On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Dr. Barry Kran, OD, was honored at the Department of Developmental Services, Statewide Advisory Council (DDS/SAC) Annual State House Celebration as the recipient of the 2015 Allen Crocker, MD Health Services Award with his collaborator Dr. Jean E. Ramsey. Dr. Kran is a professor at New England College of Optometry and Clinical Director for the New England Eye Perkins Low Vision Clinic. Dr. Ramsey is Associate Professor for Ophthalmology and Pediatrics at the BU School of Medicine.
Drs. Kran and Ramsey are the fourth recipients of the award, named after Dr. Allen Crocker – pediatrician, professor, researcher, and lifelong champion and advocate for individuals with a disability. Dr. Crocker conducted extensive research on what he termed, “human exceptionality,” weaving together science and compassion in his teaching and publications. This award was established to recognize “an individual or organization that mirrors the life of Dr. Crocker and his respect for and value of individuals with a disability.”
Elin Howe, Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services noted that Drs. Kran and Ramsey were chosen as 2015 recipients for their work as “champions of vision care for individuals with intellectual disability.” She went on to explain that they “exemplify the life and mission of Dr. Crocker through their leadership, dedication, compassionate work, palpable joy in service, passion for providing high quality care, innovative approach, and belief that every individual with intellectual disability is capable of the successful completion of an eye exam.”
The two doctors were nominated for the award by Lisa DiBonaventura, Statewide Director for Vision and Vision Loss Services, DDS. Inspired by their work over the years, Ms. DiBonaventura wrote in her nomination, “Through their mutual goals, they (Drs. Kran and Ramsey) have developed a lasting and effective partnership between the MD and OD professions around eye care for individuals with intellectual disability, and have built a critically needed bridge between the disability and eye care communities. Individually and together, Drs. Ramsey and Kran lecture, publish, teach, and spearhead initiatives to raise awareness of needs, better understand barriers to care, improve current access to care, and prepare the next generation of providers.”
Lisa DiBonaventura, Dr. Barry Kran, and Dr. Jean E. Ramsey
Dr. Kran’s commitment to teaching the interns and residents at the New England College of Optometry ensures the development of the next generation of optometrist who will be competent and compassionate clinicians providing care for patients with disabilities. He inspires his students to consider each patient’s needs and try unique approaches to help all patients successfully complete their eye exams. His work has centered on teaching sustainable models of care to both students and colleagues.
Dr. Kran has provided expertise, compassion and leadership to his patients at the Perkins School for the Blind for the past 15+ years. In this time, the clinic has expanded to serve adults as well as children. Dr. Kran notes, “For the past 15 years, I have had the privilege to work with Darick Wright, M Ed, COMS at our collaborative clinic at Perkins. He has been a partner in our inclusive and alternative approach to care, to our growth as a referral site for individuals with visual and other impairments. I’ve also had the honor of working with D Luisa Mayer, PhD. For the last 8 years, she has added to our clinic skill set, our approach to care, and our ability to better advocate for children with visual and other impairments.”
Drs. Kran and Ramsey have presented together at national conferences, initiated needed conversations, served on advisory boards, and helped strengthen guidelines for vision care for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services to assist optometrists and ophthalmologists in their practice. Ms. DiBonaventura explains, “Their collaborative and steady message of hope through action, of belief in individual capability, of the ability of their students, eye care colleagues, and all of us to realistically and joyfully address eye care challenges for individuals with disabilities stands firmly and decidedly as a beacon for today and a source to light the way for the future endeavors.” This award honors the breadth of contribution to their respective fields in the area of advocacy, education, and communication for eye care for individuals with intellectual disability.
Dr. Kran was joined at the ceremony with representatives from New England College of Optometry, Darick Wright, and Dr. Kran’s family.