Promising Young Optometrist Recognized For Her Exemplary Efforts – Poston Would Be Proud

Rina Sheth named Marvin R. Poston Leadership Awardee by VSP Vision Care

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Rancho Cordova, Calif., August 24, 2015 –VSP® Vision Care has announced Rina Sheth as the 2015 recipient of the VSP Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award.  Sheth is the second individual to receive the award recognizing exemplary young leaders in the field of optometry who embody the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment of VSP Vision Care founding member Dr. Marvin R. Poston.

Sheth, a second-year student at Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) and President of the school’s National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), beamed, “I was so shocked and honored to receive the Marvin R. Poston award. Optometry makes me feel like I'm working towards a greater goal. I want to devote my life to giving people a better standard of life.” 

Sheth demonstrated her commitment to the profession through several accomplishments including growing her school’s nearly dormant NOSA Chapter to more than 220 active members.  She pioneered a dozen vision screenings for children, adults and veterans in the Chicago-land area, and piloted ICO’s inaugural Spanish workshop to better serve the concentrated local Spanish-speaking population. 

In regards to her accomplishments, says Sheth, “NOSA, along with the NOA, is working tirelessly every month to help our neighboring communities to give healthcare to underprivileged populations, but there is always more work to do for our communities.  I think we would truly be making Dr. Poston proud.” 

“This award,” says Kate Renwick-Espinosa, incoming President of VSP® Vision Care, “was created to celebrate the forward-thinking and philanthropic spirit of an up-and-coming leader. At VSP, we invest in trailblazers who are making their mark by helping people see.  Rina is a shining example of what this award is all about.” 

Qualification criteria for the VSP Marvin R Poston Leadership Award include:

  • Optometry student in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Active member of NOSA, serving in a leadership role with the national organization or local chapter. 
  • Committed to a career of leadership and service to the profession of optometry.
  • Business-minded student who is preparing for a career in private-practice optometry. 

As for what’s next, says Sheth, “I’m working towards a greater goal and making a difference not only for myself, but for others around me.  It is truly a rewarding career helping this world to see.” 

Sheth was presented with the award at the National Optometric Association’s 47th annual conference in Hilton Head, South Carolina on July 11, 2015.  In addition to the recognition, Sheth will also receive a one-time award of $2,500.

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About Dr. Poston

Dr. Poston (1915-2001), for whom the award is named after, helped pioneer a path for minorities in the field of optometry. He was the first African American in the profession to be admitted and graduate from the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry, and to be licensed to practice optometry on the West Coast. He was named Optometrist of the Year by the American Optometric Association and the California Optometric Association and appointed to three terms on the California State Board of Optometry by Governors Edmund G. “Pat” Brown and Ronald Reagan. 

Sixty years ago, Dr. Poston and several of his fellow optometrists formed California Vision Services, now known as VSP Vision Care, one of five innovative businesses comprising VSP Global.  Since then, the company has grown into the nation’s largest healthcare organization by membership, with 75 million members and a mission of expanding access to eye care to help people see. 

About VSP Global
VSP Global® unites industry-leading businesses to bring the highest quality eye care and eyewear products and services to help people see across the globe. VSP Global businesses include not-for-profit VSP® Vision Care, the largest vision care company with more than 75 million members and a network of 32,000 eye doctors in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the three largest global manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®, the largest EHR and premier practice management software company for the eye care industry; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new lens technologies, production processes, service and logistics; and VSP Retail, delivering a memorable consumer experience through a variety of channels that meet the diverse needs of VSP customers. VSP Global businesses operate in 100 countries on 6 continents.

About NOSA
The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) is the student extension of the National Optometric Association (NOA) and is a service organization dedicated to providing the delivery of effective and adequate eye care to the minority and underserved communities. In addition NOSA creatively markets the field of optometry in an effort to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities into the profession.

About NOA
The National Optometric Association (NOA) was founded in 1969 in Richmond, Virginia, as a not-for-profit corporation The NOA is comprised primarily of minority optometrists from throughout the United States. Activities are administered through a board of directors and regional officers.

The recruitment of minority students into the schools and colleges of optometry and their placement into appropriate practice settings upon graduation are two priorities of the NOA. Coincident with these priorities is the underlying purpose of the NOA -- advancing the visual health of minority populations through the delivery of effective and efficient eye and vision care services to the minority community.

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Pat McNeil
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