Optometrist of the Year

The Optometrist of the Year Award is presented to an optometrist who has been outstanding in serving and representing the profession of optometry. The nominees are scored in the areas of public service, service to the visual welfare of the public, service to optometry, and service to optometric associations. Nominations are submitted by WOA members and are then reviewed by an Awards Committee for selection. The WOA Optometrist of the Year is then nominated for the AOA Optometrist of the Year award during the following year.

Dr. Jeff Sarazen
2015 WOA Optometrist of the Year

Dr. Jeff Sarazen (pictured center), who practices in Wausau, WI, was presented with the WOA Optometrist of the Year Award on September 25, 2015 at the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) Convention and Annual Meeting at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. This award is given in recognition of exceptional public service, commitment to the public’s vision and eye health welfare, dedication to the profession of optometry, and service to the WOA.

The WOA OD of the Year Award identifies an optometrist who has been in practice for more than 10 years and has made extraordinary contributions to the Association and to the profession of optometry in Wisconsin. Dr. Sarazen is the type of individual and professional that puts everyone around him at ease. Combining an excellent knowledge of the profession with an always personable demeanor and a constant willingness to put forth substantial effort on optometry’s behalf, he brings an exceptional combination of positive attributes to the great profession of optometry.

Dr. Sarazen is a frequent speaker at local high schools in Wausau, discussing careers in optometry to interested students. He has also established clinic tours at his practice for high school seniors interested in the profession. In recognition of these efforts, the School District of Wausau presented him with its Special Service Award. In addition, he has established externship programs with several universities and often has college students job shadow in his practice. Dr. Sarazen belongs to the Wausau Noon Optimists club and both coaches and sits on the board of directors for local soccer teams. In addition, he has an alliance with an area medical organization to help perform sports physicals for high school students and has lectured to physicians in this group on the topic of treating ocular trauma.

A volunteer provider for the WOA’s VISION USA – The Wisconsin Project program since its inception, Dr. Sarazen also provides benevolent eye exams to his youngest patients through the American Optometric Association’s renowned, national InfantSEE® program. From 1999-2004, he served the citizens of Wisconsin as a member of the prestigious Wisconsin Optometry Examining Board. He has also earned multiple well-deserved national accolades in recent years, becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry and being named one of “America’s Best Optometrists” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.

Dr. Sarazen has a top-notch track record of service to his state and national optometric associations, which is not surprising given his love of running as a hobby. He has been a member of the WOA and the AOA since 1987, the year in which he graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry. He is a legislative contact person for the AOA and has made several trips to Washington, D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill on behalf of organized optometry. Additionally, Dr. Sarazen is a frequent participant in WOA’s Legislative Day at the Capitol, which brings doctors from around the state to Madison to meet with their elected state officials. Along with keeping lawmakers informed, he also participates in a significant number of media interviews to promote public awareness of optometry. Dr. Sarazen is a previous chair of the WOA Education Committee and remains a dedicated committee member today. His many years of service on the WOA Board of Directors included his leadership of the Association as WOA President in 2012.

The WOA is extremely fortunate to count Dr. Jeff Sarazen among its membership in Wisconsin. He is, quite simply, an outstanding optometrist, a loyal WOA member, and a wonderful person to his colleagues and friends.

The WOA is proud to recognize those optometrists who have been honored in previous years

2014 Marilyn Brenne Heinke, O.D.
2013 Richard Ames, O.D.
2012 David May, O.D.
2011 Michelle Harper, O.D.
2010 Mark Ebben, O.D.
2009 Eric Paulsen, O.D.
2008 Steve Drake, O.D.
2007 Jeff Byers, O.D.
2006 Kellye Knueppel, O.D.
2005 Richard Foss, O.D.
2004 Brian Hammes, O.D.
2003 Scott Kenitz, O.D.
2002 Eugene Cropp, O.D.
2000 Scott Jens, O.D.
1999 John Bonsett-Veal, O.D.
1998 Kerry Griebenow, O.D.
1997 Lynda Farrar, O.D.
1996 David James, O.D.
1995 Linda Dejmek, O.D.
1994 Greg Foster, O.D.
1993 Alfred Waltke, O.D.
1992 John Sterling, O.D.
1991 Jeff Clark, O.D.
1990 Victor Connors, O.D.
1989 John Carns, O.D.
1988 Albert Gorz, O.D.
1987 Charles Brownlow, O.D.
1986 Frank Baldwin, O.D.
1985 John Stern, O.D.


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