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Michael Smith, OD ’02, was named Optometrist of the Year at the Kentucky Optometric Association's 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony held on December 8th. This award is given annually to a Kentucky doctor that has displayed outstanding and consistent service in the optometric profession over the past year.
The Kentucky Optometric Association’s mission is to promote, advance, and ensure the viability of the practice of optometry for the benefit of its members and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Dr. Smith has been practicing optometry since 2002. Dr. Smith and his wife, Dr. Kimberly Smith, practice at the Danville Eye Center located at 104 Smoky Way, Ste 100 in Danville, KY. Dr. Smith also has offices in Liberty and Mt Vernon.
Part owner in one of the largest private practices in AZ.
Success story: patient went to ER for HA. Was later released with dx of typical migraine. Ironically had his annual eye exam later in the day. We were able to dx patient was having a stroke w/o typical symptoms. Referred back to ER for stroke workup. Patient dx with right posterior cerebral stroke. ER notes back said our actions saved his life.
Regarded as one of the best optometry schools in the country. Students will graduate with a higher level of clinical experience.
Going with classmates to meetup at elementary schools and perform screenings. It was sad to see the wide range of vision problems that young children had which were often neglected. But it was also very rewarding to know that we can get them on the right path for better vision correction.
Congratulations to Tiffany McElroy, OD '12, on being named the 2020 Helen St. Clair Young Optometrist of the Year by the Mississippi Optometric Association. The award is presented annually to an optometrist who has been practicing for 10 years or fewer and recognizes their contributions to the profession and the public.
As a member of MOA, she is chairman of the Grassroots Committee and invests countless hours volunteering during the legislative session. She is also a member of the American Optometric Association.
In March, she was voted Jones County’s Best Optometrist in the Laurel Leader-Call’s Reader’s Choice award.
She is a member of Laurel Main Street, St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Laurel Arts League.
Read more in this article.
Matt Willis, OD ’11, of Omaha, was named the Nebraska Optometric Association’s Young Optometrist of the Year during the association’s virtual annual convention. This honor is given to an association member who has been licensed 10 years or less and has contributed time and talent in the most outstanding manner for the betterment of the visual health and welfare of the public, and to the profession.
Dr. Willis currently serves as vice-president of the association and has served on its board of directors since 2016. He is a graduate of the NOA Leadership Institute, serves on the association’s education and legislative committees, and helps coordinate optometrists’ involvement in advocacy and political affairs.
Dr. Willis practices at Midwest Eye Care in Omaha. He graduated magna cum laude from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis in 2011 and served on the board of the American Optometric Student Association for three years while in optometry school. Since entering optometric practice in Nebraska, he has been a volunteer for multiple programs providing free vision care in the Omaha area, has spoken to pre-optometry clubs, and is an active member at St. Columbkille Church in Papillion.
I actually asked my colleague her opinion on my greatest accomplishment or success story and she emphatically replies, “hands down it’s Mr. _____!”
In 2015, I was working with a resident and I palpated a stye that turned out to be lymphoma. This patient still says I saved his life—primary B cell lymphoma really is not life-threatening, but the patient thinks highly of me, per my colleague. So, she says that is my greatest accomplishment, but I would have to say teaching her throughout her student rotation and residency year, and now mentoring her in the early stages of her career, has been my greatest accomplishment.
Lecturing in Hawaii for Pacific & AFOS is pretty high up on the list, too!
I did not have a lot of money for application fees, so I only applied to two schools. SCO was the first to offer me an interview, which I attended, received an acceptance, and awarded a scholarship before I was even offered an interview from Ohio State. I felt so at home on campus from the moment Joyce greeted me at the front door. When you know, you know, and SCO always felt like the only choice for me.
I have too many. I could mention the time I received test answers because one of the professors could not keep the email addresses for student Elkins (me) and the doctor Elkins (Lindsay) straight. (Note: I did not open the email!)
I also love remembering Dr. Chang’s test answer choices of a) true, b) false, c) none of the above.
The story I love to tell my current students and residents is when I received a text message from Dr. Sparrow telling me to check the primary care resident refrigerator. I figured it was some Reese’s Cups, but inside was my very own Wills Eye. A post-it note from her was on the front: “Take care of those patients.” I have bought every edition since then, but that copy and that post-it still sit at home. I hope that I have lived up to her charge. I think I have.