On May 15, 2019, Dr. Bartly J. Mondino, director of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, affiliation chairman of the Doheny Eye Institute and Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D. Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, hosted an event at Stein Eye to celebrate the establishment of the Smotrich Family Optometric Clinician-Scientist Chair and the appointment of Dr. Ava K. Bittner as the inaugural chair holder. A committee of dedicated optometrists and ophthalmologists helped raise funds for the chair, named in honor of Dr. Marvin Smotrich, a UCLA alumnus and an accomplished optometrist who served on the original chair campaign committee and played an integral role in bringing the chair to fruition.
The Smotrich Chair is dedicated exclusively to an optometrist and will help bridge the gap between optometrists and ophthalmologists and therefore be unique in academic ophthalmology. Funding from the chair will help further the development of broad-based research among the two professions and encourage the continuation of many of the advances in bilateral professional cooperation in research, education and public service.
Dr. Bittner, associate professor at UCLA Stein Eye and director of the optometric service, focuses her primary clinical interest on low vision rehabilitation and is experienced with conducting clinical trials to evaluate interventions to help improve visual function in patients with low vision.
UCLA faculty members, family and friends in attendance included Dr. Bittner’s husband Andrew Jacobson and their daughter Annora, as well as optometrists from the UCLA Vision Rehabilitation Center and members of the chair campaign committee.
For more information, contact Gail Summers at: 310-206-9701