Most of our readers will have learned the outcome of our spring Vision Care Section elections before you see this newsletter. We were fortunate to field a full slate of qualified candidates (two for each open position) for the 2007 election of officers and other Section leaders.
The following individuals gave us permission to put their names forward on the ballot for consideration by the membership of the Vision Care Section:
Chair-Elect Section Councilors Governing Council
(vote for one) (vote for two) (vote for one)
Sandra S. Block Kevin D. Frick Concetta Daurio
Bradley W. Taylor Janet L. Leasher Stacy A. Lyon
All of the following newly elected individuals will assume office at the close of the annual meeting of the APHA this November.
The VCS membership elected Sandra Block of the Illinois College of Optometry as the incoming chair-elect. Sandy is also in a leadership role with Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, which is working to develop sustainable vision care worldwide for persons with intellectual disability.
The current VCS chair-elect is Mort Soroka of the State University of New York’s State College of Optometry. Mort will assume the position of Chair of the VCS at the close of business this November, replacing Greg Hom, an optometric practitioner in San Diego. Greg will become the Immediate Past Chair, replacing the author of this article.
I wish to publicly thank Brad Taylor for allowing us to place his name in nomination for chair-elect. Brad has given much leadership to the VCS in past years. He is currently a clinical instructor at the University of Michigan Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences.
Janet Leasher of Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry and Renee Mika of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University were newly elected Vision Care Section Councilors.
In thanking the other two nominees for our Section Council, while not eye care practitioners, I note they were extremely qualified to serve on our Section Council, and I hope they will allow their names to be put forward in the future for the VCS membership to seriously consider them for leadership positions. Both Kevin and Jeff are highly recognized on the national level for their leadership in eye and vision health. Kevin is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he has gained national recognition for his study of the economics of eye and vision health. He recently served on an Expert Panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which contributed to the CDC’s report, “Improving the Nation’s Vision Health – A Coordinated Public Health Approach.” Jeff is the senior vice president of program & public health at Prevent Blindness America. We all know the important role this national organization has played in the promotion of good eye health education and in encouraging government to develop public policy addressing eye and vision care needs. Jeff has been in the middle of these activities.
Both Kevin and Jeff have promised to continue participating on Vision Care Section committees and attending VCS business meetings. Their expertise has been essential to the VCS, from the drafting of VCS sponsored APHA resolutions addressing eye and vision health needs, to developing programs, and selecting recipients for our section’s annual awards.
Concetta Daurio, a practitioner with the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, was elected to fill the open VCS position on the Governing Council (the governing body of APHA). Over the years, Concetta has served in most of the elected positions of the VCS. She will bring her expertise to the Governing Council in representing VCS concerns. Of course, she will also be taking an active role in supporting all public health matters of interest to APHA. In the last few years, your VCS leadership has been giving ever increasing attention to the broader public health issues of the nation, placing our section in a position of respect among all the sections of APHA.
I wish to thank Stacy Lyons, our other nominee for the Governing Council, for her participation in the election process. Stacy is an Associate Professor and Chief of the Pediatric Optometry Service at the New England College of Optometry, and a rising leader in the Vision Care Section. She has been particularly active in collaborating with other entities in Boston to bring pediatric vision care services into the public health arena in a holistic manner. We look forward to her continuing participation our section.
We have been blessed with a number of developing quality participants in the Vision Care Section. While your membership in the Vision Care Section of APHA alone is a very important contribution to eye and vision public health issues nationwide, you are also welcome to take a more active role within the Section leadership. This begins by simply making arrangements to attend the APHA Annual Meeting, attending the concurrent business meeting sessions of the Vision Care Section, and letting the VCS leadership know of any interests you may have in serving the Section. Over time, you will be amazed at what you will be asked to do. I was amazed at what I was asked to do and have been honored to serve the VCS over the years. I will be departing as an officer and elected member of the Vision Care Section leadership this November, but I plan to remain active wherever needed for years to come.