For Immediate Release: American Academy of Optometry Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Announces 2017 Henry B. Peters Award Recipient

Published November 7, 2017

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2017

Contact: Jenny Brown

American Academy of Optometry Public Health and Environmental Vision
Section Announces 2017 Henry B. Peters Award Recipient


The Public Health and Environmental Vision (PHEV) Section of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry foundation are pleased to announce Melvin D. Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH, as the 2017 Henry B. Peters Award for Public Health and Environmental Vision. The award annually recognizes an individual who has made exemplary contributions to public health and/or environmental vision over many years. There have only been three previous award selections, Drs. Alden Norman Haffner, Les Caplan and Kovin Naidoo.


“The PHEV Section is proud and pleased to acknowledge Dr. Shipp’s many significant contributions in so many areas that demonstrate the importance that our Section places on public health activities by optometrists. We are proud to bestow this honor upon him with appreciation of his many accomplishments,” remarked Debbie L. Hettler, OD, MPH, FAAO, PHEV Section Chair.


The Section is proud to include Dr. Shipp in this prestigious group in recognition of his many contributions to both public health and optometry, and especially proud to recognize his Diplomate status in the section since 1990 and his service as chair of the section from 1996-1999. As a faculty member at the UAB School of Optometry he taught public health to optometry students, was the first UAB Clinic Chief to ban smoking in a campus clinic, and was an integral part of the internationally recognized NEI funded study Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Ethnicity and Refractive Error.


His service to the Federal government on behalf of optometry includes working with the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Advisory Eye Council of the National Eye Institute (NEI)/National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was a member of the NEI Planning Committee for the National Eye Health Education Project, an ongoing, nationwide program with the goal of preventing blindness through public and professional education. In 2006, he co-chaired the development of a CDC sponsored vision health initiative, Improving the Nation’s Vision Health: A Coordinated Public Health Approach. He served as the President of the American Public Health (APHA), the leading national public health organization in the United States. Dr. Shipp was the first optometrist to lead the APHA and promoted optometry within that organization and to the public at large.


Dr. Shipp will give a lecture and be honored at the Public Health and Environmental Vision Section Awards Ceremony at 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 12 in Room E264 of Lakeside Center at McCormick Place.