Gary Chu awarded ASCO Innovation Award

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry awarded NECO Vice President of Professional Affairs Gary Y. Chu, OD, MPH, FAAO, the 2021 Dr. Jack Bennett Innovation in Optometric Education Award.

ASCO commended Dr. Chu for his many years of “outstanding work” on their Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee, as founding chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Special Interest Group, and with the ASCO Leadership Institute.

“I am speechless and in awe,” Dr. Chu said. “This journey towards diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) has been one of self-reflection and learning. I am glad for the opportunity to work and collaborate with numerous colleagues from other schools and the ASCO staff in wrestling through the issues of DEI&B. The work is not done and I look forward to our continued progress.”

Dr. Chu has been in practice and optometric education for more than 25 years and is involved in the changing landscape of eye care, health care and public health — through developing collaborative partnerships with health systems, federally qualified health centers, social service agencies, government, school systems, health payors, optometry employer groups, the ophthalmic industry and start-up companies.

Dr. Chu received his OD degree from NECO in 1995 and his MPH in 2002 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He leads the NECO Industry Collaborative, the NECO Innovation Center, Continuing Education and serves as an adjunct associate professor, lecturing in the areas of public health and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.