Special to the Tribune
Trussville Optometrist Dr
. Sam Pierce has been named “Optometrist of the Year” by the Alabama Optometric Association. The award was presented during the Association’s 2012 Convention, held November 2-4 at The Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham.
Pierce founded Trussville Vision Care in 1989, and it has since become a cornerstone in the community.
Dr. Sam Pierce is a 1988 graduate of the University Of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, a past president of the school’s Alumni Association, and in 2010 was the UABSO Alumnus of the Year.
The “Optometrist of the Year” award is presented annually to a worthy Alabama Doctor of Optometry in recognition of distinguished service to the association, to the profession of optometry, and to the community. Dr. Pierce’s partner, Dr. Zack Steele, was named Alabama’s “Young Optometrist of the Year” in 2010.
“The recognition is well deserved for Sam, he has given up a great deal of his own time outside the office in service to our profession as well as to those in need,” Steele said.
In 2005, Dr. Pierce established a make-shift Optometry Clinic at the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Center for Hurricane Katrina evacuees temporarily housed in the center. Hundreds of evacuees received eye exams and special assistance as they dealt with the aftermath of the hurricane. He has also performed vision screenings for the Special Olympics, and participates in the InfantSee program, which offers free vision exams to infants, and VisionUSA, which offers free eye exams to underprivileged families.
“To this day, like after the tornadoes for example, we follow the same disaster model Sam thought up on the fly right after Katrina, doing eye exams and getting glasses to people who lost everything,” Steele said.
The Alabama Optometric Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the eye health and vision care of Alabamians through the practice of optometry. Its membership includes more than 400 optometrists from across the state.
Dr. Pierce is a former president of the Birmingham Optometric Society, and has served the Alabama Optometric Association on various committees and task forces. He has served on the Southeastern Council of Optometry Board of Trustees as well as the SECO Logistics Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Optometric Association.
“Practicing in Trussville means so much to us,” Steele said. “It is a blessing each day to serve the people of our community. The people in this town have been so good to us over the years. I am thankful every day that Sam gave me the opportunity to be in Trussville.”
Pierce and his wife Kim have two daughters, Julianna and Emily.