We could not get through these unprecedented times without our healthcare workers, and especially ECPs for continuing to provide essential eye care during the Covid-19 pandemic. In our June issues, we have special messages of thanks from our advertisers supporting our EyecareHeroes. The Jobson Optical Group will donate to Project C.U.R.E. who helps healthcare practitioners in the U.S. get PPE.

Do you know an Eyecare Hero? Someone who has gone above and beyond, given back, done something special for a charity or group? Nominate them today, click here.

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Nominate an Eyecare Hero

Dr. Gary Chu
New England College of Optometry,
Boston, MA

Dr. Chu has co-chaired the college’s COVID-19 Task Force and has enabled a safe opening of clinics that serve the college and students. His unwavering focus on the health and well-being of the community has been nothing short of heroic.
Nominated by Howard Purcell,
President & CEO,
New England College of Optometry,
Boston, MA

Dr. Michael McGovern
SUNY College of Optometry ,
New York, NY

Dr. McGovern's leadership amid the pandemic has safeguarded the entire SUNY Optometry community, while ensuring continuity of patient care at the College's University Eye Center. He spearheaded the launch of telehealth services, secured proper PPE and implemented safety protocols.
Nominated by Adrienne Stoller,
Director of Communications,
SUNY College of Optometry,
New York, NY

Dr. Eva Yan
Metro Optics,
Bronx, NY

During the shutdown, Dr. Yan performed emergency eye care services while also working with her community relations team to contribute their expertise and services to The Bronx Chamber of Commerce to develop a foundation to support small businesses shattered from the pandemic.
Nominated by Jessica Ullman,
Community Outreach & Marketing Associate,
Metro Optics,
Bronx, NY

Dr. Nishan Pressley
Florida Eye Clinic,
Winter Springs, FL

Recently, a patient drove three hours for an eye exam with Dr. Pressley because she had heard about the care Dr. Pressley provided a man during Florida's shelter-in-place mandate. After she discovered his proliferative diabetic retinopathy, Dr. Pressley contacted the man’s primary care physician—a move that potentially saved his sight.
Nominated by Ashley Torres Avila,
Public Relations Specialist, VSP,
Rancho Cordova, CA

Dr. Razmig Knajian
Eye Care Director
LensCrafters,
Irvine, CA

Dr. Razmig Knajian worked diligently to keep the doctors safe in his area of responsibility. He contacted state authorities, advocating to keep the ECPs practices open to treat urgent eyecare needs. He helped to ensure ECPs could provide care during the pandemic so they could treat vision threatening conditions such as ocular infections and retinal detachments.
Nominated by Chic Leehan,
Founder/Managing Director,
Paradigm Optical,
Plano, TX

Dr. Kenneth Sakazaki
Sacramento Optometric Group,
Sacramento, CA

Not only did Dr. Sakazaki remove a foreign object from my daughter's eye during the pandemic, he came in on his day off to do it! What's more, I had forgotten my wallet and Dr. Sakazaki trusted me to pay later. I am grateful for Eyecare Heroes like Dr. Sakazaki.
Nominated by Kristin Connor,
Mother of a Patient,
Sacramento, CA

Renee Wheelock
Business Development Manager,
Nikon Optical USA,
Saratoga Springs, NY

During the pandemic, we had a client that had to cancel her wedding 3 times due to the virus. When Renee heard about this situation, she suggested they not cancel anymore and instead told them they could move forward with the wedding in Renee’s backyard, which allowed for social distancing. The couple accepted, Renee knew a Judge, and they were married on June 27.
Nominated by Rick Davis,
Chief Operating Officer,
Nikon Optical USA,
Palm Harbor, FL

Dr. Brett Donaldson
Grand Vision Center,
Katy, TX

Dr. Donaldson is PART of the community. He genuinely cares about everyone that he meets and strives to better himself in all aspects of his life. Dr. Donaldson wants to be a part of bettering everyone's life, even if it's just their vision. He sees the best in everyone.
Nominated by Brittany Donaldson,
Biller and Coder, VisionWeb,
Austin, TX

Jeff Klauer
President and Owner,
Klauer Optical,
Dubuque, IA

Jeff is the sharpest analyst of industry financial trends and the moderator of the SPEC Group, which stands for Strategic Partnership of Eyewear Companies. It’s an organization of non-competing eyecare professionals—basically a brain trust of the best business practices for the optical industry. Throughout the pandemic, he and his team have made it a priority to think and operate outside the box. He has rebounded from COVID-19 with impressive sales figures and he runs a very successful optometric practice.
Nominated by Ruth Domber, Owner,
10/10 Optics,
New York, NY

Dr. Neena James
2020 Eyecare,
Huntsville, AL

Dr. James exceeds expectations on a daily basis and goes above and beyond what is expected for her patients. She recently paid a visit to check on an elderly patient who was put into a nursing home since his family was unable to see him.
Nominated by Carin Chamberlain,
Office Manager, 2020 Eyecare,
Huntsville, AL

Dr. Robert Weinreb
Shiley Eye Institute,
La Jolla, CA

Dr. Weinreb instituted compassionate, smart policies that protected the staff and allowed patients to continue to get the care they required, including urgent procedures and surgery. He ensured that all those who came into the Eye Institute would be safe.
Nominated by David Granet,
Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology,
UCSD/Shiley Eye Institute,
La Jolla, CA

Dr. Jennifer Tsai
Line of Sight,
New York, NY

Dr. Tsai used her influence to support doctors, nurses and hospital staff. One effort included an Instagram Live Q&A with doctors to underscore their important work and give a face to frontline workers.
Nominated by Ryan Walton,
Senior Content & Social Media Strategist, VSP,
Rancho Cordova, CA

Dr. Arlene E. Schwartz
Optometrist,
Forest Hills, NY

Dr. Schwartz goes above and beyond what most optometrists do. Prior to the shutdown, she was seeing patients until all practices closed during the lockdown in New York. She then continued practicing with telemedicine appointments for all of her patients with ocular issues. Then she reopened the practice with full safety compliance measures in place.
Nominated by Gary Frideman,
Optician,
Merrick, NY

Dr. Sophia Visanji
Optyx,
New York, NY

Dr. Sophia Visanji is an amazing role model, who is a hard working, dedicated doctor to her patients. Especially during this uncertain period, Sophia has easily and quickly adapted to connect with her patients remotely providing telehealth appointments to ensure they receive needed care. She is a champion on eye health social media.
Nominated by Shaleen Ratansi,
Director of Marketing,
WestGroupe,
New York, NY

Kathy Bero
Sales Consultant,
ClearVision Optical,
Menominee, MI

In addition to being a sales rep for ClearVision, she also does a lot of training and classes for ABO certification. She is always available and cares about each person she works with. She went above and beyond to help me pass my certification. She supported me all the way through.
Nominated by Dr. Caitlin Wicka,
San Juan Eye Center,
Montrose, CO

Dr. Naheed Kassam
The Eye Center,
Cary, NC

Dr. Kassam led efforts to recruit doctor volunteers to donate exams as part of LensCrafters Cares. His efforts will help those impacted by COVID-19 and provide help to upwards of 22,000 people across the LensCrafters brand with affiliated doctors donating exams, LensCrafters donating lenses and OneSight identifying local patients.
Nominated by Ross Goukler,
VP Eye Care, LensCrafters, Luxottica,
Mason, OH

Steve Davis
Omega Optical,
Philadelphia, PA

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Steve Davis has personally been delivering frame orders and picking up frames that need repairs from the homes of his clients at no additional cost. He continues to do this with a focus on helping senior citizens.
Nominated by Nicole Young,
Patient,
Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Stephanie Tong
Provision Eyecare Center,
Union, NJ

During the pandemic, Dr. Stephanie Tong has been continually helping her patients. She has donated PPE, helped patients with eye concerns and has hand-delivered prescription eyeglasses to patients.
Nominated by Winston Fleming,
Staff, Provision Eyecare Center,
Union, NJ

Dr. Jarrett Johnson
Primary Eye Care,
New Orleans, LA

Throughout COVID-19, Dr. Johnson helped keep patients out of emergency rooms and hospitals by providing emergency eyecare. She volunteered to assist COVID-19 testing and distribute masks to high-risk populations, like the homeless. She is also involved with “Feed the Second Line” which provides meals to musicians in New Orleans.
Nominated by Dr. Gordon Jennings,
Owner - Gordon W. Jennings OD, PC, and
VSP Global Board Chairman,
Wytheville, VA

Tarrence Lackran
Director of Partnerships & Programs
The Vision Council,
Alexandria, VA

Tarrence, @theopticalcpoet, connects the eyecare community in truly meaningful and important relationships. His launch of Vision Expo's virtual EYE2EYE Series sounds like just another Zoom, but leaves participants feeling inspired each time. In June, he helped raise over $38,000 for diversity and inclusion groups through The Vision Council's “Open Your Eyes” Frame Vendue.
Nominated by Angela Harar,
Senior Director, Shows,
The Vision Council, Alexandria, VA

Dr. Jennifer Chinn
Co-Owner
Dr. Chinn’s Vision Care,
San Diego, CA

Besides being a wonderful clinician, Dr. Jenn is dedicated to her profession and dedicates her time, both inside and outside of the office, educating and caring for others. She is always looking for ways to contribute to the profession and to our local community.
Nominated by Dr. Stephen Chinn,
Owner,
Dr. Chinn’s Vision Care, San Diego, CA

Dr. Erick Smith
Briggs Vision Group,
Dunwoody, GA

Dr. Erick Smith and his staff are very accommodating to all of their patients but what sets them apart is their work with missionaries. At a moment’s notice, Dr. Smith offers care and discounts on glasses and contacts to those missionaries who have just entered into town.
Nominated by Miranda Thomas, LDO,
Briggs Vision Group, Dunwoody GA

Dr. Lorie Lippiatt
Salem Eyecare Center,
Salem, Ohio

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Lippiatt has put patient care first despite the risks. She has set the standard for how to adapt to a new way to deliver eyecare by continuing to see patients and keeping medical cases out of the emergency room.
Nominated by Robyn Crimmins, VSP,
Division Vice President

Dr. Michael Ciszek
Visionary Eye Care,
Chicago, IL

A commitment to eye health is required by ECPs, but Dr. Michael Ciszek goes beyond that. He volunteers his time in a leadership role with VOSH International and during the world’s current pandemic he has been urgently developing tele-medicine care for patients.
Nominated by Jamar Holloway,
Director of Operations,
Visionary Eye Care, Chicago, IL