For Immediate Release: American Academy of Optometry Makes Donation in Honor of 2017 Brien Holden Humanitarian Awardee Dr. C. Ellis Potter

Published November 7, 2017

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2017
Contact: Jenny Brown

American Academy of Optometry Makes Donation in Honor of 
2017 Brien Holden Humanitarian Awardee Dr. C. Ellis Potter 


The American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce a $5,000 donation has been made to VOSH/International in honor of C. Ellis Potter, OD, FAAO, the 2017 inaugural recipient of the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award. Dr. Potter was recognized at the Academy 2017 Chicago Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 13, 2017.

The Brien Holden Humanitarian Award honors the memory and work of Professor Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO. This award recognizes an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region. In particular, the award acknowledges humanitarian efforts in the non-profit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eye care systems in developing communities. The Academy annually makes a $5,000 donation to the charity or cause of the awardee’s choice.

“The American Academy of Optometry has paid me the highest compliment with the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award. I in turn want to express my appreciation to the late Professor Brien Holden, and thank the Brien Holden Vision Institute, for educating, inspiring and motivating many to the cause of avoidable blindness. Additionally, my thanks go to the many non-profits, partners and individuals that have joined and supported sustainable eye care causes,” said Dr. Potter.

Dr. Potter was recognized for this award due to his lifetime record of humanitarianism and long and distinguished career with VOSH/International where he played a big role in helping the organization evolve from its original model that provided care in week long clinic trips to developing countries to a model that works with local optometry and health care organizations to create sustainable models. Dr. Potter, an Academy Emeritus Fellow, also holds the distinction of being a Diplomate and served as Chair of the Academy’s Comprehensive Eye Care Section. He was also awarded the VOSH/International Dr. Harry I. Zelter Lifetime Achievement Award at the VOSH/International annual meeting in Chicago in October 2017.

The Brien Holden Humanitarian Award, established by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Holden family estate, will be awarded annually. Nominations for 2018 should include two letters of nomination from Academy Fellows and a CV of the nominee. Nominations are due by April 1, 2018 to

About the American Academy of Optometry

The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) enhances excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting. Fellows of the Academy are committed to the premise that learning is a lifelong obligation of a professional, as is the commitment to expand the profession’s knowledge base through ongoing fellowship and exchange.

The next annual meeting of the Academy will be November 7-10, 2018 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. For more information, visit