California Senator Edward Hernandez, O.D., (D–West Covina), will receive the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) from the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) during its Commencement Exercise on, Friday, May 20. Senator Hernandez is being recognized for his record of commitment to the profession of optometry and to the citizens of California.
"Dr. Hernandez has had a distinguished career, giving much to his profession and community for which we are both proud and grateful," noted SCCO President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. "We are excited to recognize him for his outstanding achievements and for being the first optometrist elected to the California State Senate."
During SCCO's one-hundred and seventh Commencement Exercise 96 Doctor of Optometry degree candidates will be recognized; the Commencement Speech will be presented by the President-Elect of the American Optometric Association (AOA), Dori M. Carlson, O.D.; the announcement of SCCO's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year William H. Simons, O.D., '82 will be made; and 33 optometrists who have successfully completed one-year residency programs will be acknowledged. SCCO's Commencement Exercise will begin at 10 a.m., on the College campus at 2575 Yorba Linda Blvd., Fullerton.
SCCO's honorary degree candidate was first elected to the Assembly in November 2006, and re-elected in November 2008. Dr. Hernandez won his seat in the California State Senate in November 2010, and represents the 24th Senate District.
While in the Assembly, Senator Hernandez served on the Assembly Committee on Health, as well as the Public Employees Retirement and Social Security (PERSS) Committee, Governmental Organization Committee, and the Business and Professions Committee. He was also chair, Select Committee on Healthcare Workforce Access. He currently serves as the chair, Senate Committee on Health, and chair, San Gabriel Valley Legislative Caucus.
Senator Hernandez grew up in La Puente and graduated from Bassett High School. He received his B.S. degree in Biology from Cal State Fullerton. He received a scholarship to study Optometry at Indiana University, which is where he met his wife Diane.Upon completion of the Doctor of Optometry Degree in 1986, Ed and Diane established their first practice in La Puente.
Dr. Hernandez received the Optometrist of the Year honor from the Rio Hondo Optometric Society, the Young Optometrist of the Year award from the California Optometric Association, and was named Key Person of the Year by CAL-OPAC. He is a Past President of the California Optometric Association.
Established in 1904, SCCO is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to educating today's minds to provide tomorrow's eye, vision and health care. SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS). The College's superior clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups. SCCO owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – the Eye Care Center located on its campus in Fullerton, CA, and the Optometric Center of Los Angeles located in south-central LA.