Helena, Montana Optometrist Bill Simons, O.D., '82, has been named the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the Southern California College of Optometry's (SCCO's), Alumni Association. Dr. Simons, was selected for this special recognition based on his service to his alma mater, leadership within the profession, and achievement in community service.
"Dr. Simons joins a select group of 31 graduates of the College who have received this honor," noted SCCO President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. Dr. Simons will be honored during the College's Commencement Exercise on Friday, May 20, in Fullerton, CA.
So strongly does Dr. Simons believe in the ability of the College to prepare optometrists for exemplary patient care and the skills necessary to compete in the eye care market, that his thriving, three-partner practice in Helena, Montana, includes both 1997 graduate Bill Hasquet, O.D., and 2006 graduate Marcus Kelley, O.D. His son, Rob, is a member of SCCO's Class of 2013.
Professionally active, Dr. Simons has been instrumental in the passage of Montana's TPA scope of practice expansion legislation serving as legislative chair in 1993. He served as the Montana Optometric Association (MOA) president in 1991 and as the 1994 President of the Great Western Council of Optometry. He was twice selected as the MOA Optometrist of the Year and received the MOA Special Achievement Award in 1993. At the national level, Dr. Simons has served on the American Optometric Association (AOA) Practice Management Committee, Statutory Scope Committee and as the Montana AOA-PAC Representative. In 2006, he represented Montana at the Summit 2020 Conference.
Eight years ago, Dr. Simons was instrumental in founding and is still the managing partner in Summit Optical, an optometrist-owned, full-service cooperative optical laboratory created to help private practice, independent optometrists compete through economies of scale and vertical integration.
An AOA InfantSee eye doctor, he participates in the Eye Care for the Needy/MOA "Give a Day" programs. He was a founding member and president of the Helena Education Foundation.
Toward SCCO, Dr. Simons has been generous with his resources. He’s a Life Member of the Alumni Association with 21 years of giving, was the 2005–06 Annual Fund Chair, a member of his Twenty-Fifth Reunion Committee, and is a member of the SCCO Council of Regents.