school supplies. Everyone in attendance visited information tables, receive immunizations, and health/vision screenings, among various other services.
Since October 2013, Earl L. Smith III, O.D., Ph.D.,'72. ’78, has served as the Interim Chief Health Officer for the University of Houston, where he focused on identifying opportunities for expanding the university’s academic health care portfolio, developing a plan to enhance health care services and establishing the programmatic components for the new Health and Biomedical Sciences Building II (HBSB II) currently under construction. Dr. Smith returns from this interim appointment to resume the deanship at UHCO effective August 1, 2015. Roger Boltz, O.D., Ph.D.,'72, ’78, served as UHCO’s Interim Dean and Chief Executive Officer during Dr. Smith’s appointment, which allowed Dr. Smith to address the ambitious goals set forth by UH President Renu Khator.
UHCO is saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO on July, 27, 2015 in Sydney Australia, and we extend our condolences to the family.
A passionate humanitarian with global view, Dr. Holden served as CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Professor at the School of Optometry at UNSW Australia. His life’s work was service…to the scientific community, to the health care community and to individuals in need of vision care regardless of their geographic location or their financial limitations.
Construction of the University of Houston’s Health and Biomedical Sciences Building II will begin on Friday July 10, 2015. Much of the parking lot adjacent to the University Eye Institute will then no longer be available, so UEI patients will be able to park at no cost in the Welcome Center Student Garage across from the J. Davis Armistead and Health and Biomedical Sciences buildings on Calhoun Road.
Students from nine universities spent six weeks at UHCO this summer in intensive science studies. For over 25 years, TEXOCOP has been a leading program in preparing students for their optometry school applications.
Dr. Charles R. Stewart passed away June 30, 2015, at the age of 96. He graduated from The Ohio State University and later served as UHCO’s first dean from 1952 to 1961. Dr. Stewart helped pave the way for the College through his efforts to proclaim November 13 as “Optometry Day.” Funds raised from optometrists on this day went toward establishing UHCO. Later, the day became an official proclamation by former Texas Governor Allen Shivers in February of 1953. Dr. Stewart returned to the College of Optometry in 1978 to serve as Interim Dean and Associate Dean until he retired in 1982. Dr. Stewart was a leader, mentor and friend, and there is no doubt UHCO and optometry has lost a great man.
Longtime College of Optometry faculty member and University of Houston administrator Earl L. Smith III, O.D., is a member of an elite group of optometrists who has been selected for the prestigious National Optometry Hall of Fame.
Since 1998, the National Optometry Hall of Fame has recognized and honored optometrists who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the optometric profession. Smith was inducted with two others – Paul C. Ajamian, O.D., and Kenji Hamada, O.D., – at a ceremony and reception June 25 during the American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometry’s Meeting held June 24-28, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington. The Hall of Fame is administered by Optometry Cares, a philanthropic and charitable organization committed to expanding eye health and vision care access to everyone in the U.S. to enhance human performance and quality of life.
On Aug. 22, UHCO celebrated our current clinical residents and welcomed the 2015-2016 class of residents. While part of the UHCO family our previous residents participated in several community service events which influence the greater Houston community and UH student body. These events include the Mayor’s Back to School Program, UHCO Optometry Day, See to Succeed and many more.
UHCO has seven college-based clinical residencies and five affiliated residency programs. These programs are designed to provide optometrists with advanced clinical training and knowledge through direct patient care, scholarly activities and the development of advanced clinical competencies. We have enjoyed the time shared with our current residents and look forward to the new class. We wish our outgoing residents the very best with their endeavors and congratulations to the new residents on joining the UHCO Residency family. We look forward to a wonderful year!
On Saturday, June 6, UHCO inducted their inaugural member, Mr. Bill C. Benedict, into the Hall of Visionaries. Bill was an entrepreneur and influential leader in the eyewear industry for 68 years and revolutionized the optical laboratory business. He was considered a friend, father and mentor to those who knew him and were fortunate enough to have worked with him. Throughout his career, Bill never forgot his roots and continually provided for UHCO and the next generation of optometrists. His philosophy was, “Never tell a person how bad they are but how good they can be” and “cheer them on and keep score.”