It’s named for Brien Holden, a well-known scientist and humanitarian.

(Press Release) The American Academy of Optometry announced the establishment of the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award to recognize an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region.

In particular, the award will acknowledge humanitarian efforts in the nonprofit/not-for-profit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eyecare systems in developing communities.

The award will honor the memory and work of Professor Brien Holden.

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement by the Academy, a body that Brien greatly respected and a meeting he enthusiastically attended for around four decades,” said Dr. Kovin Naidoo, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. “This award will give important recognition to those people who may not be known globally, but who are making a difference in eye care in their country or region.”

Holden founded the Brien Holden Vision Institute and was a well-known scientist and humanitarian and a professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia. His career was spent inspiring scientists and healthcare professionals around the world with his dream of “vision for everyone, everywhere.”

Holden was an Academy Life Fellow and a Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies. He was a Presidents Circle member and an avid supporter of the American Optometric Foundation. Among several Academy awards received, Holden was honored with the Academy's Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture at Academy 2014 Denver, the Academy's highest honor.

“The American Academy of Optometry is honored to be given the opportunity to administer this new award that so perfectly reflects Dr. Holden’s passion for finding regional and global solutions for vision disparities,” said Dr. Brett G. Bence, president of the American Academy of Optometry. “This award will help sustain awareness to the continuation of Brien Holden’s legacy and humanitarian contributions.”

The award, established by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Holden family estate, will be given annually beginning in 2017. Nominations should include two letters of nomination from Academy Fellows and a CV of the nominee. Nominations are due by April 1 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The new award named for Professor Brien Holden will honor outstanding humanitarian work supporting sustainable eyecare systems.

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