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Ambassador Spotlight – Dr. David Sterna

As an inaugural Ambassador, Dr. Sterna reDavid Sternapresents the American Board of Optometry (ABO) in the state of Ohio. Dr. Sterna graduated from the Ohio State University College of Optometry and has been in private practice for over 30 years. Today, his practice is aligned with Vision Source and has grown into the medical model of optometry providing a wide range of vision and healthcare services.

Dr. Sterna was among the first ODs to sit for the board certification exam in 2011 and is now in his 5th year as a Diplomate in the MOC program. “As healthcare delivery evolves in the future, there will be an increasing emphasis on merit based payment systems,” said Dr. Sterna. “Insurance providers will also be more cognizant of physicians who are more educated, trained and qualified beyond simple state licensure. Creating a source of doctors who have demonstrated skills and expertise beyond the basic level will become a necessity if optometry is to be included in future healthcare delivery as vital healthcare providers and not simply as ancillary vision care providers.”

Believing that the ABO has been at the forefront of this effort since its inception, Dr. Sterna agreed to be a state Ambassador in 2015, sharing his experiences and educating his colleagues on the merits of board certification. In October of last year, he organized an ABO meeting at the Ohio Optometric Association East/West Conference to provide a forum for Diplomates and Active Candidates to discuss issues facing the ABO with keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Ajamian. He also represented the ABO at Vision Source’s annual meeting in Cleveland. In April of 2016, Dr. Sterna presented a petition to the Ohio State Board of Optometry to allow the use of the term “Board Certified” by ABO Diplomates, which is currently prohibited in his state.

When not advocating for the ABO or providing quality healthcare to his patients, Dr. Sterna can be found spending time with his wife of 30 years, Dianna and their 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 3 dogs. He enjoys gardening, nature photography, traveling and giving back to the community through volunteer and mission work. He and Dianna have hosted foreign exchange students and groups of Russian eye doctors in the US to study healthcare business practices ,and they’ve participated in mission projects through their church to provide eye care services to Costa Rican communities and to Nicaraguan refugees. Dr. Sterna is also involved in Rotary International and was awarded the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship 3 times for his work in humanitarian relief programs and other projects.

We appreciate all that Dr. Sterna has done and thank him for his continued commitment to the ABO. As a Diplomate and a strong supporter of our organization, Dr. Sterna never misses an opportunity to enlighten others on our mission and the benefits of board certification to providers, the profession and the public we serve.