2022 Thought Leader of the Year Nominee - Sacramento, CA
Tell us a little bit about you?
I grew up in Albany, NY and lived there until Optometry school. For Optometry school, I wanted something totally different. So I went to the Southern California College of Optometry and fell in love with California. My family and I are now settled in Rocklin, California, a suburb of Sacramento. I am married and have two boys. Something unique about me is I was an Active Duty Navy Optometrist for seven years. I was also a military spouse and I have lived in Florida, Alaska and Hawaii. I love to discover and learn new things. I have an insatiable desire for growth. I believe you should never stop educating yourself, both personally and professionally. When I do find time to relax, my favorite thing to do is go to the beach.
What is your why for doing what you do?
My why is I want to use my knowledge, skills and passion to really make a difference in people's lives. That is why I specialize in treating dry eye disease patients. Often these patients have been to many other doctors before coming to me and have not found any relief for their condition. It is such a good feeling to be the one to finally help them and literally change their lives for the better. I love being able to make such a positive impact on my patients.
What contribution have you made to the profession that is most meaningful to you?
The contribution I have made to the profession that is the most meaningful to me is sharing with other optometrists what I have learned and how to effectively and successfully treat dry eye disease patients. I have written many articles, spoken in podcasts and done many lectures on dry eye disease. It makes me so happy when a colleague reaches out to let me know I taught them something new, which they then implemented into their own practice, and it made a huge difference for their patients. When we share our expertise and experiences, it raises up the entire profession.
How would you use being the recipient of this award to empower other women ODs?
I would use this award to be a role model for other ODs. I would encourage them to reach out to me and to other Optometry Divas for help, guidance and mentoring.
What advice would you give to someone who looks up to you as a role model?
My biggest advice is to find something that you are really passionate about and become an expert in that area. If there is a specialty within optometry that you want to do, go all in. Keep learning and stay true to your passion. Keep moving forward toward your goals and never stop working at them, even if at first it seems overwhelming or things are going really slowly. If you keep working hard at what you love, you will accomplish your goals, I promise. Each time a door opens, no matter how small, it can be a catalyst for more doors to open in the future. Never stop working towards your dreams.
Another important thing I learned was that it is very difficult to be successful by yourself. You will be much more successful and get to where you want to be much faster if you have a network of supporters. That is why Optometry Divas is such an incredible organization. You have an amazing network of other ODs you can ask for help and you can be there to help others as well! The more mentors and advocates you have, the better off you will be.
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