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Transitions Adds Three Members to Diversity Advisory Board




Transitions Optical, Inc. has added three new members to its Diversity Advisory Board to help guide and strengthen ongoing efforts through the Transitions Cultural Connections initiative.

Transitions Optical’s now 11-member Diversity Advisory Board is comprised of eye health and cultural experts, who provide insights into effectively reaching at-risk minority populations who are at greater risk for eye health issues, yet may not be getting the care they need.

New Board members for 2015 include:

  • Mila Ferrer – Co-founder of Familias con Diabetes and blogger for Jaime, mi dulce guerrero;
  • Margo Wade LaDrew – National board member for the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and founder of the Black BeautyShop Health Foundation;
  • >Dan Suarez, MA, RN – President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).

“As Transitions Optical continues to amplify its efforts to raise eye health awareness among at-risk ethnic populations, we wanted to involve more representatives from leading cultural and educational organizations as a way to expand our reach and promote more unified messaging about the importance of regular eye care,” said Manuel Solis, marketing manager, trade communications and strategic retail accounts, Transitions Optical.

Transitions Optical has partnered with NCNW since 2010 to raise eye health awareness among African Americans on both a national and grassroots level. In 2014, Transitions Optical announced a partnership with NAHN to raise awareness among Hispanic populations. Through the partnership with NAHN, Transitions Optical is providing eye health education to nurses, who are on the frontlines of providing patient care.

Recognizing the power of social media – and that more people are turning online for information about their eye health – Transitions Optical has also previously partnered with Latina Mom Bloggers, and has served as a sponsor of the annual Hispanicize event, which reaches influential Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in social media and journalism. Through these efforts, Transitions Optical first learned about the blog, “Jaime, mi dulce guerrero,” and began working with online influencer, Mila Ferrer, to share eye health education with those affected by diabetes.

“As a blogger and mother of a child with type 1 diabetes, Mila Ferrer is our first Board member who can truly speak from the family perspective and provide insights into reaching Hispanic families about the link between diabetes and eye health,” said Solis. “We are honored to have Mila, Dan and Margo on our Board and look forward to working with them throughout the year.”


Returning Diversity Advisory Board members include:

  • Allert Brown-Gort – Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Work and the Economy;
  • Brian Chou, O.D., F.A.A.O. – EyeLux Optometry, San Diego;
  • Edwin Marshall, O.D. M.S., M.P.H. – Professor Emeritus of Optometry and Former Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, Indiana University;
  • Drake McLean – Optician, President, Dietz-McLean Optical Company, San Antonio, TX;
  • Charlotte Parniawski, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.E. – Cultural Diversity Trainer, National Multicultural Institute; Nurse Educator, Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing at Bridgeport Hospital, Part of the Yale New Haven Health Care System;
  • Kirk Smick, O.D., F.A.A.O. – Chief of Optometry Services, Clayton Eye Center, Atlanta;
  • David K. Yoo, Ph.D. – Professor and Director, Asian American Studies Center, University of California at Los Angeles;
  • Vincent K. Young, M.D. – Chairman, Division of Ophthalmology, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia.
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