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3 Optometrists Named to National Hall of Fame




They’ll be honored on June 21.

INVISION 2018OptometryHallOfFame

Credit: AOA

The American Optometric Association and Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation named three doctors of optometry who have been selected for the National Optometry Hall of Fame.

Since 1998, the National Optometry Hall of Fame has honored doctors of optometry who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the optometric profession.

The 2018 inductees are:


Upon graduation from Southern College of Optometry, Cockrell and his wife, Cherry Cockrell, O.D., opened their practice to serve the community of Stillwater, OK, which grew to a second practice, expanding area residents’ access to eye care. He served on the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians Congress Committee. He has served on the Oklahoma State Board of Optometric Examiners since 1996, and as president from 2001-2006. His long tenure of AOA involvement continued as he became chair of the AOA Statutory Scope Committee in 2004. Cockrell was elected to the AOA Board of Trustees in 2005, and in 2014, he became president. During his term as president, he testified before a Senate Committee regarding the potential deregulation of contact lenses, testified before the Federal Trade Commission and oversaw efforts to defeat legislation drafted by 1-800 Contacts that was introduced in a dozen states around the country. READ MORE.

Walls obtained his doctor of optometry degree from the University of California-Berkeley School of Optometry and his doctor of medicine degree from the University of California-Davis. His important contributions to the profession of optometry have been through the use of his degrees both in optometry and medicine for advancing the scope of practice for optometrists. He began in optometry in the 1960s when it was illegal to use topical anesthetics, mydriatics or any other “medication.” Since graduating from both programs, medicine and optometry, he was able to testify before legislative committees in well over 30 states, meet with governors for helping avoid their vetoing optometry bills, and deliver lectures on ocular/systemic pathology, ocular/systemic medications, ocular injections/minor surgical procedures as part of therapeutic courses required for optometrists to gain additional privileges by their respective state boards. He has served on a number of committees and boards for organizations including the AOA, National Board of Examiners in Optometry Board of Directors, Special Medical Advisory Group to the Veterans Administration Surgeon General, and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, for whom he served as president in 1994-1995.

Suchoff graduated from the Massachusetts College of Optometry (now New England College of Optometry) and then went on to join the Optometric Center of New York Staff 1965-1971. He subsequently became a founding faculty member of State University of New York College of Optometry in 1971 as assistant professor, becoming an associate professor in 1973 and professor in 1976. He later served as co-chairman of the Department of Vision Sciences, director of residency education, dean of the professional program and founder and chairman of the Head Trauma Vision Rehabilitation Clinic from 1985-1999. The roots of neuro-optometry and rehabilitation came from much of his work. The occurrence of visual dysfunction following head trauma was studied at SUNY and published with statistics to back up the information. His work on acquired brain injury and vision is published in journals related to brain injury, not just optometry. He has directly and indirectly moved the profession forward as a clinician in private practice and as an educator, as an author and editor to some of the profession’s greatest writers, to his service to the profession through NBEO, ACOE, and COVD.


The inductees will be honored at a ceremony during Optometry’s Meeting in Denver, CO, on June 21, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click here to register and learn more.

The National Optometry Hall of Fame is administered by Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation. 


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