In order to become a Fellow of the Academy, professionals must pass a rigorous candidacy process that includes extensive written work and an oral examination. A panel of leading optometrists and vision scientists must approve both sections of the test, and fewer than 10 percent of practicing optometrists become Fellows of the Academy.
"Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry constantly strive for the highest professional standards," said Joe Yager, President of the Academy. "The American Academy of Optometrists Annual Meetings are recognized as presenting the latest in research and information on patient and vision care."
Dr. Steffes grew up in Sitka, graduating from Sitka High School in 1990. She earned her Doctor of Optometry degree (OD) from the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore., and completed internships at Teplick Laser Center in Portland, Ore., and The Children's Eye Doctors in Redmond, Wash. She has been at the SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Eye Clinic for 7 1/2 years. She joins Dr. Tim Strand, OD, of the SEARHC Juneau Medical Center, as a Fellow of the Academy.
"SEARHC is honored to have a distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry managing the SEARHC Optometry Services in Sitka," said Dr. Susan Carlson, MD, Medical Director of SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. "Dr. Steffes' recent accomplishment is another indicator of the excellent patient care she provides at SEARHC.