A THRIVING COMMUNITY
History of Optometry in AZ
By Dr. Annette Hanian
How Do We Get There?
These expansions in pharmaceutical scope and access to patients happened slowly by a lot of effort by a lot of different AZOA members over the last several decades. We all do our part by practicing to our fullest scope and to the best of our training. 20% of us assist by contributing with money when it is needed for legislators and projects that assist in our ultimate goals.
A smaller percentage of doctors do the physical effort of attending meetings, testifying, and meeting with legislators. Our past AZOA leaders and past Legislation Committees have carried the load for us by continuing the effort year after year, sometimes with little to show initially because of the time, it takes time to build our Association to the point that bigger things can happen.
Notably Are the “Mount Rushmore” ODs of Arizona:
Don Jarnagin, Bob Maynard, Ken Johnson, and Jack Hostetler (I stole that term from Dr. Tom Determan). These men were the Legislation chairs when we accomplished big things for ODs.In 1982, Dr. Don Jarnagin and Dr. Bob Maynard got us our first topical bill, something that all of us take for granted now. Before their work, we couldn't even use NaFl or tropicamide.
They will say they had help from the vast majority of the members including, but not at all limited to Bruce Burns, Charles Roberts, Bob Lamborn, Geiler's, Vern Roudebush, Dave Atwood, Len Bronstein, Serge Wright, Rich Glonek, and many more. In the years following, members of our association put in endless hours and countless dollars into building relationships with legislators in the key positions to finally get us unrestricted topical medications for the treatment of eye disease.
The Next Time You Treat an Infection or Glaucoma
Think of those past members and their efforts. Once they got us the ability to use therapeutic topical medications, Dr. Ken Johnson and Dr. Jack Hostetler got a full unrestricted orals bill passed in the 1990s but it was vetoed by the Governor. After repeated attempts and a lot more effort and membership participation, they were successful in getting us a restricted list of approved oral medications to treat our patients in 1999.
of how much effort has to go into each scope expansion and how many AZOA members are involved. If you ask any of these men about their legislative efforts, they will tell you some fun stories that include the other AZOA members that helped them and the crazy turns of events that happened along the way. Any of our AZOA Past Presidents have stories of the legislators and collecting signatures and bundling checks and stakeholder meetings and testimony against us. There have been many other Legislation chairs over the years and many, many volunteers (too many to list without excluding some important people). Many of these members that have made our profession what it currently is are now retired.
I Am Happy To Say That There Is a New Generation of Volunteers
That are helping to expand the profession of Optometry. We have new OPACA contributors every year. We have members writing letters to their legislators. We have members collecting qualifying signatures for legislators. A group of AZCOPT students, along with a few of our ODs, collected signatures for Representative Lela Alston and Senator Katie Hobbs. These students volunteered their few precious free hours on the weekends and it went a long way to help the reputation of Optometry at the Capitol. Their dedication has helped to build a lasting symbiotic relationship with legislators.
From left: Annette Hanian OD, Dave Coulson OD, Mike Lamb OD, Logan Ragan 2015, Celine Nguyen 2015, Theresa Radtke 2016 AOSA Trustee-elect, Kelly Ly 2016, Tim Hanian, Christine Schukis 2017, Jessica Neuville OD, Sasha Lue Sang 2015, Brady Haslam 2015.Senator Katie Hobbs (striped dress) and Rep. Lela Alston (red hair).
Get to know your AZOA leaders – find out more about their education,
Dr. Armanae Mancha
Family Eyecare of Scottsdale
Dr. Mancha was born in Odessa, Texas. She earned her Doctorate of Optometry degree Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2003. After practicing in Texas and Arizona for 14 years, Dr. Mancha happily joined Family Eyecare of Scottsdale as a partner.
Dr. Mancha brings a passion for working with children of all ages. She is one of 60 optometrists in Arizona who examines infants from 6 months of age to 1 year at no charge. She also provides comprehensive eye exams to diagnose and manage all eye health issues, including glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and ocular conditions associated with diabetes.
Dr. Mancha is also certified to perform corneal reshaping therapy/orthokeratology for patients who have progression of near-sightedness. She served as a clinical examiner for the National Optometry Board and has also been a clinical investigator for several contact lens manufacturers assisting in the development of new contact lenses.
Dr. Mancha Has Received Many Distinguished Awards Including:
She Has Participated in the Following Professional and Civic Organizations:
Dr. Danielle Remington
Ophthalmic Surgeons & Physicians
Danielle Remington, OD is an Ohio native who received her doctorate of Optometry from The Ohio State University after receiving her Bachelors of Science degree in biology at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Dr. Remington then continued on to complete her ocular disease residency at Erdey Searcy Eye Group, a surgical practice where management of emergent and chronic anterior segment disease, diabetes, glaucoma, and post-operative care were emphasized.
In 2016, Dr. Remington made the move to Arizona where she joined Ophthalmic Surgeons and Physicians. She has a passion to practice full-scope Optometry including comprehensive examinations, diabetic eye exams, contact lens fits, glaucoma evaluations and management, post-op care, and emergency cases. Outside of the office Dr. Remington enjoys being an active member of the American Optometric Association in addition to being on the Arizona Optometric Association Board of Directors. In her free time, she opts to be outdoors hiking, camping, traveling, and cheering on her Buckeyes.
Dr. Logan Ragan
Northsight Vision Care
Dr. Ragan joined Northsight Vision Care in June 2015 after graduating with Beta Sigma Kappa Honors from Midwestern University. He did extern training at the Regional Hospital Eye Clinic in Nome, Alaska & Bowden Eye Surgical Centers of Jacksonville, Florida; both of which gave him extensive ocular disease experience. Dr. Ragan is great with kids and has experience with all the latest contact lens technology. He has been a superb addition to our practice. Dr. Ragan is very active as a community volunteer. He earned the 2016 AZ Optometric Association Visionary Award for his work and was the 2018 AZOA Young OD of the Year.
Dr. Jamie Kuhn, FAAO, FSLS
Vista Eye Care
Originally from Northern California, Dr. Kuhn received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California at Davis. She graduated cum laude from the Southern California College of Optometry with an interest in Contact Lenses and Corneal Disease and then completed a residency in Cornea and Contact Lenses at the Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry. She is currently working as an Associate Optometrist at Vista Eye Care, in Green Valley, Arizona.
Previously a faculty of the College of Optometry at Midwestern University in Arizona, Dr. Kuhn supervised the care of patients in contact lenses and ocular prosthetic devices, as well as served as both a clinical and didactic professor in multiple courses of instruction.
Dr. Kuhn is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society, and a committee member for the Arizona Optometric Association.
She consults with industry partners to educate professionals and students via lectures sponsored by Alcon, TruForm Optics, and various continuing education seminars both locally and nationwide. She is also rigorously involved with the state association to educate the public and legislative leaders on the ability of optometrists to address the visual and ocular health needs of the population. Additionally, Dr. Kuhn is involved in clinical research in partnership with her group, the Scleral Lens Assessment by Patients and Practitioners Study, and has several publications in Optometric journals, editorials, and books.
Dr. Bart Pemberton, FAAO
AZOA Immediate Past President
Edmonds, Husz & Pemberton Eye Center
Dr. Pemberton received his BA in Biology from the University of California at Riverside in 1991 and his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. He completed a one-year residency in Hospital-based Optometry at the VA Medical Center in Amarillo, TX, in 1996. He has practiced in Tucson, AZ since 1997, and he has practiced with Drs. Edmonds and Husz since 1999. He is a past president of the Southern Arizona Optometric Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a member of the American and Arizona Optometric Associations. He has participated in several studies for the contact lens industry. He also served as an assistant adjunct clinical professor for the Pacific University College of Optometry from 2001 to 2017.
Dr. Jon Beeson
AZOA Board of Directors
Payson Eye Care Center
Dr. Jon Beeson is an Arizona native living and practicing in Payson, AZ. Doctor Beeson received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Arizona State University. After acquiring his Bachelor’s degree Dr. Beeson proceeded to work full time as an Ophthalmic Technician for Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center before attending Optometry School at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry.
Dr. Beeson is a strong advocate for the profession of Optometry as well as the care of his patients and is active in the Arizona Optometric Association as well as the American Optometric Association. Doctor Beeson completed advanced training during his internship in Ocular Disease and Primary Care at the Nationwide Vision Medical Center and has extensive ocular medical training with a special emphasis on dry eye resolution and treatment as well as all ocular diseases. Dr. Beeson is passionate about ocular health and building meaningful relationships with his patients.
Dr. Cory Lappin
AZOA Board of Directors
Phoenix Eye Care
Dr. Cory J. Lappin was raised in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Miami University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with Honors with Distinction. He earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from The Ohio State University College of Optometry, where he concurrently completed his Master of Science degree in Vision Science. At the college, he served as Class President and was a member of Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society.
Dr. Lappin has been recognized for his clinical performance, receiving the American Academy of Optometry Foundation Practice Excellence award. He has also been actively engaged in research, being selected to take part in the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute (NIH/NEI) T35 Research Fellowship program and receiving the Vincent J. Ellerbrock Memorial Award in recognition of accomplishments in vision science research.
Following graduation, Dr. Lappin continued his training by completing a residency in Ocular Disease at the renowned Cincinnati Eye Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has given several continuing education lectures, presented scientific posters at numerous academic conferences nationwide, and has authored an article on the evolving field of dry eye care. Dr. Lappin has a special interest in ocular surface and dry eye disease and is dedicated to implementing the most up-to-date treatments and cutting-edge research as part of the practice’s Dry Eye Center.
Dr. Lappin is a member of the American Academy of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, the Arizona Optometric Association, and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS). He also volunteers with the Special Olympics Opening Eyes program. He currently resides in North Phoenix.
Dr. Cameron Loe
AZOA Board of Directors
Estrella Mountain Eye Care
Dr. Cameron Loe is a native of Casper, Wyoming who moved to Arizona for optometry school and fell in love with the state. He graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2014 and from the Arizona College of Optometry in 2019. As the son of an optometrist, he knew early in his life he wanted to improve people’s lives by helping them see their best. Dr. Loe enjoys the diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease as well as specialty and non-specialty contact lenses.
He completed three externships during school, one in Fort Defiance, AZ at an Indian Health Hospital, one in Sartell, Minnesota at a private practice, and one in Mesa, AZ at an ocular disease referral site. He has a genuine and caring personality which we believe you will enjoy during your visit! He lives in Phoenix with his fiancé and they enjoy all the valley has to offer from hiking, to sporting events, and dining out! Dr. Loe plans to call the Phoenix valley home for the rest of his career.
Dr. Alicia Feis
Board of Directors - AZCOPT Representative
Dean, Arizona College of Optometry
Dr. Alicia Feis has been promoted to Dean of the Arizona College of Optometry after serving in assistant and associate deanships dealing with academic affairs at the Midwestern University Eye Institute. Dr. Alicia Feis joined Midwestern University in 2011 after practicing vision therapy at a private primary care facility. She brings clinical experience from the Southern California College of Optometry as well as the Illinois College of Optometry, where she served as an instructor. During her post-doctoral residency, Dr. Feis focused on pediatrics and binocular vision at the Illinois College of Optometry. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Bio-Psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara and her Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree at the Southern California College of Optometry.
Dr. Stacey Meier
AZOA Executive Director
Originally from Lockport, N.Y. he attended Erie Community College in Buffalo and received an AAS degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing, and attended the University of Nevada – Las Vegas for two years before moving to Memphis and graduating from the Southern College of Optometry in 1984. Dr. Meier has held leadership roles in local, state, and regional Optometric associations and was appointed to the Arizona Board of Optometry by then-Governor Janet Napolitano. He was the owner of a private optometry practice until 2019 and he has served as the AZOA Executive Director since 2011. Dr. Meier is also currently on the Board of Trustees at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN.