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ICO president appointed to Special Medical Advisory Group

CHICAGO— The Illinois College of Optometry is proud to announce the appointment of college president Arol Augsburger, OD, to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Special Medical Advisory Group (SMAG). The Under Secretary for Health Robert Petzel, MD, made the appointment. Dr. Augsburger was nominated for the committee last fall by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, in consultation with the American Optometric Association.

“Dr. Augsburger is joining very elite company,” says former ICO president and past director of the VA’s Optometry Service Charles Mullen, OD.  “It’s a very prestigious and prominent position. Arol is the perfect individual for this position because of his global understanding of healthcare and because he’s so credible within the academic community.”

SMAG advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Under Secretary for Health on matters relating to the care and treatment of veterans and other matters pertinent to the operations of the Veterans Health Administration, including research, education and training of health manpower, and contingency planning for the VA and Department of Defense. Group committee members meet twice a year. The next meeting will be this fall at the VA Central Office in Washington, DC.

Dr. Augsburger was appointed president of ICO in 2002 and has spearheaded innovative educational, patient care and community programs. He has been honored with numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award by the American Optometric Association and state Optometrist of the Year in Illinois, Ohio and Alabama.

About the Illinois College of Optometry The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), founded in 1872 by Dr. Henry Olin, provides excellence in optometric clinical education and is one of the world’s leading optometric institutions. ICO offers aspiring optometrists the education and experience needed to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment and become leaders who will champion for patients and the profession alike. Located in Chicago, ICO has a long and distinguished legacy as the oldest continually operating educational facility in the world dedicated solely to the teaching of optometrists.

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