Dr. Flom Earns Feinbloom Award
Dr. Roanne Flom, OD, professor of clinical optometry and low vision chief at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, is the winner of the American Academy of Optometry’s 2020 William Feinbloom Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made a distinguished and significant contribution to clinical excellence and the direct clinical advancement of visual and optometric service and thus the visual enhancement of the public.
It seemed inevitable that Dr. Flom would choose to study optometry, as both of her parents were optometrists. Her service-oriented mother, Bernice C. Flom, OD, ran a free clinic in Oakland, California during the 1960s for children and underserved populations, recruiting other optometrists to volunteer their time. Her father, Merton C. Flom, OD, PhD, specialized in strabismus and amblyopia and was an acclaimed educator, researcher, and clinician.
Meeting unmet needs felt natural and familiar to Dr. Flom, as did the thrill of discovery of learning and teaching. But she also knew that all of those enterprises only matter if they help clinical care. This realization led her to focus on low vision, combining her call to serve with her desire to advance knowledge.
Dr. Flom and her husband, Thomas W. Raasch, OD, PhD, share interests in low vision rehabilitation. They met while studying at UC Berkeley, and both joined the Ohio State Optometry family in 1995.
Led by Dr. Flom, Ohio State’s Low Vision Rehabilitation team serves 800 patients each year. The current clinical team is made up of staff members Alysia Benson and Freda Dallas, clinical attendings Rebecca Deffler (OD, MS’19), and Greg Hopkins (OD’10, MS’14), and all interns in each fourth-year class.
Patients, colleagues and students share their gratitude for Dr. Flom's kindness and dedication.
Patient Joel Mariotti said it best in a Summer 2019 BuckEYE Alumni Magazine article about the low vision clinic. "I was ecstatic. The whole (Ohio State Optometry) experience changed my life, and it’s all because of Dr. Flom. Besides my marriage and the birth of my children, this was the most important occurrence of my life.”