Every year, six optometrists of varying backgrounds with different perspectives join the Women In Optometry advisory board to serve a two-year term. These ODs provide guidance and offer suggestions to the editorial team, and they’re integral to selecting that year’s Theia Awards of Excellence winners.
Joining the WO advisory board for the 2022-2024 season are the following:
Beverly Bianes, OD, of San Diego, California; Janelle Davison, OD, of Smyrna, Georgia; Neda Gioia, OD, CNS, FOWNS, of Shrewsbury, New Jersey; Mahnia Madan, OD, FAAO, of Vancouver, British Columbia; Brianna Rhue, OD, FAAO, FSLS, of Tamarac, Florida; and Julie Rodman OD, MSc, FORS, FAAO, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Dr. Bianes, Dr. Davison, Dr. Gioia, Dr. Madan, Dr. Rhue and Dr. Rodman
They will be replacing these six ODs who completed their two-year term during this most unusual pandemic season: Mamie Chan, OD; Nikki Iravani, OD; Ali Jensen, OD; Viola Kanevsky, OD; Sidra Qadri, OD; and Jessilin Quint, OD, MS, MBA, FAAO.
The new board members join the 2021-2023 board: Camille Cohen, OD, of Brooklyn, New York; Lori Grover, OD, PhD, of the Center for Eye and Health Outcomes and American Optometric Association trustee; Monica Johnsonbaugh, OD, of Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Hardeep Kataria, OD, FAAO, of Oxnard, California; Stacy Lyons, OD, of New England College of Optometry; and Janette Pepper, OD, FCOVD, of Southern College of Optometry.
MEET THE NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Beverly Bianes, OD, of San Diego, California has been a partner owner of Pack & Bianes Vision Care Optometry for the past 30 years and now, according to her, “It’s payback time!”
“I want to give back to a profession that has been so good to me,” she says. “My daughter graduated from SCCO in 2020. I have enjoyed meeting her classmates. They are all so intelligent and full of energy. I’ve learned so much from them and learned that I have so much to offer to our next generation of leaders. They have ignited a fire in me to be able to share my 31 years of experience and thoughts on the profession.”
Outside of the exam room, Dr. Bianes serves as the director of charity outreach for Total Vision and is a member of the AOA, the COA, and holds the position of president-elect for the San Diego County Optometric Society for 2022.
Dr. Davison looks to WO’s future with the hopes of encouraging other women ODs towards ingenuity. “In the next few years, I see more women optometrists taking a more aggressive approach to inventing technology/software-based solutions that are critical for the advancement of independent private practice optometry. The world is changing! There are many smart, tech-savvy women optometrists out there who understand that in order to be competitive, grow their business and create the best patient experience possible, they not only need to implement technology in their practices, they need to be at the head of the table to develop technology. Technology will propel optometry as a whole forward to become a 21st century profession.”
For Dr. Gioia, serving on the WO board means bringing multiple perspectives. “I can bring… the point of view of not only a business owner but also someone who can successfully initiate the expansion of scope of practice into wellness and nutrition. The experience of working in 35 various optometric office settings gives me the confidence to help women fulfill the role in ownership and success.”
Madia Madan, OD, FAAO, of Vancouver, British Columbia, looks for a brighter tomorrow in terms of leadership roles filled by women in the medical field. “Although we are still far from seeing true gender equality in leadership roles, now more than ever I see more talented women emerging and reaching new heights in their careers,” she says. “Previously, we lacked women role models and mentors to coach and inspire young women, but that is also life-changing. With better tools to balance home and office life, I see more and more women pushing the boundaries to have it all and look forward to seeing them in more entrepreneurial and leadership roles.”
Julie Rodman, OD, MSc, FORS, FAAO, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has been in academia for over 20 years. She is a professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry and serves as the clinic chief for the Eye Care Institute in downtown Fort Lauderdale and instructor of record for the Posterior Segment Retina course at the College.
“I have had the opportunity to work with students and residents from all ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures. I have watched our profession gain foothold in the medical community with advances in prescribing and surgical privileges I have also seen our profession embrace and employ the newest and most innovative technology. As a doctor affiliated with a college of optometry, I have been fortunate to have access to these outstanding diagnostic modalities, which have enabled me to provide the highest level of care to our patients and educate our students and residents at the highest level. It has been my privilege to work and consult with some wonderful industry leaders, allowing me to serve as a liaison between my colleagues and the eye industry.”