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At SCO’s Fall Homecoming and CE Weekend, the college formally recognized two outstanding alumni for their accomplishments. Posthumously receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was the late Jeff Foster, OD ’81, and receiving the Young Alumni Award was Jon Reid, OD ’12.
Dr. Lewis Reich, SCO President, presented each award during the Class of 2020’s commencement ceremony held at the Peabody Hotel after being postponed during the early days of the pandemic.
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jeff Foster, OD ’81, was recognized for his decades of leadership devoted to advancing scope of practice legislation in Tennessee. After his graduation from SCO, Dr. Foster joined the practice of Drs. Nathan Ford (’50) and William B. Henry (OD ’61), in Newport, Tennessee, where the practice was established October 17, 1950, by Dr. Ford. In subsequent years, Dr. Foster was joined by Dr. Kurt Steele (’95) and other SCO graduates in growing the practice.
Dr. Foster was a member of the Smoky Mountain Optometric Physicians, Tennessee Academy of Optometric Physicians, Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, SECO International, and the American Optometric Association. The Tennessee Optometric Association in 1984 named him the Young OD of the Year; in 1986, OD of the Year; and in 2014 the OD of the Decade.
He was a past legislative chair of the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians, an area where his legislative leadership earned him respect and appreciation from colleagues around the state. He was a past president of the Tennessee Optometric Association, Tennessee Academy of Optometry, and was a past Chair of the Tennessee Board of Examiners in Optometry. Dr. Foster served on the Courtesy/Consultative Staff of Tennova Hospital’s Newport Medical Center in Newport. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.
At the local level in East Tennessee, Dr. Foster served terms on local boards and organizations including the election commission and public library. He also was a past president of the local Lions Club and Boy’s Club. Dr. Foster died of COVID-19 on August 28, 2020.
Dr. Kurt Steele was joined by Nora Cothran, OD ’13, and State Representative Jeremy Faison in accepting the award on Dr. Foster’s behalf. In their remarks, they remembered his selfless devotion to optometry and encouraged the Class of 2020 to continue participating in activities that will advance the scope of practice for the profession.
Also recognized at the ceremony was the Young Alumni Award recipient, Jon Reid, OD ’12. Dr. Reid practices at Advanced EyeCare Centers in Illinois.
Following his graduation from SCO, he completed a primary care residency at the Salem Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salem, VA. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and Illinois Optometric Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
In 2021, he was named a recipient of the Partnership Award presented by the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at SCO. Dr. Reid resides in Carlinville, Illinois, with his wife, Maya S. Reid, OD ’12, and their three children.