Latest News AOA Will Honor Joseph C. Mallinger, OD, of Healthy Eyes Advantage With Distinguished Service Award By Staff Friday, June 1, 2018 12:21 AM Joseph Mallinger, OD. BOCA RATON, Fla.—Healthy Eyes Advantage Inc. (HEA) announced this week that Dr. Joseph Mallinger, senior vice president of professional relations for the group, will receive the 2018 American Optometric Association’s (AOA’s) Distinguished Service Award. The presentation will take place during Optometry’s Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for June 20 to 24 in Denver. Mallinger is the former president and chief executive officer of Vision West (VWI), one of the four groups that merged to form HEA in late 2017. This AOA award is unique because it recognizes the long-term dedication to the profession of optometry by an OD, HEA noted in its announcement. It is one of the highest honors awarded each year by the AOA. “The Healthy Eyes Advantage team is thrilled to congratulate Dr. Mallinger on this remarkable achievement,” Jeff Rinkus, the company’s chief executive officer, said in the announcement. “Throughout his career, Dr. Mallinger has worked diligently for the advancement of independent optometry, which is also the core of the Healthy Eyes Advantage mission.” Among the contributions Mallinger has made to the optometric profession include serving as president of the San Diego County Optometric Society, president of the California Optometric Association, president of the COA’s Public Vision League, and secretary-treasurer of Marshall B. Ketchum University (SCCO) Board of Trustees. He is currently the president of Optometry Cares, the AOA’s charitable foundation. Early in his career, Dr. Mallinger received recognition as COA’s Young Optometrist of the Year, and then in 2009 he was recognized as COA’s Optometrist of the Year. Most recently, he received the Paul Yarwood Memorial Award, COA’s highest single tribute, recognizing significant contributions to optometry or to the visual care of the American public. In 1996, Dr. Mallinger left private practice to play a leading role in the early years of the COA’s then-subsidiary group purchasing organization (GPO) which eventually became Vision West, Inc. Healthy Eyes Advantage, based here, was formed by Nautic Partners in November 2017 after the firm acquired four of the nation’s largest eyecare buying groups: HMI/Red Tray/ClubZero, Vision West, C&E and Block Business Group.