ODs Harue Marsden and Robert Theaker Honored by Great Western Council of Optometry

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Harue Marsden, OD (l) and Robert M. Theaker, OD.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Optometric Association (COA) announced that past presidents Harue Marsden, OD and Robert M. Theaker, OD have been honored by the Great Western Council of Optometry.

Dr. Marsden—a graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) and president of the COA from 2010 to 2011—was given the Lifetime Achievement award. She was a leader and educator in the profession of optometry until her passing in Feb. 2017, the COA stated. As COA president, Marsden led the organization’s effort to secure regulations allowing doctors of optometry to treat glaucoma, a significant step forward for patients’ eye health.

“Dr. Marsden’s recognition by the Great Western Council of Optometry is a wonderful and fitting tribute for an irreplaceable leader in our field. Harue left an indelible mark on our profession and on the eye health of Californians,” said COA president Dr. Sage Hider.

Dr. Theaker—who has been practicing optometry since 1991 and currently serves the patients at the Hollister Vision Center—was named OD of the Year by The Great Western Council of Optometry. The award recognizes Dr. Theaker’s contributions to the field of eye health, which include longtime leadership in the COA Monterey Bay Optometric Society and the California Optometric Association where he served as president from 2007 to 2008.

“The California Optometric Association is thrilled that Dr. Bob Theaker has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the eye health of patients in California and beyond,” said Dr. Hider. “Dr. Theaker’s commitment to the profession of optometry, his advocacy for eyecare access, and his passion for serving the public and his patients make him an outstanding choice as OD of the Year.”

Dr. Theaker has also been influential in optometric practice nationwide as a member of the American Optometric Association’s Federal Relations Committee and Congressional Conference. Theaker’s leadership on behalf of the profession resulted in a landmark California law that expanded optometrists’ role in treating glaucoma and in expanded access to eyecare for members of the public through the Affordable Care Act.