NEW YORK—Every year, six optometrists of varying backgrounds with different perspectives join the Women In Optometry (WO) advisory board to serve a two-year term. These ODs provide guidance and offer suggestions to the editorial team, and they’re integral to selecting that year’s Theia Awards of Excellence winners. “We are so grateful for the women ODs over the years who have served on the WO advisory board. They bring tremendous enthusiasm, great ideas and their unique or shared experiences and perspectives to our coverage,” said Marjolijn Bijlefeld, WO editor in chief. “Our content is more lively and robust as a direct result of their participation.”

These ODs are joining the WO advisory board for the 2021-2022 season:

Camille Cohen, OD, of Brooklyn, New York, is a 2014 graduate of Salus University who manages a Pearle location that she took on right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was the 2018 National Optometric Association Service Award recipient, for community service projects and was honored in the 2020 Most Influential Women in Optical Special Report by Vision Monday.

Lori Grover, OD, PhD, of the Center for Eye and Health Outcomes and American Optometric Association trustee, earned her OD from Illinois College of Optometry and her PhD in health services research and policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with certificates in health economics and health informatics. Her clinical specialty for more than 25 years has been care for chronic vision impairment, with her clinical research focused on population health.

Monica Johnsonbaugh, OD, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, is the owner of Focus 313 Eyecare, a modern boutique style practice that offers medical eyecare, specialty contact lens fittings and independent eyewear. She also has a corporate-affiliate lease, is an author on dry eye research and has been an industry speaker. She brings her experiences from working in a variety of practice settings: OD/MD practice, large group OD practice, independent practice and corporate practice.

Hardeep Kataria, OD, FAAO, of Oxnard, California, is an associate optometrist at Advanced Retina Associates. She’s passionate about co-managing surgical procedures and advanced retina cases, developing the office’s glaucoma and anterior segment clinic and serving as a leader among the team of staff and scribes. In June 2020, Dr. Kataria was named as the first optometrist to the Speakers Bureau for FeminEm, an organization that educates and promotes women in emergency medicine, highlights gender bias in health care and organizes education around the topic.

Stacy Lyons, OD has been a professor at New England College of Optometry since 1989. She teaches in the binocular vision and pediatric optometry courses at the college and provides pediatric eyecare and vision therapy at the Charles River Community Health Center and is heavily involved with children’s vision initiatives in the state and nationally. “I have witnessed first-hand how the demographics in optometry has changed over the last 35 years, from one that was predominantly men to predominantly women. I work closely with women students, residents and colleagues on the issues that women face in the profession and strive to close the gap,” she said.

Janette Pepper, OD, FCOVD, of Southern College of Optometry, is an associate professor and coordinator for student diversity and inclusion and minority recruitment. In addition to teaching and clinical duties, she has served as an investigator on multicenter research studies on amblyopia and on the correction of hyperopia in children. Dr. Pepper said she has recently found her voice in adding the perspective of a minority viewpoint “that is not always acknowledged or validated but which is necessary nonetheless. The significance of this is that I get to model the expression of voice that I did not know I needed when I started as an optometrist.”

The 2021-2022 board will be replacing the board members who served in 2019 and 2020: Jenny Coyle, OD, MPH; Lillian Kalacinzki, Sherrol Reynolds, OD; Mona Sood, OD; Annabelle Storch, and Shauna Thornhill, OD.
They will be joining the 2020-2021 board members: Mamie Chan, OD; Nikki Iravani, OD; Ali Jensen, OD; Viola Kanevsky, OD; Sidra Qadri, OD; and Jessilin Quint, OD, MS, MBA, FAAO.

Read more about the Women In Optometry here.