OWNS Advisory Board

  • Larry J Alexander, OD, FAAO

    (In memorium 1947-2016)

    Larry Alexander, OD, FAAOIn 2016, an icon of the optometric profession had his life tragically cut short. The passing of Larry J. Alexander, OD, FAAO was a shock to us all and a blow to the profession. 

    One of Larry’s many talents was that of an educator. His role as a professor, speaking engagements, and publications have helped train new and practicing ophthalmic professionals for nearly 40 years. To honor his memory and continue his legacy, Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation has established the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education.

    Larry and his family have always been committed to kindness and helping those in need. As such, the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education will support students in schools and colleges of optometry in the pursuit of an optometric education.

    We would like to recognize Optovue as the first contributor who generously gave $25,000 to this Scholarship Fund. We are asking you to help endow the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education. Your gift will provide assistance for students and recognize Larry’s dedication to education and the profession. Please join me, the Alexander Family, your colleagues, and our profession in making a significant commitment to the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education.

    To donate online, click here and select “Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship Fund” under Program Designation. Or, you can mail a check, payable to Optometry Cares to 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO  63141 and in the memo line, write “Alexander Scholarship”.

    Dr. Alexander was a mentor and friend that touched the lives of many and the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship will ensure his memory and lives on for generations.

  • Robert Abel, MD

    Robert AbelDr. Abel earned his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in 1969, completed his ophthalmology residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital and was a Cornea Fellow at the University of Florida. He is a former Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University and is on the staff of the Christiana Care Health System. He founded several eye banks and hold patents on artificial corneas.

    Dr. Abel received the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor Award, where he instructed cornea microsurgery workshops and was on the Committee on International Ophthalmology. He has done active research on corneal transplants, corneal pathology, contact lenses and drugs as they relate to the eye. He has formulated several vitamins and consults for numerous nutrition companies. Dr. Abel has written extensively in scientific and lay journals and authored five books including The Eye Care Revolution. He has lectured and taught locally and internationally. In his spare time, he practices Tai-Chi, studies alternative medical systems and enjoys his multicultural family.

  • Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

    Founding President

    Jeff AnshelDr. Anshel is a 1975 graduate from the Illinois College of Optometry.  He has written numerous articles and books regarding nutritional influences on vision and computer vision concerns. The second edition of his book, Smart Medicine for Your Eyes was published in 2015 and his current publication, The Ocular Nutrition Handbook, was published in 2016. Anshel is the principal of Corporate Vision Consulting, where he addresses the issues surrounding visual demands while working with computers. He also offers on-site consultations and seminars to corporations related to visual stress and productivity in the workplace. He lectures nationally to eyecare providers on nutrition and nutritional genomics topics. Dr. Anshel maintains a private practice in Encinitas, CA.

  • Carol Boerner, MD

    Carol BoernerDr. Boerner graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After her internship at The Bryn Mawr Hospital, she did a four month fellowship in Ghent, Belgium under Dr Jules Francois, and did primary care medicine for the Indian Health Service in Coulee Dam Washington, Barrow, Alaska and Philadelphia, Mississippi. Dr. Boerner trained at Emory University in ophthalmology and completed a fellowship in cataract surgery and YAG lasers with Dr. Barrie Thrasher in Atlanta Georgia in 1983. She is the author of numerous articles on YAG lasers, Intraocular lenses, ophthalmic surgery and reviews articles for The Journal of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. As the owner of Eyes of Boston for twenty years, Dr.Boerner started using flax seed oil for rosacea and dry eye treatment in the early 1990s. She now lives in Vermont and continues her interest in diet, supplements and eye health.

  • Elise Brisco, OD, FCOVD, FAAO

    Elise BriscoDr. Elise Brisco co-founded the Rehabilitative Vision Clinic at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center. She is the director of an Integrative multi-disciplinary healthcare group in Los Angeles. She specializes in the treatment of visual problems that impair academic, athletic, and executive achievement, with an emphasis on Rehabilitative Optometry, and Binocular Vision Disorders. 

    Dr. Elise Brisco earned her Doctor of Optometry degree with distinction from Southern California College of Optometry, and is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and the American Academy of Optometry.  She frequently lectures on the topics of Integrative therapeutics and Optometry including homeopathy and nutraceuticals.

  • Jeffry D. Gerson, OD, FAAO

    Jeffry GersonDr. Jeffry Gerson graduated from Indiana University School of Optometry in 1997.  He then went on to complete a residency at the VA medical center in Kansas City concentrating on ocular disease and low vision.

    Dr. Gerson has authored several articles and lectures frequently on the topics of retinal disease and systemic disease both here in the US and abroad.  He is a member of the American Optometric Association as well as the Kansas Optometric Association which named him their 2008 young OD of the year.  He is a Fellow of both the Academy of Optometry and Optometric Retina Society.  His current practice, WestGlen Eyecare provides full scope care and he continues to provide retinal consultations for colleagues and be involved in clinical research.

  • Ann M. Hoscheit, OD, FAAO, FAARM

    Ann M. HoscheitDr. Hoscheit received her B.A. in Biology and Religion from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry. She completed her residency in ocular disease/hospital-based optometry at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center. Her professional experience also includes serving as assistant clinical professor and clinic director at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry.

    Dr. Hoscheit was the first optometrist to enroll in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Fellowship program which upon completion, the practice added it’s Wellness Center. The center includes diagnostic testing, nutritional and lifestyle counseling and patient educational programs for patients interested in optimal wellness and the prevention and management of ocular disease. Dr. Hoscheit is the founder of Summit Eye Associates in Gastonia, North Carolina.

  • Garry Kappel, OD

    Garry KappelDr. Kappel graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in 1963. Dr. Kappel has published numerous articles on nutrition and its relationship to vision.  His specialty practice had a focus on nutritional therapy for ocular diseases and function for over 40 years.  His macular degeneration patients have show improvement for more than 30 years with a nutritional formulation he designed.  He and his wife Olivia design nutritional formulations for various health problems.

  • Ben Lane, OD, MPH, FAAO

    Ben LaneDr. Lane is the nutritional optometrist-scientist who first reported the significance of  chromium and  folate deficiency as  factors for myopiagenesis, IOP regulation, accommodation; the roles of fish-methylmercury in cataractogenesis; zinc, copper, B6 in AMD; and excessive Vitamin C in fibrillar vitreous floater promotion. Dr. Lane has six degrees including: three from Princeton and Columbia, Human Nutrition and majors in Eye-disease Epidemiology and Nutritional Ophthalmology, and the first graduate degree in Vision Science from SUNY.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and is President of the Nutritional Optometry Institute.

    Dr. Lane has lectured to 2 World Congresses of Ophthalmologists (Amsterdam and Sydney), the European Congress of Ophthalmology (Istanbul), 5 research conferences in Moscow and Chennai, India, and chaired the Symposium on Metabolic Ophthalmology at the Afro-Asian Congress of Ophthalmology (Guangzhou).  Dr. Lane’s most recent research has identified the problem of excessive denatured protein and vitamin B6 and folic-acid deficiencies as preventing normal remodeling of specific eye tissues affecting the tear film, the pigmentary glaucomas, and exudative macular degeneration.

  • Steven Newman, OD, CNS

    Steven NewmanDr. Steven Newman graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in 1996 following an externship at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL.  After completing a residency in Ocular Disease at Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute, Dr. Newman began practicing Nutritional Optometry in Broward and Miami Dade counties.  Becoming certified as a Nutrition Specialist and as a member of the American College of Nutrition, Dr. Newman has enabled himself  to help his patients lead a healthier lifestyle.  His latest book, Feel More Alive Now is currently available nationwide.  As a national speaker, he educates doctors on the importance of lifestyle choices for themselves and their patients.  Dr. Newman lives in South Florida with his wife and two children.

  • Kimberly Reed, OD, FAAO

    Kim ReedDr. 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.

  • George Schmidt, OD

    George SchmidtDr. Schmidt has practiced optometry for 29 years, following a three year stint in the Air Force, where he was Chief of the Eye Clinic at Tyndall Air Force Base.  He specializes in nutritional / preventive eyecare. He has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and is a 29 year member of the American Optometric Association. He has also been heavily involved in developing online resources related to nutrition and ocular health. Dr. Schmidt maintains a private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

  • Leo P. Semes, OD, FAAO

    Leo SemesDr. Semes is Professor of Optometry at UAB. He earned his OD from PCO and completed residency at The Eye Institute of PCO. Dr. Semes has authored or over 220 scientific articles, book chapters and posters. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, as well as an active member of the AOA, chairing the Nutrition and Health Committee. Dr. Semes is a founding member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society and a founding fellow of the Optometric Retina Society.

  • Diana L. Shechtman, OD, FAAO

    Diana L. ShechtmanDr. Diana Shechtman is an associate professor of optometry at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, where she serves as an attending optometric physician at the eye institute and diabetic/macula clinic.

    Dr. Shechtman is a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), as well as the Optometric Retinal Society (ORS).  Her area of interest has centered on retinal disease and other ocular pathologies.  Dr. Shechtman has participated in various research projects, authored numerous posters and publications. She is a member of the editorial board for the Optometry journal, Optometry times, and Review of Optometry, where she co-author the monthly “Research Review” column.   She also is also a member of the macular degeneration association advisory board.  Dr. Shechtman also lectures on a local national & international level on areas in retinal disease.