College of Optometrists in Vision Development Awards Board Certification

College of Optometrists in Vision Development welcomed 19 new Certified Optometric Vision Therapists (COVT) and 26 Fellows of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD) at the 44th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.

To obtain Fellowship optometrists must complete a guided study program involving submission of written responses to a series of questions relating to clinical diagnosis, treatment and patient management, and three detailed case reports for evaluation by the International Examination and Certification Board (IECB). They must also successfully complete a written examination and oral interview administered by the IECB. Candidates who have successfully met all the requirements for certification are awarded Fellowship (FCOVD) by the COVD International Examination and Certification Board.

This year, COVD welcomed the following new Fellows:

Matthew Anderson, BSc, OD, FCOVD

Ashley Baker, OD, FCOVD

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD, FCOVD

Peter Charron, OD, FCOVD

Juanita Collier, OD, FCOVD

Cheryl Davidson, OD, FCOVD

Amy Desmond, OD, FCOVD

Patricia Fink, BSc, OD, FCOVD

Mary Gregory, OD, FCOVD

Shirley Ha, OD, FCOVD

Karen Heaston Helms, OD, FCOVD

Janna Iyer, OD, FCOVD

Susan Kim, OD, FCOVD

Macson Lee, OD, FCOVD

Yutaka Maki, OD, FCOVD

Michelle May, OD, FCOVD

Marica Moore, OD, FCOVD

Carrie Murphy, OD, FCOVD

Erica O’Brien, OD, FCOVD

Avi Portnoy, BSc Optom, FCOVD-I

Joseph Rouw, OD, FCOVD

Sarah Sweeney, OD, FCOVD

Amy Thomas, OD, FCOVD

Elizabeth Heaston Thompson, OD, FCOVD

Hannu Laukkanen, OD, FCOVD-A

Jae Do Kim, OD, FCOVD-A.

To become a Certified Optometric Vision Therapist (COVT), an individual must work under the direct supervision of an optometrist who has completed a fellowship with the COVD International Examination and Certification Board (IECB), complete a guided study education program, and pass a written exam and an oral interview administered by the IECB. The certification process provides an opportunity for optometric vision therapists to expand their knowledge and skills in providing vision care as related to development and behavior in optometric vision therapy and enhance their ability to assist the optometrist in providing patient services in this area of optometric care. This year COVD welcomed the following new COVT’s:

Lauren Nicole Andrews, COVT employed by Dr. Susan Jong, FCOVD

Lydia Benbrook, COVT employed by Dr. Wanda Vaughn, FCOVD

Sarafina Brewer, COVT employed by Dr. Michele Bessler, FCOVD

Beth Bruno, COVT employed by Dr. Brenda Montecalvo, FCOVD

Kari Edwards, COVT employed by Dr. Vicky Vandervort, FCOVD

Lori Erickson, COVT employed by Dr. Leanna Dudley, FCOVD

Camille Foley, COVT employed by Dr. Susan Jong, FCOVD

Wanda Jennings, COVT employed by Dr. Patricia F. Bell, FCOVD

Kelly Kane, COVT employed by Dr. Philip Raber, FCOVD

Jessica Lauver, COVT employed by Dr. Robert Lauver, FCOVD

Erin D. Pedersen, COVT employed by Dr. Gabrielle Marshall, FCOVD

Cynthia Rose, COVT employed by Dr. Tod Davis, FCOVD

Judy Russell, COVT employed by Dr. Curtis Baxstrom, FCOVD

Mary Schaffer, COVT employed by Dr. Amy Abel, FCOVD

Melissa Snyder, COVT employed by Dr. Sharon Berger, FCOVD

Rebecca Sweeney, COVT employed by Dr. Derek Tong, FCOVD

Kayla Wigle, COVT employed by Dr. Leanna Dudley, FCOVD

Shannon “Renee” Wise, COVT employed by Dr. Richard Sorkin, FCOVD

Anna Woodard, COVT employed by Dr. Randy Schulman, FCOVD

CONTACT: Pamela R. Happ, MSM, CAE
COVD Executive Director
330.995.0718 tel


About COVD

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation, and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit or call 330.995.0718.

A series of public service announcements (PSAs) are available at to help raise awareness that vision problems can not only interfere with learning, but sports performance, and other activities of daily living. These PSAs also address vision problems that impact individuals who have autism spectrum disorders or those who have suffered a head injury.


About Us

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals including optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists. Established in 1971, COVD provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in:o Behavioral and developmental vision careo Vision therapyo Visual rehabilitationThese specialized vision care services develop and enhance visual abilities and correct many vision problems in infants, children, and adults.The COVD International Examination and Certification Board process includes a rigorous evaluation of the eye care professional's knowledge and abilities in providing developmental and behavioral vision care for patients. Optometrists who successfully complete their certification process are Board Certified in Vision Development and Vision Therapy and are designated Fellows of COVD (FCOVD). Vision therapists are certified to work with COVD Fellows as Certified Optometric Vision Therapists (COVT). Associate members of COVD are practicing optometrists who have not yet completed the Fellowship process. COVD associates are required to participate in professional continuing education to enhance their knowledge and skills in behavioral vision care. Vision care provided by all COVD members is based on the principle that vision can be developed and changed. For example, we know that infants are not born with fully developed visual abilities and that good vision is developed through a learned process.