Special needs patients and their families have held a place in Kassaundra Johnston’s, OD, ’12, heart over the years. Recently, Dr. Johnston and Dr. Nicole Hooper attended a special needs fair at Mikey’s Place; a center that encourages discussion, information exchange, and provides resources among families with children of disabilities. Dr. Johnston helped found SNAPS (Special Needs Adults and Pediatric Service) at the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO), where patients with a variety of disabilities and with different levels of cognitive aptitude are provided vision care. The recent fair at Mikey’s Place was an opportunity for the special needs population and their families to network with valuable services and fellow families. Drs. Johnston and Hooper provided individuals with information on the University Eye Institute, SNAPS, Pediatrics and Binocular Vision, Development Clinic and Low Vision Services as they related to patient’s needs. Both, Drs. Johnston and Hooper are expanding the College mission, Enhancing Vision for Life, through their community awareness efforts.
The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) recently announced their 2017 Contact Lens Educator of the Year Award and the recipient is UHCO’s own, Jan Bergmanson, OD, PhD, PhD h.c., DSc,. This award recognizes and honors achievements in contact lens education worldwide.
Focus and school pride can all describe the emotions felt during the Third Annual Texas Optometric Association Quiz Bowl. This annual event is a friendly competition between the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) and the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). This year UHCO’s team: Sawyer Lambert, OPT II, Aaron Wong, OPT III, and Steven Chau, OPT IV, pulled ahead in the end with a score of 6,900 to 2,400. The TOA Quiz Bowl is a test of knowledge regarding topics on pharmacology, contact lens, anterior segment and more. It is fashion on the classic game Jeopardy with judges comprised of UIW and UHCO faculty, as well as private practioners.
Congratulations UHCO and we look forward to next year’s competition.
Optometry School is already difficult; now imagine attending school where you have depleted resources due to a fire. That is just the case at the Malawi School of Optometry Program, in Africa. Their School at Mzuzu University suffered a fire in the library, damaging all the resources and materials students had access too. The college is in a developing country in South-East Africa where accessing new equipment and supplies presents a challenge.
Dr. Suraj Upadhyaya, former Lecturer at the Malawi College of Health Science Optometry Dept., and current UHCO Ph.D. candidate working with Prof. Vallabh Das, along with the Physiological Optics Graduate Student Association (POGSA) at UHCO, rushed into action. They sought out the faculty within UHCO to donate books and reference materials for Malawi. Together, with UHCO library, they collected 500 books to be sent. After discussion with Optometry schools in Malawi the top 219 books were prioritized. Through a partnership with Essilor of America and Optometry Giving Sight, the materials where shipped to the Mzuzu University Optometry Dept. and Malawi College of Health Science Optometry Dept., in Africa. The students were elated to have replacement books thanks to UHCO and Dr. Upadhyaya.
The researchers at UHCO are Enhancing Vision for Life through their global outreach and support of the optometric community.
Mylan Nguyen, OPT III, was recently selected as the American Optometric Student Association (ASOA) - American Public Health Association's National Liaison for 2017-2018 academic year. There were many strong candidates, but Mylan's experience, work ethic, goals and passion were a few of aspects that led the group to selecting her in representing this AOA affiliate organization on a national level. Congratulations, Mylan!
Rachel Reed, OPT II, has been selected as the AOSA National Liaison for the World Council of Optometry. Rachel will use her passion for global health development to educate her colleagues of global developments in optometry. As a president of SVOSH, Rachel has strong communication and leadership skills and will apply these skills on a national level. She will be working to help the World Council of Optometry further promote eye health and vision care across the globe.
Lorenzo Anderson, OPT I, was selected as the AOSA National Liaison for the American Academy of Optometry for the 2017-2018 academic year. National Liaisons communicate directly between the organization and the AOSA President. This role works with Optometry schools across the country to develop a dialog about the current issues and goals of the organization. Lorenzo’s involvement within the UHCO community and greater Houston community has prepared him for his new role as AOSA-AAO National Liaison.
Congratulations, to both Rachel and Lorenzo on their appointments.
At the 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium, UHCO's own Anna-Kaye Logan, OD, and Judy Perrigin, OD, '77, received 2nd place for their research poster titled, Microbial Growth after Cleaning Scleral DMV Device. The Global Specialty Lens Symposium is a meeting sponsored by Contact Lens Spectrum focusing on the successful management of ocular conditions using today's specialty contact lenses. Congratulations, to Drs. Logan and Perrigin! To see their poster presentation and others, click here!
Eyesight is invaluable for everyday tasks like walking through a doorway or driving a car and also for watching a sunset, reading a book or a viewing a film. "We want to help patients achieve their best vision on a day-to-day basis," says Teri Geist, communication chair of the American Optometric Association and a practicing optometrist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the profession will grow by about 27 percent, or 11,000 new jobs, from 2014 to 2024.
Optometrists are ranked: #9 in Best Health Care Jobs #11 in The 100 Best Jobs #22 in Best Paying Jobs
The UHCO Class of 2019 recently celebrated receiving their prestigious White Coats. This ceremony signifies the next step in their optometric journey. Students receive these coats and now enter into the University Eye Institute providing patient care. Congratulations, to the Class of 2019!
UHCO's own, Kaleb Abbott, Opt III, is the recipient of the Best Student Scientific Presentations of the 2016 American Academy and Optometry (AAO) annual meeting. Abbott’s presentation entitled, "Relationship between Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells and Refractive Error, Light Exposure, and Melatonin", was selected as one of the two best science presentations. Abbott will be recognized for his efforts at the 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting in Baltimore. Congratulations, and we look forward to more amazing research!