Young Optometrist of the Year

The Young Optometrist of the Year Award is presented to an optometrist who has been in practice less then 10 years and has shown leadership in the areas of service to optometry, service to the visual welfare of the public and who has demonstrated a commitment to public service. Nominations are submitted by WOA members which are then reviewed by an Awards Committee. The award is given to the doctor who best meets the criteria listed above. The WOA Young Optometrist of the Year is then nominated for the AOA Young Optometrist award the following year.

Dr. Kyle Ross
2016 Young Optometrist of the Year

Dr. Kyle Ross, who owns and operates North Shore Eye Health & Wellness in Cedarburg, WI, was presented with the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) Young Optometrist of the Year Award on September 23, 2016 at the 2016 WOA Convention and Annual Meeting held at the Marriott Madison West hotel in Middleton, WI. This award is presented annually to one outstanding doctor that has been in practice for less than 10 years. The award recognizes the doctor’s exceptional service to optometry, dedication to the vision and eye health welfare of the public, and service to the community.

While he has only been in private practice for two short years, Dr. Ross has already made substantial strides in and has shown great dedication to the profession of optometry. His dedication began in the Navy with the prestigious Health Profession Scholarship Program, where Dr. Ross had the honor of serving his country as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy for three years at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in Great Lakes, IL. At the Lovell Health Care Center, he was head optometrist at the Fisher Branch Health Clinic and obtained his Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry, a clinical distinction only the top 10% of optometrists in the country obtain.

Following his transition to private optometric practice in 2014, Dr. Ross immediately became involved in the WOA, attending continuing education events, joining new optometrist meetings and discussions, and communicating with WOA staff. In 2016, Dr. Ross formed the WOA Young Optometrist Committee, which focuses on the needs of WOA members in practice for less than ten years. As Chair of the Young OD Committee, Dr. Ross leads a group of six of his fellow young doctors whose mission is to get newer optometrists actively involved with the WOA and their chosen profession. The Young OD Committee writes and directs content for the WOA Next eNewsletter, a quarterly electronic newsletter specifically focused on areas of interest for young optometrists in Wisconsin. Dr. Ross developed the concept for this eNewsletter this year in 2016. In addition to his work as Chair of the WOA Young Optometrist Committee, he also attended and participated in the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2016 Congressional Conference. 

Clinically, Dr. Ross's area of expertise lies in the diagnosis, treatment, and management in all areas of ocular medicine as well as low vision and neuro-optometric rehabilitation. Seeing a need within the pediatric population, he has spent tireless hours being an advocate of children’s ocular health and has designed and performed school screenings at local elementary schools. Dr. Ross also participates in InfantSEE®, a national AOA program in which participating doctors provide comprehensive eye assessments to infants between 6-12 months of age as a no-cost public service.

In addition to his work with children’s vision, Dr. Ross has an ongoing public relations campaign to create total ocular health awareness. He has met successfully with pediatricians and other health care providers to supply local, ongoing education on the importance of comprehensive eye exams for all ages. He regularly attends meetings at large clinics such as Columbia St. Mary’s hospital to speak on how all health systems are connected to the eyes. Being local to Concordia University, he has single handedly broken barriers in building a relationship with the Concordia Athletic Department, where he continues to educate and inform students, educators, and coaches on concussion health. He stays in contact with the Concordia Student Health Union and offers both urgent and established care to students. In his little spare time, Dr. Ross also volunteers with the Lions Club as both a member and coordinator for local eyeglasses donations.

His excellent clinical skills and passion for his patients has made waves in the Cedarburg and Ozaukee County communities and, in just a few short years, Dr. Ross has truly made a significant impact on his patients and the public alike. The WOA is grateful to have Dr. Ross among its membership in Wisconsin.

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

2015 Corinne Beiersdorf Wicklund, O.D.
2014 Tessa Sokol, O.D.
2013 David Hammes, O.D.
2012 Brandon Begotka, O.D.
2011 Callie Enyart, O.D.
2010 Amber Dentz, O.D.
2009 Ryan Ames, O.D.
2008 Paul Filar, O.D.
2007 Ann Wonderling, O.D.
2006 Holly Fisher, O.D.
2005 Lisa Slaby, O.D.
2004 David May, O.D.
2003 Nancy Duquette, O.D.
2002 Kellye Knueppel, O.D.
2001 Jeff Byers, O.D.
2000 John Warren, O.D.
1999 Chap Leffingwell, O.D.
1998 David Larsen, O.D.
1997 Scott Jens, O.D.
1996 David W. Nelson, O.D.