ORLANDO, FL (July 2, 2018) –The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) is excited to present the 2018 Jill and George Mertz Fellowship to Dr. Vinh D. Vu, OD, an optometry graduate and faculty member of Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam. Dr. Vu is planning to carry out his Mertz Fellowship, in conjunction with the Brien Holden Institute, at Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam to
contribute to the elimination of avoidable blindness and vision impairment primarily, but not exclusively, due to uncorrected refractive errors, in Vietnam. Dr. Vu is quoted as saying, “The Mertz Fellowship will not only allow myself to continue serving the underserved directly, but to incorporate my education background acquired through the program by allowing optometry students to rotate through. Both clinical and didactic education would be strongly emphasized to enrich both clinicians and patients alike.” The AAOF will honor Dr. Vu during the annual AAOF Celebration Luncheon at Academy 2018 San Antonio, on November 10, 2018.
About Jill and George Mertz
In September 2002, the optometric community experienced the sudden loss of a valued colleague and friend, George Mertz. His legacy exemplified a firm commitment toward the advancement of patient care through education and research. This was evident in his interactions and supportive roles within national and international organizations, schools and colleges of optometry, faculty organizations, and optometry students. At the time of his passing George was President of the American Optometric Foundation (AOF). His mission was focused solely on education and research funding as a basis of for improved eye and vision care.
After George’s passing, George’s wife Jill spearheaded and chaired a move to establish the George W. Mertz Scholarship Fund. With her initial gift and the generous support from others, a permanent tribute to George Mertz from which young students and researchers would be supported began. In 2007, Jill Mertz passed away. Jill was proud and passionate about the George Mertz Scholarship Fund. As a tribute to George and in keeping with Jill’s wishes; her family estate made a substantial gift which now goes to support the biennial $30,000 award in their name.
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