Transitions announces 2012 Diversity Advisory Board members

May 3, 2012

Transitions Optical, Inc. has announced its 2012 Diversity Advisory Board members – nine eye health and cultural experts who will help guide the Transitions Cultural Connections™ initiative. Formed in March 2010, the board represents expertise in the largest and fastest-growing minority demographic groups in the United States, including Hispanics, blacks and those of Asian heritage.

Board members work closely with Transitions Optical to ensure all of its multicultural efforts are culturally sensitive and appropriate and to identify new programs and tools to support eye care professionals in their own efforts to provide the best level of care for all patients.

New and returning members of the Transitions Diversity Advisory Board for 2012 include:

  • Allert Brown-Gort – Allert is the associate director for the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, he has worked in both places on Latino, NAFTA and Latin American issues. His research interests include immigration policy and issues of national culture and psychology. He has served as an adviser to the U.S. Senate Hispanic Task Force.
  • Brian Chou, O.D. – Dr. Chou is an optometrist at EyeLux Optometry, an optometric practice in San Diego. He has authored more than 60 eye care manuscripts, including Spanish Terminology for the Eyecare Team and book chapters on keratoconus, cataracts and laser vision correction.
  • Edwin Marshall, O.D., MPH – Dr. Marshall currently serves as vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs at Indiana University. In his role, he is leading the charge to double minority enrollment at Indiana University by 2013. Dr. Marshall also serves as a professor of optometry at the Indiana University School of Optometry.
  • Drake McLean, optician – With more than 25 years of experience, McLean is an optician and president of Dietz-McLean Optical Company – a seven-store retail optical chain in south-central Texas that serves a large Hispanic patient base.
  • Charlotte Parniawski, RN – Parniawski is a cultural diversity trainer with the National Multicultural Institute, as well as a registered nurse for Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn. She has a vast knowledge of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards in health care.
  • Kirk Smick, O.D. – Dr. Smick is chief of optometry services at Clayton Eye Center in Atlanta, where he has served a culturally diverse patient base for 36 years. Dr. Smick is a frequent lecturer in the United States and abroad, and currently serves as chair of the continuing education committee for the AOA.
  • Madeline L. Romeu, O.D. – An optometric physician in West New York, N.J., Dr. Romeu has been a key spokesperson for Transitions Optical’s Hispanic-focused initiative and offers insight into cultural aspects of the Asian and Korean demographics. She is the chair of the AOA Hispanic Communications Project Team.
  • Prof. David K. Yoo, Ph.D. – Dr. Yoo is a professor and the director of the Asian American Studies Center at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the author of several books focusing on Asian American culture, and has been published in venues including American Quarterly and Amerasia Journal.
  • Vincent Young, M.D. – chair of the Division of Ophthalmology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Dr. Young brings his experience with a black patient base, as well as his knowledge of the impact of diabetes on multiple ethnic groups.

“We have been so impressed by the level of engagement seen among our board members, from consulting with us on our latest education and tools, to contributing best practices on our new multicultural blog,” said Manuel Solis, multicultural marketing manager, Transitions Optical. “With their support, we are confident we will continue to make strides in raising awareness of the unique needs of diverse patient groups, and how eye care professionals can increase their patient base and enhance satisfaction through culturally sensitive outreach and care.”

Found at www.Transitions.com/MulticulturalBlog, the multicultural blog provides insights and tips from Diversity Advisory Board members on developing and maintaining a culturally sensitive eye care practice. It also serves as a forum for other eye care professionals to post comments and questions for the blog authors.

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