Pacific University Optometry Alumni Dominate Statewide Honors
The Oregon Optometric Physicians Association once again validated something many in the vision healthcare circles have long known: Pacific University College of Optometry alumni are among the very best in caring for patients and advancing primary eye care.
OOPA bestowed its top individual honors for outstanding leadership at its annual conference in Bend last month. Five of the seven awards presented went to Pacific University College of Optometry alumni to receive one of seven awards presented.
Doug Walker OD '99, who resides and practices in Brookings, has been honored as OD of the Year. The award is presented to the optometrist who has made the most outstanding contributions to the OOPA. Dr. Walker owns and operates Eye Center of Brookings and currently serves as president of the Oregon Board of Optometry.
Amanda Balsalobre OD '04 received the President's Award for continual contributions over several years to the optometric profession and local communities. Dr. Balsalobre resides in Bend and has practiced at Elemental Eyecare since 2011.
Pacific University EyeClinics Chief of Pediatrics and College of Optometry Professor J.P. Lowery OD '93, MEd '96 is the 2018 OOPA Apollo Award recipient. The honor is bestowed upon an individual who has performed distinguished service for the welfare of the public. In addition to overseeing all facets of pediatric care at Pacific's six EyeClinic locations throughout the Portland area, Dr. Lowery has served as director of the Oregon Lions Statewide Low Vision Clinic since 1995. The clinic provides education-oriented low vision evaluations for children with vision impairments. Dr. Lowery is also a faculty advisor for the university's student AMIGOS Eyecare program and has led many eye care missions to underserved populations all over the world.
Amber Dunn OD '13 has been named the OOPA Young OD of the Year. The honor recognizes an optometrist who has been in practice between two and six years and who has significantly participated in organized optometry through the OOPA. Dr. Dunn owns and operates Gatti Vision in King City and is also an assistant professor of optometry at Pacific, as well as the head coach of the university's cheerleading squad.
Shaina Sullivan, part of Pacific’s College of Optometry Class of 2019, received the OOPA Student of the Year Award. The honor recognizes a Pacific student and member of the college's next graduating class who has demonstrated a dedicated commitment to voluntary service through the participation of extracurricular optometric and community outreach activities. The Student of the Year Award recipient is selected from and by the members of the graduating class.
At its annual meeting, the OOPA also elected its Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 year, and five of the eight seats are now occupied by Pacific alumni:
Gabby Marshall '94, OD '97 - President. Dr. Marshall is the clinical director at Elemental Eyecare in Bend.
Nicole Rush OD '01 - President Elect. Dr. Rush practices in the coastal communities of Bandon, Coquille and Gold Beach.
Scott Walters OD '88 - Senior Past President. Dr. Walters is a senior partner at Eyecare Group of Southern Oregon, which serves the communities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction.
Amber Dunn OD '13 - Board Member. Dr. Dunn owns and operates Gatti Vision in King City, and is also an assistant professor of optometry at Pacific, as well as the head coach of the university's cheerleading squad.
Derri Sandberg OD '07 - Board Member. Dr. Sandberg is a partner at Lifetime Vision Care in Bend.
The Pacific University College of Optometry was originally founded in 1921 as the North Pacific College of Optometry. It became part of Pacific University and the Forest Grove Campus in 1945, and produces comprehensive practitioners with expertise in general optometry, contact lenses, low vision, vision therapy, sports vision and ocular disease. Founded in 1849, Pacific University is a diverse learning community offering a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the arts and sciences, education, business, optometry and the health professions.