The American Academy of Optometry Names C. Ellis Potter, OD, Brien Holden Humanitarian Award Recipient


C. Ellis Potter, OD.

ORLANDO, Fla.—Dr. Ellis Potter has been named the 2017 recipient of the American Academy of Optometry’s Brien Holden Humanitarian Award. The award, which honors the memory and work of Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO, recognizes an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eyecare within a region or country.

Dr. Potter, the past president of VOSH/International, has a long career with VOSH both internationally and in his state chapter. A member of VOSH-Kansas since 1994, Dr. Potter has lead over 13 VOSH clinic trips and has served in leadership positions within the organization since 2009 and was president from 2011-2013 where he represented VOSH/International at the World Council of Optometry both in 2012 and 2013. During his time, he also expanded communications with VOSH's Regional and Student VOSH Chapters and established 13 new chapters.

“One of his main accomplishments is the VOSH Corps Program. VOSH/International, in collaboration with the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Public Health Division and supported by Optometry Giving Sight, is working to build optometric education worldwide, in a long-term effort towards meeting the vision needs around the world,” the organization said.

VOSH continued, “Dr. Potter's efforts, along with those of Dr. Greg Pearl and others, produced results with the first optometrist, Dr. Justin Manning being sent to serve at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, Managua (UNAN), Optometry School in September, 2015, which saw its first graduating class in Nicaragua in 2017.”

Dr. Potter also created the Franklin Harms Society to recognize participants completing 10 mission trips and has authored 82 professional articles and editorials.

Additionally, he has been a member of the American Optometric Association from 1964-present. He was awarded Kansas Optometrist of the year in 2006. He served on the Board of Directors, Continuing Education, Legislative Key Man, Ethics and Resolutions committees. He also was the Kansas Optometric Journal editor from 1999-2006. Dr. Potter has been very active in the American Academy of Optometry from 1971 to the present.

Dr. Potter served in the United States Air Force at Kincheloe AFB in Michigan from 1967-1969. He earned the rank of Captain, Optometrist, Biomedical Science Corp. Following his service, he made a career of private practice optometry in Colorado and then Kansas.