A Word from Our Chair

August 11, 2021

The American Board of Optometry (ABO) Board of Directors held its annual meeting on June 23, 2021. I am honored to have been elected to serve as Board Chair.  ABO plays a critical role in ensuring our profession provides a measurable standard of competence through continuous learning and periodic assessment, allowing optometry a greater voice in national health care policy. There has been much progress in the 10 years since ABO administered the first board certification exam. The future is filled with new opportunities. We have an incredibly dedicated and talented board and I am excited to see what we can accomplish in my term as board chair.

I am a 1985 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry and have worked in both private and group practice during the past 36 years. Currently I am with Retina Specialists of Ohio in Vermilion, Ohio. Why did I pursue ABO Board Certification?  Simple – to challenge myself to be the best doctor that I could be for my patients. My patients, and yours, deserve our dedication to continually improving the medical care we deliver. Thank you for accepting this challenge with me

I would like to take an opportunity to thank ABO Board Past Chair, Dr. Paul Hodge, for his exemplary service to the Board and all Diplomates. His past commitment of time and talent has been crucial in assisting the ABO in navigating the complex issues that we have faced. We are fortunate to have Dr. Hodge to continue as immediate past chair and look forward to relying upon his experience in the future.

I would also like to thank our Executive Director, April Wilhelm, and our Director of Education, Dr. Catherine Hines, for their behind-the-scenes work.  April administers the day-to-day operations and management of the ABO. Her daily work and contributions are invaluable. Dr. Hines is responsible for overseeing all testing and educational activities and her expertise in test development and optometric education are vital to board certification. A big “Thank You” to both of these unsung heroes.

Our state ambassadors have been invaluable as well, pursuing CE credit for our CAP assessments at the state level and providing important local representation to state boards and optometric associations. Please, take a moment to identify your ambassador and reach out with any questions or suggestions. 

Board Certification is a valuable asset to our profession, providing an accredited program to sharpen our clinical skills and knowledge and keep us current with the latest optometric research and practice guidelines.  Thank you once again for choosing to be an ABO Diplomate and I look forward to advancing our mission together.

David Sterna, OD, FAAO
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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