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Awards Program



The POA Awards Program provides the opportunity to honor colleagues and/or lay persons who have contributed in some unique way to the profession of optometry and/or the visual welfare of the public. Nominations must be received by the POA office by February 2.

Award Descriptions

Optometrist of the Year
The Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes a member of the POA who, through years of dedicated service to optometry, the vision welfare of the public and their community, merits recognition from the optometrists of the state of Pennsylvania for that state's highest honor. Nominees will be evaluated according to a point system allocated to two principal areas: Public Service (worth 50%) and Service to Optometry (worth 50%). Nominations will be accepted from local societies and the POA committees, and shall receive equal consideration. The Awards Committee, which is charged with selecting one recipient annually, may also consider nominees from the past five years who did not receive the award the year they were originally nominated. All nominators will be required to complete and submit the nomination form and statement for consideration. State recipients will be nominated for the annual AOA Optometrist of the Year Award the following year.

Click here for a list of previous recipients.


Young Optometrist of the Year
The Young Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes an optometrist in practice less than ten years who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills when serving their profession, patients and community. Nominees will be evaluated according to a point system allocated to two principal areas: Public Service (worth 60%) and Service to Optometry (worth 40%). Nominations will be accepted from local societies and POA committees, and shall receive equal consideration. The Awards Committee, which is charged with selecting one recipient annually, may also consider nominees from the past five years who did not receive the award the year they were originally nominated and who are still eligible. All nominators will be required to complete and submit the nomination form and statement for consideration. State recipients will be nominated for the annual AOA Young Optometrist of the Year Award the following year.

Click here for a list of previous recipients.


William Van Essen Award
Local societies may select a group and/or individual to receive their society's William Van Essen Award, and submit the name(s) to the POA for the annual state Van Essen Award.
This award is instituted in memory of Dr. William Van Essen, who was instrumental in the licensing of the profession of optometry in Pennsylvania.

Click here for more information about Dr. Van Essen and a list of previous recipients.


George Gottschalk, Jr. Memorial Award
Presented annually to the outstanding committee chairperson as selected by the POA Board of Directors.

Click here for a more information about Mr. Gottschalk and list of previous recipients.


  

H. Ward Ewalt, O.D., Meritorious Service Award
The H. Ward Ewalt, O.D., Meritorious Service Award recognizes a POA member or an individual who has long-term dedication/service to the POA and/or the optometry; whose life-long dedication and commitment to the profession is exemplary. While the criteria for this award is exemplary service to the profession and/or organized optometry, community service (which is not required) may also be recognized in addition to the aforementioned. This award is limited to one winner in any given year, but does not have to be awarded each year. The award does not have to follow a recent contribution, although it may. The award recipients will be selected by the Board of Directors. The Award will be presented at the discretion of the Board and in those years when the Award is given, it will be presented during the annual House of Delegates meeting.

Click here for more information about Dr. Ewalt and a list of previous recipients.

  

Merit Awards
Local societies and the POA committees may nominate for the POA's Merit Awards
. Merit Awards may be given to optometrists or other individuals who through exceptional service have distinguished themselves in any given year. The award may also be given to individuals whose consistent service over the years warrants recognition. This award is not to compete with the George Gottschalk, Jr., Memorial Award or the OD/Young OD of the Year Awards, but rather recognizes contributions of an individual in any given year, or over several years, that deserve recognition from the POA. There will be no limit to the number of awards given in any year, but these awards will not be bestowed frivolously. Nominations may be generated by the Board of Directors, Awards Committee, local societies and POA committees with final decision by the Awards Committee. The timetable for this award will correspond with that of the OD of the Year, the Young OD of the Year, and William Van Essen awards presented annually by the POA.

Click here for a list of previous recipients.


Dr. Jerry Davidoff Memorial Award
The Dr. Jerry Davidoff Memorial award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of optometry at the state and national levels.  The recipient will have demonstrated not only high moral character and professionalism, but also an extended willingness to assist in the professional growth of his colleagues.  He or she will have shown good leadership skills, consistent with his or her dedication to our profession.

It is not expected that this award would necessarily be bestowed on an annual basis. The recipient is nominated by either the Awards Committee or the Board of Directors and shall be selected by the Awards Committee. All nominators must complete and submit a nomination statement for consideration.

For a list of previous recipients, click here.


Distinguished Legislator Award
The Distinguished Legislator Award may be given to an elected state legislator who as distinguished him- or herself in championing the cause of optometry and vision care in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The award may be given to more than one deserving candidate annually, and it may not necessarily be given every year.

Nominations for this award will be made by the Legislative Affairs Committee or the Board of Directors, and the recipient shall be selected by the Awards Committee. All nominators must complete and submit a nomination statement for consideration.

Click here for a list of previous recipients.


Donald H. Evans, O.D. Award
Awarded annually by VCI to a PCO student in recognition of outstanding service to PCO, the visual welfare of the public and the community. Recipients are presented a $1,000 award and plaque. The award is named after Donald H. Evans, O.D., a long-time member and past executive director of the POA. Dr. Evans is highly committed to organized optometry and the visual welfare of the public, with a special interest in legislative issues.

Click here for more information about Dr. Evans and a list of previous recipients.


Membership Recognition Awards
Awarded annually to POA members recognizing long and faithful support of their professional association. Certificates are presented to members with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of membership.