October 31, 1997

O’Day lands national Opthalmology award

O'Day lands national Opthalmology award

reporter_10.31.97_2.jpg (23k)

Dr. Denis O'Day

Dr. Denis M. O'Day, George Weeks Hale Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, has received the Special Recognition Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

The award is in recognition of O'Day's contributions to education, patient care and clinical research in Ophthalmology, and was presented earlier this week at the academy's annual meeting in San Francisco.

"I am a little overwhelmed about the award since it was very unexpected," O'Day said. "For 23 years, most of my career, I have been involved with the AAO in a variety of roles. I did not expect this award, but I am certainly very proud to receive it."

The award symbolizes O'Day's numerous contributions to the field of Opthalmology, said Dr. John E. Chapman, Dean of the School of Medicine.

"It truly is a wonderful award for an outstanding clinican and scientist, one who has done much for Vanderbilt," he said.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, O'Day came to Vanderbilt in 1972 as an assistant professor of Ophthalmology after a residency in internal medicine in Melbourne, an ophthalmology residency in San Francisco, and a fellowship in corneal and external disease at Moorefield's Eye Hospital in London.

O'Day also worked as a consultant ophthalmologist to the Royal Commonwealth Society of the Blind in Nigeria.

O'Day has built a thriving department at VUMC and was instrumental in the development and opening of the Tennessee Lions Eye Center at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, which debuted in August.

O'Day's influential role in ophthalmic education and board certification began with his appointment as chair of the Education Program in Corneal and External Disease at the AAO in 1977.

He was elected to the Academy's Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program and, after becoming chair of that committee, led a joint American Board of Ophthalmology/American Academy of Ophthalmology work group that fundamentally restructured the self-assessment program for ophthalmic residency education nationwide.

In his work with the AAO, O'Day has been instrumental in the development of evidence-based methodology for the Academy's Preferred Practice Pattern documents or clinical guidelines for Ophthalmology. He helped lead Ophthalmology into the world of outcomes research and was a prime mover in the National Eyecare Outcomes Network initiative.

O'Day has served on the board of directors of the National Society to Prevent Blindness and is executive director of the American Board of Ophthalmology, where he is also a current board member.