Interview with Willard “Wid” B. Bleything, OD, MSby Brad Habermehl, COEP, FCOVD and Bob Williams

Interview with Willard “Wid” B. Bleything, OD, MS by Brad Habermehl, COEP, FCOVD and Bob Williams, fmr Ex.Dir OEPF

Willard “Wid” Bleything is one of the very great in behavioral optometry and modern VT and neuro-optometrists worldwide owe him a lot of gratitude for the work he has done in this field.

He moved from a private practice specializing in pediatric optometry to become the Dean of the College of Optometry at Pacific University. He maintained that position for more than 20 years and it is thanks to his influence that behavioral optometry and vision therapy was incorporated into the curriculum of the college. He also was a retired Air Force colonel and is still the highest-ranking optometrist to serve in the US Air Force. He was a founding member and the executive secretary of the Asia Pacific Optometric Society ( APOS) and is responsible for building many bridges to the Asia Pacific region as well as spreading the word worldwide about vision therapy and behavioral optometry. Please tune in for to interview with Wid and all the pearls of wisdom he shared about the history of the greats of optometry including his encounters with Skeffington.

Bio:

Willard B. Bleything, O.D., M.S., FAAO, FCOVD, FNAPO

Dr. Willard B. Bleything holds the rank of Distinguished University Professor of Optometry and Public Health and has also served as Director of Graduate and International Programs within the College of Optometry, Pacific University, Oregon. Prior to this, he served for 17 years as dean of Optometry at Pacific University and prior to this practiced in Central Oregon for a period16 years. His research interests center around health care delivery issues including international optometry as well as pediatric optometry. He has over 46 publications in various professional journals and has lectured widely in countries such as China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, and Germany.  He has been recognized of his interests with the following awards: International Optometrist of the Year Award, World Council of Optometry, 2002; The Armand Bastien Certificate for Service to the International Optometric Community Award, Societe d’ Optometrie d’ Europe and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation, 2002; and, the Skeffington – Alexander International Award, Optometric Extension Program Foundation, 2006

Along with serving as the president of his state optometric association, he has been a state board president and president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. From 1995-2005 he held the position as Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Council of Optometry and as Member, Education Committee of the World Council of Optometry (WCO).Interview with Willard “Wid” B. Bleything, OD, MS, FAAO, FCOVD, FNAPO, by Brad Habermehl , COEP, FCOVD and Bob Williams, past Ex.Dir. OEPF.

 Willard “Wid” Bleything is one of the ‘very great’ in behavioral optometry and modern VT, along with neuro-optometry. Optometrists, worldwide, owe him much gratitude for the work he has done in this field. He moved from a private practices specializing in pediatric optometry to become the Dean of the College of Optometry at Pacific University. He maintained that position for more than 20 years and it is thanks to his influence that behavioral optometry and vision therapy was incorporated into the curriculum of the college. He also spent a total of thirty years in the USAF, now retired at the rank of Colonel, his last assignment in the USAF Office of the Surgeon General. In addition, he has been very active in international optometry, serving as Secretary-General of the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry (APOC) and is responsible for building many bridges to the Asia Pacific region as well as spreading the word worldwide about vision therapy and behavioral optometry. Please tune in for to interview with Wid and all the pearls of wisdom he shared about the history the greats of optometry including his encounters with Dr. A.M. Skeffington.

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