SECO award winners announced

Optometric professionals were recognised for the contributions to the profession


SECO International has announced the winners of its 2019 awards during its annual conference, which took place in New Orleans this weekend (20–24 February).

The awards were given out to five people by the Southern Council of Optometrists’ in recognition of their leadership in optometry and their contributions to the profession.

Doctor of optometry and president of SECO International, Emilio Balius, said: “The ophthalmic profession is strengthened by individual contributions of knowledge, leadership, advocacy and service. Each year, SECO takes the opportunity to celebrate those that are going above and beyond in their efforts to serve.”

Dr Peter Smith from Greer in South Carolina was awarded the Optometrist of the South Award. Dr Smith has been in private practice for almost 50 years with fellow optometrist and wife, Dr Rosalind Overton-Smith. He has been recognised for his “immeasurable” contributions to optometry in the state.

The 2019 Paraoptometric of the South Award was presented to Melanie Jenkins from Spring Hill, Tennessee. Ms Jenkins is an administrative manager at Spring Hill Eyecare and has been recognised for her involvement in the community.

The Young Optometrist of the South Award went to Dr Kayla Campbell from Barboursville, West Virginia. Dr Campbell will become a trustee of the West Virginia Optometric Association this year.

Dr Catherine Amos from Hoover, Alabama won the Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding service and contributions to the advancement of education in optometry worldwide.

The President’s Award was given to Dr Jerald Combs from Martin, Kentucky. The accolade recognises his dedicated years and outstanding achievements to the profession. Dr Combs has previously served as president of the Kentucky Optometric Association and president of the Kentucky Board of Optometric Examiners.