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Sandra S. Block, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD

Professor; Medical Director, School-Based Clinics; Director of School-Based Research

Phone: 312-949-7011

Why ICO?

I chose ICO because my father was a 1948 graduate of NICO (an ICO predecessor). He loved his work as an optometrist and valued his education from NICO. I am proud to say I am a graduate of the same institution.


Dr. Block received her optometry degree in 1981 from the Illinois College of Optometry, after which she completed a pediatric residency at ICO. She has been on faculty at ICO since completed her residency in 1982. In 1988, Dr. Block completed her Master of Education from National Louis University. She has been a consultant to the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program since 1995 and has been instrumental in developing the vision screening program that is now conducted globally.

Dr. Block is an active member of the faculty, served as the associate dean for academic affairs for two years and then became medical director of school-based vision clinics for the IEI. Her interests lie in primary eye care for children of all ages, with a social focus on persons with disabilities, as well as, the process of diagnosis and treatment of visually related learning problems. Dr. Block has been an active member of the American Academy of Optometry and American Optometric Association and sits on two committees for Prevent Blindness America. She is a Fellow and has achieved the level of Diplomate in Public Health and Environmental Optometry at the American Academy of Optometry, as well as a Fellow in the College of Optometrists in Visual Development.

Special Interests
Pediatrics, patients with special needs, vision therapy, vision information processing, interprofessional collaboration, access to care, public health

1988 National Louis University, MEd
1982 Illinois College of Optometry, Pediatrics Clinical Fellowship
1981 Illinois College of Optometry, OD
1981 Illinois College of Optometry, BSVS
1977 North Park College, BS


1995-present Special Olympics International, Consultant
1982-present Illinois College of Optometry

Awards and Honors

2013 Carel C. Koch Memorial, American Academy of Optometry
2010 Friend to Children Award, Maryville Academy
2010 APHA Vision Care Section Outstanding Scientific Award
2009 F. Park Lewis, MD, Lifetime Achievement Award, Prevent Blindness America
2005 Excellence in Education Award – ICO Alumni Council
2004 Outstanding Student Honor Society
2001-2012 $12 million grants from Lions Clubs International to support Special Olympics Opening Eye Vision Program
2001 Women of Vision, Prevent Blindness America-Illinois Division
Ezell fellow, American Optometric Foundation

Professional Organizations

Fellow, American Academy of Optometry
Diplomate in Public Health, American Academy of Optometry
Member, Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Optometry
Member, American Academy of Optometry
Member, Illinois Academy of Optometry
Fellow, College of Optometrists in Vision Development
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
American Public Health Association
Member, Lions Club International
Member, American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
Illinois Public Health Association
Chair, Program and Public Health Committee, Prevent Blindness America
Faculty Advisor, ICO Leo Omega Club
Public Health Committee, World Council of Optometry
National Academy of Practice in Optometry
Co-Chair, Vision 2020 USA
Board Member, Prevent Blindness America
National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health


Berry-Kravis, E, Krause, SE, Block, SS, Guter, S, Wuu , J, Leurgans, S, Decle, P, Potanos, K,Cook, K, Salt, J,Maino, D, Weinberg, D,Lara, R, Jardini, T, Cogswell, J, Johnson, SA, Hagerman, R. Effect of CX516, an AMPA-Modulating Compound, on Cognition and Behavior in Fragile X Syndrome: A Controlled Trial. J of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2006:16 (5): 525-540.

Block, SS, Wilson, R,, Chester, K, Desriveres, D, Kalazinski, L, Primo, SA, Whitener, J. Affiliations of community health centers with the accredited schools and colleges of optometry in the states and territories of the United States. Optometry 2008:79:581-586.

Gross, S, Block, SS, Engstrom, S, Donahue, J. Investigation of Student Self-Perceived Preparedness in Interacting with Patients Experiencing Psychosocial Challenges, Optometric Education.2008:34:27-38.

Hatch, S, McAlister, WH, Whitener, J, Block, S. Optometric Care Within the Public Health Community. Old Post Publishing, Cadyville, NY, 2009

Pang Y, Goodfellow GW, Allison C, Block S, Frantz KA. A Prospective Study of Macular Thickness in Amblyopic Children with Unilateral High Myopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Apr 14;52(5):2444-9.

Pang Y, Allison C, Frantz KA, Block Sm Goodfellow. A Prospective Pilot Study of Treatment Outcomes for Amblyopia Associated with Myopic Anisometropia. Published online January 9, 2012.

Scheiman MM, Hertle RW, Kraker RT, Beck RW, Birch EE, Felius J, Holmes JM, Kundart J, Morrison DG, Repka MX, Tamkins SM; Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group. Patching vs atropine to treat amblyopia in children aged 7 to 12 years: a randomized trial. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008 Dec;126(12):1634-42.

Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group. A randomized trial of near versus distance activities while patching for amblyopia in children aged 3 to less than 7 years. Ophthalmology. 2008 Nov;115(11):2071-8. Epub 2008 Sep 11.