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April 29, 2013

SUNY Alum Receives International Optometrist of the Year Award

SUNY alum Dr. Jillia Bird with Prof. Brien Holden at the award ceremony

SUNY Optometry graduate, Dr. Jullia Bird (Class '89) of Antigua, W.I., is the recipient of the World Council of Optometry's (WCO) International Optometrist of the Year award. The ceremony to present the award was held April 21, 2013 in Malaga, Spain.  Extremely active in the Caribbean's glaucoma awareness movement, Dr. Bird was also named president of the World Glaucoma Patient Association earlier this year.  She is also a board member of The Glaucoma Foundation in New York and Caribbean Coordinator for the World Glaucoma Week Committee.  Upon graduating from SUNY, Dr. Bird spent two years working with SUNY Stony Brook and later at Barbados Eye Studies in Bridgetown, Barbados before starting a private practice in Antigua.

“In 2007, Jillia founded the Antigua and Barbuda Glaucoma Support Group, a thriving patient support and advocacy group," said Nigel St. Rose in his nomination for Dr. Bird. "The group successfully lobbied Antigua’s government to recognize the public health threat that glaucoma poses to its predominantly African-origin population," he continued. "

“I am deeply humbled to be chosen by the WCO for this prestigious award," Dr. Bird said at the ceremony. "Sight is by far our most precious sense. Each of us holds the potential to raise the world's awareness of avoidable blindness, and in doing so, reduce the current unacceptable global blindness burden.”