Speaker List

IOA On-Demand CE Speaker List

Melissa Barnett OD

Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO

Dr. Melissa Barnett is a principal optometrist at the University of California, Davis Eye Center in Sacramento and Davis, California. She is an internationally recognized key opinion leader, specializing in dry eye disease and specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures and publishes extensively on topics including dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses and creating a healthy balance between work and home life for women in optometry. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Medical Optometry, a Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association and serves on the Board of the American Optometric Association Contact Lens and Cornea Section, Gas Permeable Lens Institute, International Society of Contact Lens Specialists and is Past President of The Scleral Lens Education Society. Drs. Melissa Barnett and Lynette Johns authored and edited the book Contemporary Scleral Lenses: Theory and Application with the unique perspectives and contributions of international experts. Dr. Barnett was awarded the inaugural Theia Award for Excellence for Mentoring by Women in Optometry. She was granted the Most Influential Women in Optical from Vision Monday in 2019. Dr. Barnett and Dr. Tom Arnold are co-hosts of the popular podcast GlobalEyes. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking, and spending time with her family, Todd Erickson, also an optometrist, and two sons, Alex and Drew.

Mile Brujic, OD

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO is a 2002 graduate of the New England College of Optometry.  He is a partner of Premier Vision Group, a successful three location optometric practice in Northwest Ohio.  He practices full scope optometry with an emphasis on ocular disease management of the anterior segment and specialty contact lenses. 

He is active at all levels of organized optometry.  Dr. Brujic is on the editorial board for a number of optometric publications.  He has published over 350 articles and has given over 1600 lectures, both nationally and internationally on contemporary topics in eye care. 

A. Paul Chous, ODA. Paul Chous, OD

Dr. Chous completed his undergraduate education at Brown and UC Irvine, and then received his Masters and Doctorate of Optometry degrees from UC Berkeley. Paul has a private practice specializing in diabetes eye care and education in Tacoma, WA. He is the author of Diabetic Eye Disease: Lessons From a Diabetic Eye Doctor, which was included in the "Top 12 Diabetes Books" by Diabetes Update magazine in 2004. He is editorial advisor to Review of Optometry and Optometry Times, AOA representative to the National Diabetes Education Program, Primary Investigator for the Diabetes Visual Function Supplement Study (DiVFuSS), and an adjunct Professor of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA.

Jeffry Gerson, ODJeffry Gerson, OD

Dr. Jeffry Gerson graduated from Indiana University School of Optometry in 1997, after which he went on to do a VA residency concentrating in low vision and ocular disease.  He has been in several different practice settings, including a retina referral practice where he participated in several large clinical trials.

Currently, Dr Gerson is in private practice that is a collaboration of both ODs and MDs.  He sees primary care patients and has an emphasis on retinal care in his practice.  He enjoys having 4th-year optometry interns with him and the challenges that they present.  He still participates in clinical trials and utilizes many different diagnostic modalities. 

Dr. Gerson is a frequent lecturer in the US and abroad and writes regularly for optometric publications.  When not at work, he enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with his family.

Jennifer Gould, ODJennifer Gould, OD

Dr. Jennifer Gould is an Associate Clinical Professor at SUNY College of Optometry and the Chief of Advanced Care Services for the University Eye Center. She earned both her Doctor of Optometry and Masters of Vision Science degrees from SUNY Optometry in 2013. She completed an ocular disease residency at East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center in 2014 Dr. Gould's areas of interest include glaucoma, retina, and anterior and posterior segment disease.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a diplomate of the American Board of Optometry and a member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society. 

Spencer Johnson, ODSpencer Johnson, OD

Dr. Johnson received a B.S. in Neuroscience from Brigham Young University, and his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He is currently an associate professor at the Oklahoma College of Optometry where he teaches courses in neuro-ophthalmic disorders, healthcare systems, and epidemiology, and serves as a clinic chief.  Dr. Johnson is a principal investigator in the NIH funded RAPID study to evaluate the efficacy of povidone iodine in the treatment of viral conjunctivitis.  He has lectured at national, regional, and state association meetings throughout the United States and Canada.  Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Johnson worked in the refractive surgery industry, and owned a private practice.

Justin Kwan ODJustin Kwan, OD

Dr. Kwan is a 2009 graduate of the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry and completed a dry eye and cornea / contact lens research fellowship and residency at Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) where he also taught for seven years as an Associate Professor.

At the University Eye Center, Dr. Kwan served as chief of the contact lens service and directed the dry eye clinic. His professional interests include myopia management, dry eye, keratoconus, refractive surgery, orthokeratology, and multifocal contact lenses. Dr. Kwan is a reviewer for many professional journals and is editor in chief of Clinical & Refractive Optometry. He chairs the American Academy of Optometry's Fellows Doing Research SIG and collaborates with optometrists and ophthalmologists nationwide in clinical research.   

He has also served on the board of the Orange County Optometric Society as the legislative chair and won "young optometrist of the year" in February 2018 from the California Optometric Association. He is the current president of the Chicago North Side Optometric Society.   

Dr. Kwan worked at Professional Eye Care Center in Niles, Illinois before joining CooperVision April 2020 in the role of Senior Manager, Myopia Management. He has given over 100 hours of continuing education and is motivated to continue moving the profession forward.

Nathan Lighthizer, OD

Born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota, Dr. Nate Lighthizer, O.D., F.A.A.O., is a graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry.  Upon graduation, he completed a residency in Family Practice Optometry with an emphasis in Ocular Disease through Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry.  Dr. Lighthizer has since joined the faculty at the Oklahoma College of Optometry and serves as the Chief of Specialty Care Clinics and the Chief of Electrodiagnostics Clinic.   In 2014, he founded and now heads the Dry Eye Clinic at the College of Optometry.  Also in 2014, he was named the Director of Continuing Education as well as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services at the Oklahoma College of Optometry.  He is a founding member, and currently serves as Vice President, of the Intrepid Eye Society which is a group of emerging thought leaders in optometry.  He was named a member of PCON 250 - A list of the top 250 optometrists in the country who practice progressively, provide innovative patient care, conduct optometric research or excel in academia and share what they have learned with other optometrists to advance the profession.  Dr. Lighthizer lectures nationally on numerous topics, most notably advanced ophthalmic procedures, electrodiagnostics, and ocular disease.   

Andrew Morgenstern, OD

Dr. Morgenstern is a graduate of Boston University and Nova Southeastern College of Optometry. On May 19, 2012 Dr Morgenstern was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Profession from his undergraduate alma mater, Boston University. The award was presented at the 2012 Boston University commencement.   

He completed his training at the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute/Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, School of Medicine. From 2004-2010 Dr Morgenstern served as the Southeast Atlantic Regional Clinical Director for TLC Laser Eye Centers and was the TLC national education coordinator and lecturer for all national and international optometric meetings. He has been an Optometric leader in refractive surgery for the past thirteen years. In that time he has seen over 85,000 refractive surgery patients and worked with and taught refractive surgery to over 250 surgeons. As a former faculty member of The Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology and The University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Morgenstern supervised the Medical Resident Refractive Surgery Programs. He is also an Assistant Professor at Southern California College of Optometry and frequent lecturer at many schools of Optometry.His articles have been featured in many medical journals print and online media. Dr. Morgenstern lectures extensively nationally and internationally on refractive surgery, refractive technology, collagen cross-linking, anterior segment disease, pharmaceuticals and optometric best practices.

Stuart Richer ODStuart Richer, OD

Dr. Richer earned his undergraduate degree in 1977 from the Rochester Institute of Technology, after which he completed a dual OD MS (physiological optics) program at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981. A one-year residency in low vision / hospital-based optometry followed at the Kansas City, Missouri DVA Medical Center. He has been Chief of Optometry at DVA Medical Center, North Chicago, IL since 1983 - 2013, and D Coordinator of Optometric Residencies thereafter. He has been actively involved in teaching optometry and medical students as well as postdoctoral fellows of all disciplines.

  In 1996 Dr. Richer earned his PhD in human physiology and biophysics from Chicago Medical School following 15 years of practice. He's an associate professor of Family and Preventative Medicine at Chicago Medical School and Clinical Optometry at ICO and UMSL and an assistant professor of Ophthalmology, UIC Department of Ophthalmology / Eye and Ear Infirmary.  Dr Richer has authored papers in Current Eye Research, Experimental Eye Research, FASEB, Vision Research, Optometry & Vision Science, Optometry, and International Ophthalmology Clinics.  He is the principal investigator of the Veterans Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial (LAST), the first US randomized double masked placebo controlled clinical trial of lutein and visual function published in the Journal Optometry April 2004 and the FDA/DVA approved Zeaxanthin and Visual Function Study (ZVF) - Nov 2011. He is a Fellow in the National Academy of Practices in Medicine and his Team was announced as Service to America Medal finalists in Science and Technology at the US Senate Hart Bldg, June 2006. Dr. Richer was the US DVA lifetime career achievement nominee to AMSUS 117th annual meeting, San Antonio Nov 2011. He is President of the Ocular Nutrition Society.   

Actively involved in primary care optometry and clinical antioxidant research, Dr. Richer has special interests in aging, prescribing nutrients in the intervention of age-related macular degeneration, low-tension glaucoma, diabetic macular edema, prevention of cataracts and dry eye. Dr Richer is president of the Ocular Wellness and Nutrition Society www.ocularnutritionsociety.org and has an interest in aging.

Justin Schweitzer ODJustin Schweitzer, OD

Dr. Justin Schweitzer specializes in advanced glaucoma, refractive surgical clinical care, and anterior segment pathology at Vance Thompson Vision.  He received his professional training and Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR. 

In 2012 he pursued his dream to focus on glaucoma, advanced anterior segment surgery care and pathology, joining Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He earned Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry in 2013, is the Optometric Externship Director at Vance Thompson Vision, and Adjunct Clinical Professor of the Illinois College of Optometry and Kentucky College of Optometry. 

Dr. Schweitzer regularly lectures on glaucoma, anterior segment pathology, refractive surgical clinical care, and surgical management at state, regional, and national meetings.  He is currently the Chief Medical Editor for Modern Optometry and has contributed book chapters, journal articles, and case studies in peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed journals including Review of Optometry, Optometry Times, Primary Care Optometry News, Optometric Management, The Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Clinical Ophthalmology, and The Journal of Glaucoma.  He has research interests in minimally invasive glaucoma surgery and biomechanical properties of the cornea as it relates to glaucoma.   
Dr. Schweitzer is an advocate of an integrated eye care delivery model and is currently serving as a board member for the South Dakota Optometric Society.  He also serves as a board member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society, a member of the American Optometric Association, Optometric Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Society, Scleral Lens Education Society, Intrepid Eye Society, and is actively involved in his communities eye care initiatives.   

Glen Steele, ODGlen Steele, OD

Pediatric Professor at Southern College of Optometry. Past chair of the American Optometric Association Foundation InfantSEE® Committee, and past president of College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation.  Lectures extensively throughout the USA and internationally in the area of vision development and care in the infant and young child.  Inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2019.

James Thimons, OD

Dr. James Thimons is a 1978 graduate of Ohio State University College of Optometry. He completed his hospital residency at the Chillicothe, VA Medical Center in 1979 and then served as Chief, Optometry Service until 1985. While at SUNY he developed The Glaucoma Institute, a clinical research center, and served as its first Director. In 1998, he accepted the position of Executive Director of TLC and served in that role until 2002 when he co-founded Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut, a multidisciplinary referral practice providing secondary and tertiary level care. 

In 1999 he was awarded Optometry's Top Educator and was selected as one of the Top Ten Clinicians of the decade. In 2002 he founded the National Glaucoma Society, a NFP with Executive offices in Andover, Massachusetts, that provides educational and clinical development services to primary care clinicians worldwide in the area of glaucoma management. In 2005 he was inducted into the Optometry Hall of Fame and has recently served as President, Connecticut Association of Optometrists. Dr. Thimons was selected as the Top Eye Doctor in Fairfield County in 2013.