Dori Carlson OD '89 Receives Kamelia Massih Prize

Dori Carlson OD '89 has been named the third recipient of the Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist. She received the award May 18 at Pacific University's graduate Commencement ceremony.

The honor is named after the late Kamelia Massih, a 1985 Pacific University College of Optometry alumna who passed away in March 2010 following a three-year battle with cancer.

Massih served her patients and members of her community with a level of compassion and care that exemplifies Pacific University College of Optometry alumni.

A resident of Park River, N.D., Carlson became the first female president of the American Optometric Association and is currently immediate past president.

She has served on the organization's board since 2004, serving as a liaison to many different committees and project teams.

Carlson developed a "School Readiness Summit," which evolved into a joint statement signed by 30 different organizations calling for comprehensive eye exams to be the foundation of children's vision care.

The statement was used in AOA's lobbying efforts to define the essential pediatric vision benefit in health care reform as an eye exam instead of a simple screening.

Carlson is also the first AOA board member to travel to all 20 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States in an effort to convert students to active AOA membership status upon graduation.

Additionally, Carlson recently was elected to the Pacific University Board of Trustees.

Prior to her election as AOA board president, Carlson became the first female president of the North Dakota Optometric Association.

She has remained active in the state association whenever asked to help.

Carlson is a 1989 graduate of Pacific's College of Optometry and a former resident at the American Lake and Seattle Veterans Administration hospitals.

She and husband Mark Helgeson own practices in Park River and Grafton where she has continued to see patients when not representing the AOA. The doctors have two sons.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013