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Stuart Richer, OD, PhD, FAAO; President

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. 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, adjunct  assistant professor of Ophthalmology at UIC / Eye and Ear Infirmary and associate professor of Clinical Optometry at ICO and UMSL. 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 Zeaxanthin and Visual Function Study (ZVF) in November 2011. Actively involved in primary care optometry, teaching and clinical research, Dr. Richer has special interests in aging, prescribing nutrients in the intervention of age related macular degeneration, low-tension glaucoma, cataracts and dry eye, as well as  rejuvenation of retinal tissue using epigenetics (Longevinex ®).

A. Paul Chous

A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO; Vice-President

Dr. Paul Chous was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes mellitus at age five. He completed his undergraduate education at Brown University and UC Irvine, and then received his Masters and Doctorate of Optometry degrees with highest honors from UC Berkeley. Paul has a private practice specializing in diabetes eye care and education in Tacoma, WA

Dr. Chous won the American Diabetes Association’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 1998. 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 an adjunct instructor at NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

kim reed

Kimberly Reed, OD, FAAO; Educational Institution Liaison; Treasurer

Dr. Kimberly Reed earned her undergraduate degree in 1986 from Auburn University, and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University Of Alabama Birmingham College Of Optometry in 1990.  She then completed a post-graduate residency at the Illinois College of Optometry where she subsequently spent an additional two years as a clinical faculty member.  Dr. Reed has been with NSU’s College of Optometry since 1993, and has held a variety of teaching and administrative positions during her tenure.

Currently, she teaches courses in Pharmacological Management of Anterior Segment Ocular Disease and Ocular Pharmacology, and also is a clinical preceptor in the third year primary care clinic.  Dr. Reed has developed a specific interest and focus in nutrition and supplementation as it relates to ocular health, and writes and lectures extensively on the topic.  Dr. Reed is an active member of several national organizations serving optometry and optometric education. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

Dr. Summerton

Susan Summerton, OD, CNS, DACBN; Fellowship Committee Chair; Secretary

Dr. Susan Summerton earned her undergraduate degree B.S. in 1992 from Florida State University. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University, School of Optometry and completed an externship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in 1996. She practiced in St. Thomas Virgin Islands and currently has her practice in Naples, Florida.  She also is an adjunct professor teaching nutrition at Hodges University. Dr. Summerton is a certified nutrition specialist (CNS),a member of the American College of Nutrition and is a diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition (DACBN). She is an active member of several organizations serving optometry and nutrition. She has a passion for integrative eye care and educating patients on nutrition and preventative eye care.

Elizabeth J. Johnson, Ph.D.

Elizabeth J. Johnson, Ph.D.;  Science Committee Chair

Elizabeth J. Johnson, Ph.D. obtained her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She did her postdoctoral work at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University where she is currently a Scientist I. She is also an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Her research interests are in nutrition and age-related visual and cognitive function. She has been involved in numerous clinical and epidemiologic studies and has collaborations with academia, industry and government agencies. Dr. Johnson has membership with the International Carotenoid Society, Carotenoid Research Interactive Group, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, Academic Society of Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds, The Nutrition Society, and Macula & Nutrition Group. Dr. Johnson also has editorial roles at the British Journal of Nutrition, Food Reviews International and Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly.

Dennis Ruskin, OD

Dennis Ruskin, OD, FAAO

Dr. Ruskin graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1976 with a doctor of optometry degree, the same year he established his full service practice in Toronto, Ontario. In 1989, he became a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Ruskin has been appointed advisory member to committees within the provincial government, College of Optometrists, Ontario Association of Optometrists, Seneca College opticianry program, and ophthalmic corporations. As well, he has had clinical affiliation with the Vision Institute, served as examiner for the Canadian Examiners of Optometry, lectured to optometrists and the public, and performs clinical investigation for the pharmaceutical industry.


Dr. John Nolan

Professor John Nolan is the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG, www.mprg.ie). His research group studies the role of eye nutrition for vision and prevention of blindness, and current studies are investigating the link between nutrition and brain health and function. He has presented at over 80 international scientific conferences and has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (1731 = citations, H index = 25). He is the editor of a CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group book publication entitled “Carotenoids and Retinal Disease.” He also has editorial roles at the European Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Nolan is also Chair of the International Macular Carotenoids Conference, which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University, UK., see www.macularcarotenoids.org, and is also Chair of the ARVO Macula and Nutrition Group.



dorothy hitchmoth

Dorothy L. Hitchmoth OD, FAAO, ABO, ABCMO Diplomate

Dr. Hitchmoth is Chief of Optometry and Director of Residency at the VAMC White River Junction. She is the owner of Hitchmoth Eyecare Associates and CEO of New England Telehealth.  Dr. Hitchmoth is a nationally-recognized award-winning professor, lecturer and educator.  She is a past State President and has served in leadership roles on many AOA committees over the past 21 years.  She is VA residency trained and a Fellow of the Academy and the Optometric Retina Society. Her publication and research interest is in retinal biomarkers of oculo-systemic disease. Dr. Hitchmoth is Director of the Annidis Center of Excellence and has expertise in multi-spectral imaging.


Dr. Steven G Pratt M.D., F.A.C.S., A.B.I.H.M

Dr. Pratt is considered by many to be the father of the SuperFoods movement. He is the creator of the original SuperFoods grouping of powerhouse foods with scientifically validated health benefits and clinically proven, positive impacts on health promotion and disease prevention. These SuperFoods, initially 14, now expanded to 25—along with their related “sidekicks”—have become the basis of a body of groundbreaking medical and nutritional recommendations, and 5 powerful books on improving lifelong health.