State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has been awarded the 2013 William Van Essen Award from The Western Pennsylvania Optometric Society for those individuals or organizations outside the optometric profession who have significantly served the welfare of the public.
Rep. Readshaw was honored during the WPOS meeting March 10 at The Priory Hotel in Pittsburgh by Dr. Robert L. Owens, president of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association, and Dr. Robert Bittel Jr. Both are diplomates of the American Board of Optometry.
The award is based on local societies recognizing members of the community who make outstanding impacts to optometry and eye care.
“As minority chairman of the state House Professional Licensure Committee, it is such an honor to receive an award in memory of Dr. William Van Essen, who was influential in the licensing of the profession of optometry in Pennsylvania,” Mr. Readshaw said.
The WPOS is the professional organization serving more than 250 optometrists in southwestern Pennsylvania. An affiliate of the American Optometric Association, WPOS promotes eye and vision care by optometrists, represents optometry to state and local government, provides its members with post-graduate education and membership benefits, and conducts activities in the interest of the visual welfare of the public.
Mr. Van Essen was a Pittsburgh-based optometrist for more than 50 years. He served as president of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association from 1920-23, and served on both state and national optometric associations.