The award was presented to Dr. Steffes "for distinguished exemplary service and programmatic contributions to the (U.S.) Public Health Service Optometry Program." Dr. Steffes has greatly expanded the SEARHC optometry program since her arrival at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in July 1999. Since she started, SEARHC added an optometrist and created an eye clinic at the Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau and added a second optometrist at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, which has allowed staff to make periodic trips to other SEARHC communities so those patients don't have to travel for services.
"Dr. Steffes has done an outstanding job developing the optometry program at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and at the Alicia Roberts Medical Center in Klawock," said Frank Sutton, SEARHC Vice President of Hospital Services. "Access to services for our patients has significantly increased. We are very proud that Dr. Steffes was recognized for her work through this award."
"Dr. Steffes has done an excellent job of expanding optometry services here at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, as well as throughout the consortium," said Dr. Marty Grasmeder, Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Medical Director. "She has developed an efficient department that provides a wide range of high quality eye care services. I commend her on her success. This award is well-deserved."