2021 Paraoptometric of the Year
George Ballato, CPOA
George Ballato, CPOA, first began his work with an AOA-member doctor as the Spanish interpreter for the doctor’s patients. While patients would be waiting or dilating in the office, he would engage with them to make them feel welcome, often getting to know them on a personal level. In 2015, the optometry office of the Open Cities Health Center went through a staff transition, and one of the optometrists offered Ballato a job. He had not worked in eye care or ever considered doing so—but he agreed and for the past six years, he has been a critical piece of the optometry team. Since he started at the clinic, Ballato has grown to love the profession. He is constantly educating his community about what doctors of optometry can do for them and the conditions they treat. He fully understands the important role we have to play in not only the patient’s ocular health but systemic health as well.