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    B.C. Association of Optometrists elects new executive

    Vancouver, March 9, 2011 – The B.C. Association of Optometrists has elected Abbotsford doctor of optometry Surjinder Sahota as president, Vancouver Island doctor of optometry Linda Kirsch as vice-president and West Kootenay doctor of optometry Jonathan Proctor as secretary-treasurer as the association continues to fulfill its professional and public mandates promoting eye health and vision care.

    Dr. Sahota says the association’s number 1 goal is to help British Columbians protect their eye health. “Most vision loss is irreversible, so prevention is key. That means getting regular eye exams by a B.C. doctor of optometry to monitor your eye health, and seeking a proper diagnosis and treatment any time you experience a vision change,” she says.

    The election, which took place at the end of February during the association’s annual general meeting, also saw three new directors join the board for two-year terms: Dr. Meghan Ashton of Vernon, Dr. Daniel Derksen of Williams Lake and Dr. Pavan Avinashi, who practises in North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

    The association’s board also includes Dr. Antoinette Dumalo of North Vancouver, who is past president, Dr. Paul Geneau of Nanaimo, who is B.C.’s representative to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and three other doctors of optometry who are serving the remaining year of their two-year terms: Dr. Sureen Bachra of New Westminster, Dr. Victor Chin of Victoria and Dr. Mini Randhawa of Vancouver.

    New president Dr. Surjinder Sahota earned her doctor of optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry in 2000, after which she did a one-year residency in Chicago in ocular disease. Upon returning to B.C., she practiced in Williams Lake for five years, and now practises in Abbotsford. She has served the B.C. Association of Optometrists on the board of directors since June 2008, and has also served as chair of the public relations committee.

    Vice-president Dr. Linda Kirsch earned her doctor of optometry from the University of Waterloo in 1990, and has worked in private practice for about 20 years. She currently operates two practices on Vancouver Island in Duncan and Mill Bay with two other optometrists. Her past involvement in the association includes serving on the board of directors and chairing the association’s Occupational Vision Program, as well as volunteering on various committees.

    Secretary-treasurer Dr. Jonathan Proctor earned his doctor of optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2003. Since then he has worked in private practice in B.C., with the last five years serving patients in the East Kootenays through offices in Nelson and Castlegar. He volunteered previously on the association’s council from 2007 to 2009.

    As BC Doctors of Optometry, optometrists provide a full range of vision and eye health care, including comprehensive eye exams, vision correction, disease detection, treatment and eyewear. BC Doctors of Optometry are your first stop for comprehensive, doctor-delivered care. To book an exam, get treatment, buy eyewear or Ask a Doctor of Optometry, visit www.bcdoctorsofoptometry.com.

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    For photos or information, contact: Rhonda Trenholm, media relations, 604.623.3007