National Optometry Hall of Fame to Induct Five Members

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ST. LOUIS—The National Optometry Hall of Fame, administered by Optometry Cares, the AOA Foundation, will welcome five new inductees into its group of optometrists during Optometry’s Meeting in Chicago on June 28 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This year’s inductees include: Kevin L. Alexander, OD, Ph.D., from Fullerton, Calif.; James A. Boucher, OD, from Laramie, Wyo.; William E. Cochran, OD, DOS, from Cordova, Tenn.; Frank Fontana, OD, from St. Louis, Mo;, and Thomas L. Lewis, OD, Ph.D., from Dresher, Penn.

Dr. Alexander is a 1976 graduate from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. After teaching at his alma mater for seven years he established a private optometric practice in Columbus, Ohio. In 1987, Dr. Alexander became the Center Director for The Eye Center of Toledo, where he pioneered optometric co-management of surgical patients and established a residency in ocular disease. In 2008, he became the seventh President of the Southern California College of Optometry where he established a graduate degree program leading to a master’s degree in vision science and expanded the mission of the College to include interdisciplinary education by adding a Physician Assistant program.

Dr. Boucher is a 1961 graduate of Southern College of Optometry and since 1966, he has been in practice at the Snowy Range Vision Center in Laramie, Wyo. He has held leadership positions with several optometric organizations. He was on the American Optometric Association Board of Trustees (1979-1982), chair of the Education and Manpower Division, Executive Committee (1973-1974), chair of the Contact Lens Section (1986-1987), chair of the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (1989-1996), and chair of the Commission on Ophthalmic Standards (1977-1979). Dr. Boucher has also been involved with the Wyoming Optometric Association where he served as president from 1976-1978. He was a member of the Wyoming State Legislature from 1976-1977 and was instrumental in laying the ground work to expand optometry’s scope of practice.

Dr. Cochran, a third generation optometrist, graduated from Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in 1968 and practiced for 13 years in a private primary care optometry partnership in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He was active in the Mississippi Optometric Association (MOA) and served as the organization’s Legislative Committee chairman from 1972-1974. He spent three years on the MOA’s board before becoming president in 1978-79. In 1984, Dr. Cochran was named president of SCO and he began to make changes to move the college beyond its regional image and into the national arena of optometric education.

Dr. Fontana is a 1949 graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry and started his practice in 1950 and specializes in and is a pioneer in fitting contact lenses. Throughout his career, he has been involved with clinical investigations, consulting, writing and lecturing. Dr. Fontana has shared his knowledge by authoring more than 60 articles and his many speaking engagements. He has been a contributing editor for the Contact Lens Forum. Since 1999, Dr. Fontana has been and is currently a consulting editor for Review of Optometry. He is also a Diplomate in the Contact Lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry since 1969.

Dr. Lewis is a 1970 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He has held various administrative and teaching positions at Pennsylvania College of Optometry including Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs from 1980-1989. In 1989, Dr. Lewis was named president of Pennsylvania College of Optometry and under his leadership, the college grew to university status, including 12 different degree programs. Dr. Lewis has served in leadership positions in nearly every national optometric organization. He also served as president of the American Academy of Optometry from 2002 to 2004.

Optometry Cares administers three community health programs: VISION USA, InfantSEE and the Healthy Eyes Healthy People Community Grant program, and provides professional support through its Endowment Fund, Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief, The National Optometry Hall of Fame and The Archives & Museum of Optometry. For more information about Optometry Cares, visit www.aoafoundation.org.