Shared Visions 2012 V-Award Recipients
Abbott Medical Optics
James H. Blake
Donald E. Studt, O.D.
Thomas S. Tooma, M.D.
Abbott Medical Optics
V-Award for Corporate Service
Accepted by James V. Mazzo
It all started as a way to bring interest and color to the blank walls of the renovated Eye Care Center at the Southern California College of Optometry. A patient with partial sight, who earned his living as a fashion photographer, suggested an art exhibit, an exhibit that would showcase the works of blind and/or partially-sighted artists. As talks continued to bring this idea to fruition, it became clear that whatever evolved would have an educational component at its core.
The result – art and patient care education have come together as the Shared Visions Art Exhibit. With the exhibit now in its seventh year, Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), continues to provide invaluable financial support.
AMO is focused on providing the full range of advanced refractive technologies and support to help eye care professionals deliver optimal vision and lifestyle experiences to patients of all ages. AMO's successful vision care strategy results from proper patient education and awareness.
The Shared Visions Art Exhibit, started in 2005, has become a truly impactful way to educate the public about eye and vision problems while providing a venue for the artistic talents of blind and legally blind artists.
SCCO is proud to recognize AMO's dedication to improving the quality of vision, and life, for others.
James H. Blake
V-Award for Community Service
A prominent leader in civic affairs, Jim Blake, has given his expertise and time to many corporate advisory boards and community organizations. In Fullerton, he has proudly served with the Chamber of Commerce, Planning Commission, Economic Development Team, Rotary Club, YMCA, St. Jude Medical Center Foundation, Cultural and Fine Arts Commission, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, and the Business Council, for which he was the founding chair. He joined the Metropolitan Water District in 1988 and remains on its Board of Directors.
In 1989, Jim joined the Board of Trustees of the Southern California College of Optometry; was Board Chair, 1997–99 and was named, Trustee Emeritus in 2002. In 2004, he was recognized as a Centennial Honoree of the College. At SCCO, Jim and his family established the endowed Hardtner/Blake Family Scholarship Fund to benefit students. In 2004, the Blake Family provided financial support to the College for its renovation and expansion of the on-campus clinical facility. In recognition of this support the Eye Care Center's meeting facilities were named the Blake Conference Center.
Jim served in the U.S. Marine Corp as a Captain for two years after his graduation from Tulane University, followed by six years of service in the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1960, he took a position with North American Rockwell (Autonetics) in Anaheim and has been in Southern California since that time. An investment counselor from 1966–71; he started Blake Investment Company in 1972.
With gratitude and appreciation, the SCCO Family thanks, Jim Blake, for his generous community support.
(Photo courtesy Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.)
Donald E. Studt, O.D.
V-Award for Individual Service
A life dedicated to helping others – this is the life lived by, Donald E. Studt, O.D., a 1951 graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry. For Dr. Studt, first-hand experience cultivated a passion for the life-enhancing benefits of vision therapy. His father, Walter O. Studt, O.D., a 1919 SCCO graduate, was a pioneer in vision therapy, a result of his desire to find an answer to why his son, with good acuity, was a challenged student. Dr. Don Studt's own experience with vision therapy and his subsequent success would result in his optometric practice being devoted to behavioral/developmental optometry.
Dr. Studt's passion to help others was motivated by two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Dr. Albert Schweitzer and His Holiness the Dali Lama, whom he met for the first time in 1960. Dr. Studt and the Studt Foundation fund an eye clinic in the most remote area of Nepal and continues healthcare in Ethiopia and other areas.
His dedication of time and financial resources to the College are exemplary. In 2004, the College honored Dr. Studt with its Meritorious Service Award; with the title, Distinguished Benefactor, for his donation resulting in the naming of the Studt Center for Vision Therapy at SCCO's Eye Care Center; and as an SCCO Centennial Honoree.
The SCCO Family salutes Dr. Studt, for his lifelong contributions to the vision care of others and his financial support of his alma mater.
Thomas S. Tooma, M.D.
V-Award for Global Service
A pioneer in the world of LASIK surgery, Dr. Thomas S. Tooma, has been a principal investigator in the field of laser vision correction since 1993. He helped several excimer laser manufacturers obtain FDA approvals for their lasers in the United States and in fact, holds the record for many firsts in this specialized vision care area. In 2010, Dr. Tooma purchased TLC's interest in eight Southern California locations and formed NVISION Laser Eye Centers. One key facility is located in the Eye Care Center of the Southern California College of Optometry.
Dr. Tooma received his M.D., from Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in ophthalmology. He completed his fellowship in Corneal and Refractive Surgery at Emory University, Department of Ophthalmology. He has been board certified in ophthalmology for more than 25 years.
In his spare time, Dr. Tooma has served on medical teaching missions to Romania, Bulgaria, China and Fiji, helping teach local ophthalmologists new surgical techniques. In 2008, he and his wife, Marta Tooma, D.D.S., started the Mission at Natuvu Creek in Fiji. The Mission serves the 250,000 people living on the island, with medical, dental and eye care provided by visiting physicians and dentists, including the Toomas.
The College is proud of its association with Dr. Tooma and salutes its colleague for his pioneering work in laser vision correction and his long-term commitment to providing vision care around the world to those less fortunate.
V-Award for Special Program Achievement
Accepted by Ronald L. Hopping, O.D., M.P.H.
InfantSEE®, a program administered by Optometry Cares – The American Optometric Association (AOA) Foundation, is a national public health program designed to provide a no-cost comprehensive vision assessment to infants six to 12 months of age regardless of household income or insurance availability. InfantSEE® celebrated its seventh anniversary in June 2012. Currently, there are more than 7,600 AOA-member volunteers who provide InfantSEE® assessments in all 50 states. Since the program's inception 14,000 infants have been served on average, per year.
What has become the largest public health program dedicated to the eye, InfantSEE's initial start-up and on-going funding has been received from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Vistakon); and two Federal appropriations were received through Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The Allergan Foundation has also provided generous support for InfantSEE® events held at the schools and colleges of optometry
The InfantSEE® program has provided groundbreaking data supporting the prevalence of infant vision issues and the role of optometric eye exams. In 2005, historical data suggested that an eye problem would be detected in one of every 14 infants examined. In 2007, that number grew to one in every nine infants, and in 2009 the rate increased to one in six.
Currently the InfantSEE® Program is administering another study through the Health Resources and Services Administration where infant populations in eight states will be assessed and evaluated. Collection of such demographic information as zip codes and annual income further allow data to be analyzed and segmented to determine if there are geographical influences or socio-economic issues that contribute to eye health issues in infants. This work represents nearly $1 million that Congress has awarded to InfantSEE to investigate the significance and far-reaching impact of infant visual health in the United States.
Proudly, the SCCO Family thanks the InfantSEE® founder – The American Optometric Association, as well as, donors, and Doctors of Optometry for their collective support of vision care for infants. SCCO's eye care centers are proud to be InfantSEE program providers.