News Story

NSU’S Foster Receives Top Service Award

TAHLEQUAH - George E. Foster, O.D., dean of the College of Optometry at Northeastern State University, has been awarded the Vision Service Award for outstanding achievements by the Heart of American Contact Lens Society.

The award was presented at the 41st Annual Congress held recently in Kansas City, MO, and is given each year to an individual or group who exhibit extraordinary dedication and untiring service to the profession of optometry.

“Dr. Foster is an outstanding individual,” said Dr. Larry Williams, NSU president. “His continued dedication and knowledge of optometry have been a driving force in making NSU College of Optometry the best in the country.”

Dr. Norman Hinkle, who presented the award, said, “Dr. Foster is a man of accomplishment and achievement. Through his efforts, optometry in Oklahoma, as well as the rest of the nation, has been advanced.”

According to Dr. Art Epstein, chief optometric editor of Optometric Management, “Dr. Foster is, without question, a pioneer in this industry, and he continues to forge ahead and raise the bar for success and first-class care.”

Dr. Foster received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. Before assuming the helm as dean of the College of Optometry at NSU, Dr. Foster was in primary practice for many years in Bristow, OK, and served for many years as the secretary/treasurer of the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners. Dr. Foster has served actively in optometry organizations on the state and national level. He helped spearhead the initiative to pass laser legislation in Oklahoma, making Oklahoma the first to allow O.D.’s to use lasers to correct vision.

Among many other prestigious awards, Dr. Foster was named the Oklahoma Optometrist of the Year for two separate years (1983 and 1989); the American Optometric Association’s Optometrist of the Year in 1989; and one of the Top Ten O.D.’s of the Decade by Optometric Management Magazine (1999). He was named to the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physician’s “Team of the Century” in 2000.

Now completing his fifth year as dean of the NSU College of Optometry, Dr. Foster continues to work diligently in the development of, and the advancement of, one of the premier optometry education programs in the nation. He is particularly active in promoting the quality and quantity of delivery of health care in rural areas.

According to Dr. Foster, “Access, accountability, and affordability with dignity are the hallmarks of delivery of health care in the rural setting. NSUCO is considered to have one of the premier optometry education programs in the nation due largely because of the symbiotic relationship we share with the Cherokee Nation in providing vision care to their people.”


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