2022 Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award
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, 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.
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 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.
About the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award
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 National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health Advisory Committee to commemorate Dr. Bonnie Strickland and her groundbreaking work to establish a comprehensive system for children’s vision in the United States. Strickland served as Director of the Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs, Maternal and Child Health Bureau before her retirement in 2014.
2021: Ms. Shavette L. Turner, Vice President, Children’s Vision Services at Prevent Blindness Georgia (PBGA). Ms. Turner implemented a unique approach to helping disadvantaged and underserved youth across Georgia access vision and eye care, with emphasis in Hall County where there is a significantly large Latino population who experience barriers to eye care. Ms. Turner recruited more than 200 community volunteers, resulting in screening thousands of students and providing 300 pairs of eyeglasses.
2020: Logan Newman, NBCT, ABO, MS Ed, Program Developer and NYS Certified Science teacher and Career in Technical Experience Teacher at the East High School Vision Care Program.
2019: Anne L. Coleman, M.D., MPH, UCLA Stein Eye Institute. Dr. Coleman is the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Professor of Ophthalmology at Stein Eye Institute of the David Geffen School of Medicine; Vice Chair, Academic Affairs, UCLA Department of Ophthalmology; Professor of Epidemiology in the UCLA Jonathon and Karin Fielding School of Public Health; Director of the Stein Eye Institute Center for Community Outreach and Policy and president-elect of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
2017 Recipient: Sean P. Donahue, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Donahue was selected by the volunteer Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award Committee for his efforts to improve children’s vision through stakeholder engagement, volunteer coordination, and advancement of vision screening technology.
2016 Recipient: The Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) at Princeton Vision Clinic based at the Illinois College of Optometry. The IEI at Princeton was selected by the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award Committee for its consistent and on-going commitment to addressing the unmet visual needs of Chicago Public School students.
2016 Honorable Mention: Vivian James, PhD, North Carolina Preschool Exceptional Children Coordinator for the Office of Early Learning – State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction. Dr. James was recognized for her exceptional work in North Carolina to improve vision screening systems as they relate to public health professional training as well as special education eligibility determinations.
2015 Recipient: The Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s (PPOC) based at the Boston Children’s Hospital in Brookline, Massachusetts. The PPOC was selected by the Award Committee for its consistent and on-going commitment to introducing proven and innovative new approaches to pediatric vision screening and care to providers and patients in the medical home setting.
Nominees for the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award may be an individual or group comprised of diverse stakeholders, including family/caregiver and community leaders, public health, healthcare, education, etc. who are implementing changes to improve children’s vision in the United States and reduce disparities in children’s vision and eye health. We are seeking nominations of individuals or groups who seek out new and innovative solutions to barriers to healthy vision in children. Nominees should be able to demonstrate an impact in one or more areas of a population health system supporting children’s vision:
- Training and Education (e.g. development of new family education, professional education or professional training).
- Public Awareness (e.g. innovative use of social media and other means of public awareness of children’s vision and eye health to drive improvements to systems or services, or to raise awareness of the connection between vision and overall health, early childhood development and learning).
- Provision of Resources and/or Services (e.g. specify how the nominated project integrates any of the 12 components of a strong vision health system for children)
- Surveillance and Accountability (e.g. initiating data collection for vision screening or eye care or development of performance measures on the local, state or national level – in the areas of early childhood education, schools, healthcare or public health).
- Reduction of Health Inequities (e.g. targeting outreach, vision screening or access to care and treatment, or systems changes for children in under-served families or geographic areas).
- Infrastructure Development- Local, State, or National Level (e.g. creating a statewide vision screening or training program, development of a children’s vision commission or advisory committee on the state or national level, or initiating children’s vision staff positions on the local, state or national level).
- Making the connection between vision and overall health, early childhood development and learning (e.g. development of tool kits, research or innovative services that connect vision to overall health, child development, and learning.)