Sight Savers CEO receives national award

FROM STAFF REPORTS 

Jeff Haddox, founder, president and chief executive officer of the Pelham-based Sight Savers America is the 2012 recipient of the American Optometric Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

Haddox

The award is presented annually to either a non-optometric colleague of the 36,000-member group, or to an organization for major contributions to the advancement of vision rehabilitation care and outstanding service and dedication to the visual welfare of the public.

Haddox received the prestigious honor at the annual AOA meeting in Chicago on June 29.

Dr. Dawn DeCarlo, University of Alabama in Birmingham associate professor of ophthalmology, director of the Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation and chair of the AOA Vision Rehabilitation Section nominated Haddox for the award.

“Emphasis is focused on nominees who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to serving individuals with visual impairment to improve visual efficiency, primarily through means of vision rehabilitative services, multidisciplinary concepts, and working closely with optometry,” DeCarlo said.

“The Vision Rehabilitation Section’s Distinguished Service Award was given to Sight Savers America” she added, “In recognition of the hundreds of children’s lives that have been improved through the provision of low vision devices, including expensive electronic technology and glasses.”

“We’re honored to receive this Distinguished Service Award,” Haddox said. “It comes from an organization that’s made up of the very best experts in the United States. This award enhances the credibility of Sight Savers America and will be a huge help in our nationwide expansion.”

Haddox founded Sight Savers America in 1997. Sight Savers serves more than 35,000 children annually and has become a national model for childhood vision health.