Australian optometrist Kate Gifford has been awarded the inaugural British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) President’s Award for Contact Lens Excellence. The award was presented at the 40th British Contact Lens Association Conference in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Other awards went to Nick Dash (Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year); Laura Reece (Young UK Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year); and Paul C Nicolson (Industry Award).
Ms. Gifford received the President’s Award for her contribution to the contact lens and anterior eye profession.
Brian Tomkins, immediate past present of BCLA described Ms. Gifford as, the “people’s champion” of myopia control. “Her work in practice, her dedication to continued research, her communications to all colleagues via her initiatives in the social media have made her world renowned within the profession.
Ms. Gifford received the President’s Award for her contribution to the contact lens and anterior eye profession
“As a Fellow and staunch supporter of the BCLA, she stood out as a worthy winner of this inaugural award. And as a close friend, it was a great honour to be able to present it to her as my parting act as president,” Mr. Tomkins told mivision.
Ms. Gifford is a clinician at forefront of evidence based practice, achieving Fellowships of the BCLA, International Association of Contact Les Educators, Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia and American Academy of Ophthalmology; she has delivered over 80 conference lectures across Australia, the UK, Europe, Asia and USA, on the topics of myopia control, contact lenses, and paediatrics; and she co-founded MyopiaProfile.com with Dr. Paul Gifford to help practitioners manage their young myopic patients, which includes a downloadable communication tool, blog with guest authors and how-to clinical guides and videos; and MyKidsVision.org to help communicate the myopia message to the public. She founded the Myopia Profile Facebook group for practitioner communication on myopia management, with over 1,300 members from over a dozen countries joining in a matter of months.
Ms. Gifford was the National President of Optometry Australia from 2014–2016; and she has served in leadership positions in two Australian contact lens societies (the CCLSA and OSO) and the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) International Fellowship Admissions committee.
Ms. Gifford has 38 peer reviewed and professional publications, and is currently completing a PhD on contact lens optics, accommodation and myopia. She is dedicated to translating this research, and that of others, into practice via her digital peer education footprint on Myopia Profile website and Facebook group.
For more about the BCLA conference, turn to page 56, mivision August 2017.