Sacramento, CA, February 17, 2010 – The California Optometric Association (COA) has named Vision West, Inc. CEO and president and Escondido resident Joseph C. Mallinger, OD, MBA, FAAO, Optometrist of the Year for 2009 during its annual House of Delegates meeting in Ontario, California, January 29-30, 2010. Dr. Mallinger was recognized for his exemplary contributions to public service, service to the visual welfare of the public, service to optometry and service to the Association.
“I am truly honored to receive this award from my peers,” Dr. Mallinger says. “Volunteering time to the profession of optometry became a passion of mine after observing some of the great visionaries of the profession. In particular is Richard Hopping, OD, DOS, FAAO. His dedication to the profession played a significant role in the manner in which members of our profession deliver quality health and vision care to the public in these times. Using one of his many statements as my guide served me well during my volunteer years. His simple statement: ‘If it is not right for the profession of optometry – DO NOT DO IT’ is one I use every day and am indebted to him for him taking the time to pass it on to me.”
Dr. Mallinger has long been active in professional optometry since graduating from the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) in 1972. Since that time, Dr. Mallinger worked to promote the profession of optometry within the communities of Coronado, Escondido and Carlsbad by offering free optometric care to migrant workers, and worked within those communities to offer free services for elementary school screenings. He also served as a consultant free-of-charge to the school districts of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista and Valley Center to help develop and teach the need for testing for developmental learning disabilities. Dr. Mallinger has been active on the state and local level of the American Optometric Association, including past president of the San Diego County Optometric Society (SDCOS), past president of COA, and past president and current secretary/treasurer of the Public Vision League. He was named Young OD of the Year by COA in 1980, and twice received the SDCOS OD of the Year Award.
Active in his community, Dr. Mallinger has been president of the Coronado Senior and Escondido American Little Leagues, vice president of the Escondido Jaycees, and member of the Optimist Club and Carlsbad Noon Rotary Dr. Malliner retired from providing patient care in 1996 and currently serves as president and CEO of Vision West, Inc. Vision West helps the profession by providing non-dues revenue to the COA and a number of other state optometric associations. He resides in Oceanside with his wife, Patricia, and their children: Jennifer Mallinger, OD 38; Joseph P. Mallinger, 35; J’lene (Mallinger) Cave 32; and John Mallinger, 30.
California Optometric Association, was established in 1899, and is California’s oldest organized community for optometrists. Representing more than 2,700 optometrists, COA is dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of health care for the public through the advancement of optometry.