Joseph C. Mallinger, OD, MBA, FAAO, will receive the 2018 American Optometric Association’s Distinguished Service Award. The presentation will take place during Optometry’s Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, in June. Currently the senior vice president of professional relations for Healthy Eyes Advantage, Mallinger was previously the president and CEO of Vision West, Inc. The award recognizes the long-term dedication to the profession of optometry by an OD. It is one of the highest honors awarded each year by the AOA.
Mallinger’s contributions to the optometric profession include serving as president of the San Diego County Optometric Society, president of the California Optometric Association (COA), president of the COA’s Public Vision League, secretary/treasurer of Marshall B. Ketchum University (SCCO) board of trustees and currently as president of Optometry Cares, the AOA’s charitable foundation.
Early in his career, Mallinger received recognition as COA’s Young Optometrist of the Year, later (in 2009) as the COA’s Optometrist of the Year and more recently as the recipient of the Paul Yarwood Memorial Award, COA’s highest single tribute, recognizing significant contributions to optometry or to the visual care of the American public.
During his term as president of the COA in 1994 and the following year, he played a significant part on behalf of optometry in California when the efforts of his board empowered properly licensed ODs in California to diagnose and treat eye disease with therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.
In 1996, Mallinger left private practice to play a leading role in the early years of the COA’s then-subsidiary group purchasing organization (GPO) which eventually became Vision West, Inc.
Mallinger is now senior vice president of professional relations for Healthy Eyes Advantage, which was formed by Nautic Partners in November 2017 after acquiring four of the largest eyecare buying groups in the U.S.: HMI/Red Tray/ClubZero, Vision West, C&E and Block Business Group.
“Each of these groups consistently helped independent eye health and vision professionals provide great value to their patients and assisted in their success in the ophthalmic product marketplace,” Mallinger said about the organizations that united to form Healthy Eyes Advantage. “I am pleased to be able to play a role in the Heathy Eyes Advantage vision of delivering a new and innovative, uniquely differentiated value proposition to independent eyecare professionals.”