Alumna Dr. Karen Aldridge (OD 1992) was recently named the 2012 Optometrist of the Year by the Kansas Optometric Association.

Dr. Karen Aldridge recently earned the highest award an optometrist can receive from the Kansas Optometric Association. The University of Missouri–St. Louis alumna (OD 1992) was recognized as the 2012 Optometrist of the Year for personal sacrifices to advance the profession and the welfare of the public.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Aldridge is the recipient of such a high honor,” said Dr. Larry Davis, dean of the College of Optometry at UMSL. “It is very much deserved in light of her extensive service to humanity. Her career serves as an exemplar for what we desire for our alumni. “

Aldridge, who practices in Hill City, Kan., is a past president of the Kansas Optometric Association, the Kansas Optometric Foundation and the Eye Care Council. As a KOA member, she has served on numerous committees and projects, including serving as the director of a multi-year research study looking at the link between vision problems and reading performance. She received the KOA Distinguished Service Award for her efforts.

Aldridge has been a frequent lecturer on vision and learning for teachers, school nurses, optometrists and others. She has also participated in a vision care mission to Chile through Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.

In addition to her professional work, Aldridge has a passion for helping others through community involvement. She is active in her church and is past president of the Hill City (Kan.) Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Graham County (Kan.) Arts Council Community Easter Cantata, president of the Norton Lions Club, a host parent of foreign exchange students and a member and president of Stitchin’ Sisters Quilt Guild.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz