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What eyecare providers are grateful for in 2016


It’s Thanksgiving time again, and I’m sure you’ve already started thinking about your blessings.

It’s Thanksgiving time again, and I’m sure you’ve already started thinking about your blessings. After all, it’s what we do in late fall.

Optometry Times editors are grateful to our readers and supporters who once again made 2016 a fabulous year.

We started our tradition last year of asking eyecare providers what they’re thankful for.

Check out our story from last year!

We asked our Editorial Advisory Board and others to weigh in on makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside at the Thanksgiving table.


Diana Schectman, OD, FAAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

Family, my amazing husband and beautiful kids, health, and the future of our profession.

I'm thankful for the opportunities I have and continue to have, as well as simply being able to do what I do every day! 

Related: What eyecare providers are thankful for

Leo Semes, OD, FAAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

I am grateful that I am someone helping those in need through the Vision USA project, Optometry Cares, the American Optometric Foundation, and the VOSH mission that my wife and I recently did in Ancud, Chile.



Jeff Anshel, OD, FAAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

Given the assaults on our profession from corporate entities, government regulations, insurance companies, online retailers, contact lens vendors, new optometry schools, sham board certification, and uninformed consumers, I'm thankful to still be open for business!

Related: 13 holiday dos and don’ts for ODs

Dixon Golden, OD
Center, TX
Via ODwire

Being able to refract and take care of my family.



Ricky V. Alaniz, OD
Carrizo Springs, TX
Via ODwire

I am thankful for:

• My wife giving birth to our fourth baby boy this year, and to her for keeping the home together

• Having a "job" I don't consider work

• Being able to see retirement within reach after 17 years of practice

• For the strength and health God has given me and my family to live another day


Justin Bazan, OD Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

I'm thankful that optometry has so many different specialty areas. While the traditional pillars may be cracking, we are able to strengthen our private practice with additional specialty ones.

For example, we have just expanded our vision therapy department and brought on a neuro-optometrist to help develop a traumatic brain injury rehabilitation center.

Related: 8 things that drive ODs crazy during the holidays

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

The health and happiness of my family and to be able to practice optometry in the country with laws that allow us the opportunity for full-scope practice.



Alan Glazier, OD Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

This year I am especially thankful for my family.

I know it’s hokey and easy, but the kids are growing up. In a few years, they will be out of the house, and I want to live every precious moment I have to its fullest with them while they are still around.


Richard Frankel, OD
Somerset, NJ
Via ODwire

I'm grateful that this Friday, my daughter officially adopts the little girl she's been caring for since just about birth!

Related: The best and worst parts of holidays as an OD mom

David Geffen, OD, FAAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

I am thankful for the approval of cross-linking, which finally makes us less of a third-world country.

I am thankful for the advancements in ethnology to assist our keratoconic patients.

I am thankful for our many “partners” who develop inferior products to entice our patients to leave quality care and risk their eyesight.


Lisa Frye, ABOC, FNAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.  

My son-in-law’s life was spared in a horrible car accident. I am grateful for the support from friends and family through his challenges.

I am thankful for each new day and the opportunity to serve others and bring them happiness.

Yes, I am grateful to live in the USA and still enjoy freedom.

I am overjoyed that I am going to be a nana again! Grandchildren are such a gift, and I am thankful for the privilege to enjoy the world through the eyes of a child.

I give thanks for God’s grace, and the doors that open allowing our steps to enter each new place.

Thanksgiving starts with the heart, feeling gratitude for where we are now compared to where we were at the start. Just thankful we share Thanksgiving, a day of reflecting on all of our blessings.


Leslie O’Dell, OD, FAAO Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member

I am most thankful for collaboration. The past two years have been a wild ride due to collaborative groups, both OD and MD, I am part of.  

Intrepid Eye Society is a group of 18 emerging ODs who represent many facets of our profession. Their core message is to share and elevate our peers through education.

I am also learning and growing with a top-notch group of researchers from around the country and Canada. We have coined ourselves the MGD Research Group.  The posters and papers we are putting out collaboratively have elevated thinking in the area of meibomoian gland disease (MGD) and dry eye disease.  

I am thankful for Milton Hom’s leadership ,along with Katherine Mastrota, Scott Schachter, Scott Hauswirth, Justin Kwan, Jenn Harthan, and Clare Halleran. 

Last but not least, I am so happy to be part of a trio including Laura Periman, MD, and Amy Gallant Sullivan uncovering the harms of cosmetics on the ocular surface. We have high hopes for the Dry Eye Divas in 2017.

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