A 30-year optometric professional with extensive experience providing medical eye care for the Chicago Cubs, teaching students, running businesses, serving on regulatory boards and conducting research has been named assistant dean for clinics with the Niswonger College of Optometry at Tusculum University.
Dr. Gregory S. Moore, who joined the staff in January, will also serve as the director of clinical and surgical education and will be an associate professor. The Niswonger College of Optometry is seeking accreditation from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education and learned in November that it successfully completed the first phase of that process.
In his role, Dr. Moore will establish the Niswonger College of Optometry’s clinical education programs with its multiple clinical partners in the region. He will ensure these programs run properly, smoothly and effectively and that the optometrists serving them perform at the highest possible level. The Niswonger College of Optometry plans to have clinics at about 30 sites in the region, including one on Tusculum’s Greeneville campus. Licensed providers will staff them, and students will complete rotations there.
“The Niswonger College of Optometry is going to accelerate the quality of and access to eye care in our region, and Dr. Moore will figure prominently in the development of this transformative program,” said Dr. Andrew Buzzelli, an optometrist and the college’s founding dean.
“He was one of the first members of the optometric profession designing and implementing a surgical curriculum within optometry. His knowledge will be critical as we move through the accreditation process and then teach and train our students when we receive approval. We are very fortunate to have him because he represents cutting-edge skill with the latest primary care optometric surgical procedures.”
Dr. Moore previously collaborated with Dr. Buzzelli and Dr. James Hurley, Tusculum’s president, to create the Kentucky College of Optometry at the University of Pikeville. The two optometrists share the same vision for the optometric profession, and Dr. Moore is pleased with ideas Dr. Buzzelli developed to make students’ clinical training, particularly in optometric medicine, model the role of the modern optometric physician.
He is excited to join the leadership team in the Niswonger College of Optometry’s formative stages.
“Entering on the ground floor of the Niswonger College of Optometry’s development really allows you to play an influential part in building the foundation,” Dr. Moore said. “The curriculum, the integrated clinical training and the hospital-based clinical systems that we’re establishing all combine to give us a program that will be second to none.”
Dr. Moore earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis and completed training sessions at a private practice in St. Albans, W.Va., and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon, W.Va. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia State University in the Institute community.
Dr. Moore comes to Tusculum from the University of Pikeville, where he served as an assistant professor for three years. He also ran a private practice with locations in Kentucky and West Virginia for 29 years and owned or co-owned a laser eye center for 12 years that attracted patients from 36 states and four countries. Plus, he served as an adjunct professor at the Southern College of Optometry for 14 years.
In the early stages of his career – from 1989-1992 – Dr. Moore was the eye doctor for the Cubs organization.
“As a result of products I developed, which now have U.S. and international patents and pending patents and the success I had with the Cubs’ farm team in Charleston, W.Va., I was named the team eye doctor,” Dr. Moore said. “I provided eye exams for the entire organization, from rookies to major leaguers as well as all the coaching staff and employees of the organization, during spring training. During the season, all eye care issue or emergencies occurring with any player would be sent to my office in West Virginia or a local specialist I would arrange for the player to see.”
This connection to sports led to his involvement in another project that has applicability to the athletic field. In conjunction with the University of Cincinnati as part of a research project that will eventually will include the Tusculum athletic department, he has worked with college athletes suffering from complex traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Moore has made his mark on the profession in other areas. He has 15 years of experience as a board member of the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, which serves regulatory boards in 66 jurisdictions around the world, and the West Virginia Board of Optometry. Between the two organizations, he has served three terms as president.
In addition, he was one of 22 researchers the National Alliance on Eye and Vision Research invited to Washington in October to introduce their work to congressmen and senators and to encourage them to continue funding the National Institute of Health and the National Eye Institute. His research on complex traumatic brain injury was one of the subjects presented to lawmakers.
Dr. Moore’s numerous professional activities include membership in the American Optometric Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the International Academy of Sport Vision, and the American Society of Optometric Surgeons.
As he pursues the next stage of his career, Dr. Moore is ready to adopt new philosophies and initiatives in the profession that will benefit patients.
“Throughout all of health care, there must be a continual paradigm shift to keep up with science and technology,” Dr. Moore said. “Optometry is not immune to that fact. For example, refractions will always be an integral part of the diagnosis and treatment optometry provides, but new technologies are making that service available on the internet. While they are in their infancy and not very accurate at this point, that will come. Therefore, we need to adapt our thinking and our professional training to take advantage of the improved delivery models information technology and artificial intelligence provide.”
“I look forward to these and other advances that are transforming our profession, all for the betterment of the patients we serve.”