News Releases

Nov. 12, 2013

Emory Eye Center Contact Lens Practitioner Wins Prestigious Award

Media contact:  Joy Bell, 404-778-3711


Michael A. Ward, MMSc, FAAO(Atlanta) Michael A. Ward, MMSc , FAAO, director of Emory Eye Center’s contact lens service, was named the GPLI 2014 Practitioner of the Year, presented for “outstanding professional expertise in fitting customized contact lenses to benefit patients with improved vision and corneal health and to advance the contact lens field.”

The award was presented at the annual meeting of the GPLI (GP Lens Institute), the educational component of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CMLA), on Oct. 11, 2013 in Savannah, Ga., by Edward Bennett, OD, executive director of GPLI.

“Michael Ward is extremely talented and experienced in fitting the best possible contact lenses in the most difficult and challenging patients — many times, after other practitioners have failed,” says Timothy W. Olsen, director, Emory Eye Center.  “He is extremely professional and has a team approach toward patient care.  Patients rave about his personal care. We’re very fortunate to have Michael Ward and his colleague Buddy Russell at the Emory Eye Center. They bring contact lens fitting to a new level.”

Ward is an instructor in Ophthalmology at Emory and has managed difficult contact lens fittings for more than 20 years.

His particular interests are in contact lens management of keratoconus and other corneal ectasia, including visual rehabilitation following corneal transplantation and refractive surgery (RK, PRK, LASIK). Other long-standing interests include ocular microbiology, contact lens care product antimicrobial efficacies and prevention of product-associated ocular inflammations.

National Recognition

Ward is past president of the Contact Lens Society of America and currently serves on their board of directors. He is a recipient of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists’ Honor Award, the JCAHPO Faculty Award, and the Beverly Myers Achievement Award. He is an Honored Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America, a Fellow of the Cornea, Contact Lens and Refractive Technologies section of the American Academy of Optometry and member of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of the American Optometric Association.

His current research activities are concentrated in two areas: continued study of topographical and refractive effects of contact lens wear in patients with keratoconus and antimicrobial efficacies of contact lens care products.

Ward received his master’s degree at Emory University School of Medicine (1999) and his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington (microbiology) in 1978.


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