The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) has announced the recipient of the eighth annual “Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award” as Donny W. Suh, MD, FAAP, MBA, FACS, Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, University of California, Irvine. The award will be formally presented at the NCCVEH Annual Meeting, to be held virtually, on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022.
The Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award recognizes significant efforts by an individual or group of individuals to improve public health approaches for children’s vision and eye health at the state or national level. The award was established in 2014 by the Advisory Committee of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness to honor Bonnie Strickland and her groundbreaking work to establish a comprehensive system for children’s vision in the U.S. She served as Director of the Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, before her retirement in 2014.
Donny W. Suh, MD, FAAP, MBA, FACS
Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and Professor
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Suh has been named as the 2022 Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award recipient in recognition of his unique approach to connecting vision to overall health by aligning pediatrics and eye care; reducing barriers to eye care and improving vision health equity; and his participation in critical research that advances understanding of children’s vision and eye health as well as vision disorders. Dr. Suh conducted research on school attendance and performance for children screened through the UC Irvine Mobile Eye Clinic, which will enhance the field’s understanding of the connection of vision to academic success.
Dr. Suh currently serves as medical director of the UC Irvine Mobile Eye Clinic. The van began making school visits seven years ago and has provided vision screening for more than 20,000 preschoolers in Orange County, Calif. Since his appointment at UCI, Dr. Suh, has increased fundraising efforts and success for this community outreach, as he did with a similar pediatric vision van program at his former institution, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where more than 3,500 children were evaluated and treated each year.
Dr. Suh is also being recognized for his important work in training pediatric ophthalmologists and his leadership within the American Academy of Pediatrics for improving communications between the fields of pediatrics and ophthalmology, and developing vision screening guidelines.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized by the NCCVEH as the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award. Bonnie is an inspirational figure and a true champion advocating for our children’s vision. Vision Screening programs have been a team effort from the public health sector, educators, school nurses, and community stakeholders, to make our dreams come true with a single vision,” said Dr. Suh. “Also, there have been many people before me who dedicated tremendous sacrifices to make these programs possible. I would like to share this award with my Pediatric Eye Mobile team and the predecessors who made it possible. As Henry Ford once said, ‘Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress, and working together is success!’”
“Prevent Blindness has declared 2022 as ‘The Year of Children’s Vision,” and we thank Dr. Donny Suh for his exemplary efforts and decades-long dedication to providing children with the access to quality eyecare services they deserve,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO if Prevent Blindness. “We enthusiastically congratulate Dr. Suh for being named the recipient of this year’s Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award and look forward to working with him to continue his sight-saving efforts!”
Past recipients of the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award include Shavette L. Turner, vice president, Children’s Vision Services at Prevent Blindness Georgia; Logan Newman, founder of the East High School Vision Care Program; Anne L. Coleman, MD, MPH, UCLA Stein Eye Institute; the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study Group; Richard Bunner, retired from the Ohio Department of Health; Sean P. Donahue, MD, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University; the Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) at Princeton Vision Clinic; and the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s.
For more information on the 2022 Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award, Prevent Blindness or the NCCVEH, please visit nationalcenter.preventblindness.org.