AOA to honor top ODs in profession at Optometry’s Meeting®

June 4, 2012

Rear Adm. Michael Mittelman, O.D.

The 2012 Optometry’s Meeting® Opening General Session will highlight the accomplishments of the five recipients of the AOA annual awards.

The Opening General Session, sponsored by Essilor, will also feature a “behind the scenes” 3-D experience, as Hollywood comes to Chicago.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Rear Adm. Michael H. Mittelman, O.D., for his unusually significant contributions to the profession of optometry.

The Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes Melvin Shipp, O.D., Dr.PH, MPH, for his performance of outstanding services on behalf of the profession and to the visual welfare of the public.

The Young Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes Chris Wroten, O.D., who has been in practice less than 10 years and demonstrates remarkable leadership skills when serving the profession, patients and his community.

The first-ever Optometric Educator Award recognizes Tony Carnevali, O.D., for performance of outstanding services on behalf of the profession, optometric education and to the visual welfare of the public.

The Paraoptometric of the Year Award honors Vera Kohler, CPOA, for her significant contributions to the field of paraoptometry.

Distinguished Service Award

Rear Adm. Michael Mittelman graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in May 1980 and earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1990.

Rear Adm. Mittelman was commissioned in the Navy Medical Service Corps in 1980. His first clinical assignment was at Naval Hospital Cherry Point, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point from July 1980 to September 1984, serving as staff optometrist and later as head of the Optometry Department. From September 1984 to August 1987, he served as head, Optometry Department, U.S. Naval Hospital, Rota, Spain.

Rear Adm. Mittelman then transferred to the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, Pensacola, Fla., where he served as head of the Optometry Department and became the first optometrist designated as an aerospace optometrist in 1989. In 1993, he assumed the duties of deputy director of Research at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Pensacola. He then reported to Naval Hospital Great Lakes, Ill., in October 1995 where he held the position of head of the Recruit Medicine Department and also served as the commanding officer of Fleet Hospital Three.

In July 1997, he assumed command of the Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity, Yorktown, Va. While there he facilitated the establishment of the Department of Defense Optical Fabrication enterprise. In July 2000, Rear Adm. Mittelman assumed command of U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan. Following that assignment, he served as the executive assistant to the Surgeon General of the Navy until August 2004. He was then assigned as a special assistant to the Surgeon General at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

Rear Adm. Mittelman then served as the deputy chief of staff, Human Resources Bureau of Medicine and Surgery through September 2008. He served as the director, Medical Resources, Plans and Policy Division office of the Chief of Naval Operations from August 2007 to September 2008 and served at the 15th director of the Medical Service Corps from August 2006 to October 2009.

He then served as the command surgeon U.S. Joint Forces Command and medical adviser to the Commander, Supreme Allied Command for Transformation (NATO) from November 2009 to August 2010. Prior to reporting to his current assignment, Rear Adm. Mittelman served as the Command Surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command. In November 2011, he reported as Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy and Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

Rear Adm. Mittelman is associate fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association. He is also a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry. He is a past president of the Armed Forces Optometric Society and recipient of its Orion Award.

Optometrist of the Year Award

Melvin Shipp, O.D., Dr.PH, MPH

Dr. Melvin Shipp is a 1972 graduate of Indiana University School of Optometry. He received his Master of Public Health from Harvard University in 1980 and his Doctor of Public Health from the University of Michigan in 1996.

Dr. Shipp served in the U.S. Navy on active duty from 1972-1976 as chief of Optometry Service in Port Hueneme, Calif. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves in many capacities, including optometry officer, commanding officer and professional school liaison officer until 2001.

Since 2004, Dr. Shipp has served as dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. He was previously a professor and assistant dean for Clinical Services/ director of Clinics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Shipp is currently the president of the American Public Health Association. He is the first optometrist to serve in this position.

Dr. Shipp is a past president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and served as a member of the national board of directors of Prevent Blindness America. Dr. Shipp is also a member of the National Optometric Association (NOA) and served as chair of the continuing education committee twice. He is currently a member of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Dr. Shipp has been a reviewer and/or editorial board member for many publications, including the Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association, American Journal of Public Health, Optometry and Vision Science, Evidence-based Eye Care, and Southern Journal of Optometry.

He has also authored more than 60 journal articles, publications, and abstracts. Dr. Shipp has given more than 50 presentations nationwide as an invited speaker, keynote speaker, and continuing education speaker.

Dr. Shipp is an inductee in the National Optometry Hall of Fame, received the American Academy of Optometry Koch Medal, the National Optometric Association Founder’s Award, the NOA Optometrist of the Year Award and the American Optometric Student Association Teaching Award for Excellence in Clinical Instruction. Throughout his career, Dr. Shipp has received more than 25 awards and honors.

Dr. Shipp resides in Powell, Ohio, with his wife, Michelle Shipp, M.D., Dr.PH. They have two daughters.

Young Optometrist of the Year Award

Chris Wroten, O.D.

Dr. Chris Wroten graduated summa cum laude from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in 2002 and then completed a residency in hospital-based primary eye care at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

He practiced at West Tennessee Eye in Memphis for several years before returning to Louisiana in 2005 to join what is now the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic, a multi-location group practice. Dr. Wroten founded the clinic’s residency in family practice optometry, for which he serves as residency supervisor, in addition to creating and overseeing its externship programs. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at SCO and the University of Incarnate Word – Rosenberg School of Optometry.

Dr. Wroten has served as vice president of the West Tennessee Optometric Society, president of the Southeast Louisiana Optometric Society, and in every elected office in the Optometry Association of Louisiana (OAL), including two terms as OAL president. He is co-chair of the OAL Education Committee, continues to serve on numerous other committees, is the keyperson for several state legislators, and has been an instrumental part of numerous legislative victories for organized optometry in Louisiana.

He is also an active member of the AOA, serving or having served on the AOA’s Federal Relations Committee, Drive for 65 Campaign, Nominating Committee, Eye Care Workforce Study Expert Panel, and Resolutions Committee, in addition to numerous years of involvement in the AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference and as a delegate to the AOA House of Delegates.

Dr. Wroten was the first optometrist appointed to the Louisiana Emergency Response Network Board by the governor of Louisiana, as well as to the Bayou Health Quality Assurance Committee, which oversees Louisiana’s Medicaid managed care programs. He is also a multi-term president of the Board of Directors for Child Advocacy Services, sits on the Alumni Council at SCO, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence.

Dr. Wroten has given numerous continuing education and community lectures, published many eye care articles, and presented posters at national optometric conferences, in addition to participating in clinical research and pharmaceutical drug trials.

In 2011, Dr. Wroten was named the recipient of both the OAL’s Young Optometrist of the Year Award and SCO’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2012, he was also recognized with the Southern Council of Optometrists Young OD of the South Award.

In practice, Dr. Wroten serves as the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic’s chief operations officer, in addition to providing primary eye care services and overseeing the clinic’s educational programs. He is also an InfantSEE® provider and works closely with his local Lions clubs as a volunteer.

Dr. Wroten is married to Sarah Wroten, O.D., and they have two children, Emily and Ben.

Optometric Educator of the Year Award

Tony Carnevali, O.D.

Dr. Tony Carnevali spent 20 years in private practice after graduating from the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) in 1975. In 1995, he became a full-time faculty member at SCCO and launched a new chapter in his career dedicated to educating future optometrists.

Over the years, Dr. Carnevali has become a leader in optometric education. He is a tenured associate professor and is an instructor in ethics and on state laws relating to the practice of optometry, has acquired extensive experience in delivering full-scope optometric services, and mentors students by providing career guidance and counseling.

Dr. Carnevali was also the director of the Optometric Center of Los Angeles until August 2011, an SCCO facility that provides vision and health care to an underserved community. More than half of fourth-year SCCO students rotate through the center, providing free or low-cost eye health care each year to thousands of patients in need.

As a special consultant to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, he wrote the comprehensive report that became the foundation for guidelines adopted by the California State Board of Optometry that permits California optometrists to receive training and become glaucoma certified.

Dr. Carnevali served as president of the California Optometric Association (COA) in 1991-1992 and is currently the president of the Public Vision League, the litigative arm of the COA.

Dr. Carnevali has been recognized with many awards and honors, including COA Young Optometrist of the Year (1981), Commendation of Service from the City of Los Angeles (1995), Lion’s Club Kiyoshi ‘Kay’ Iizuka Award (1998), COA Optometrist of the Year (2000), SCCO Distinguished Alumnus of the Year (2001), SCCO First Century Honoree (2004), the SCCO Dr. Walter Chase Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2005), and the COA Excellence in Optometric Education Award (2012).

Dr. Carnevali and his wife, Fran, have three children, Amanda, Giancarlo and Linda.

Paraoptometric of the Year Award

Vera Kohler, CPOA

Kohler started her career in 1985 in the office of Daniel Casamento, O.D., of Bradford, Pa. She became the team manager soon after of that and, in 1988, became a certified paraoptometric assistant (CPOA).

Kohler is dedicated to her patients, and their care is her priority. She also takes time to educate the public about the importance of healthy eyes and good vision by volunteering at health fairs in her community.

And, as a leader, Kohler encourages her team to learn as much about the field as possible.

Kohler became involved with the Northwest Paraoptometric Society and served as president from 1987-1992. She also became involved with the Pennsylvania Paraoptometric Association (PPA) where she served in many positions, including treasurer, vice president, president and immediate past president. Kohler currently serves as the financial adviser and chair for the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for the PPA.

Due to structural changes, Kohler was instrumental in making the appropriate revisions to the PPA’s constitution and bylaws and co-authored the Paraoptometric Reference Manual. She has written several papers and lectured on the local and state levels on office management and billing and coding.

She has also served on many committees in the AOA’s Paraoptometric Section.

Kohler has received many awards during her career, including Northwest Paraoptometric of the Year (1988) and Pennsylvania Paraoptometric of the Year (1992).

Kohler resides in Bradford with her husband, Ray. She is the proud mother of five children and two step-children and has 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: