May 11, 2017

Alicia Baird Named Chair of UAMS Department of Ophthalmic Technologies

LITTLE ROCK — Alicia Baird has been named chair of the Department of Ophthalmic Technologies in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Health Professions. She will also serve as director of the Bachelor of Science in Ophthalmic Medical Technology degree program.

She began on Feb. 1 and comes to UAMS from the University Hospitals and Rainbow Babies Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH where she spent five years as a Certified Orthoptist, Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist and Clinical Research Coordinator for the Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Department.

Mrs. Baird is a graduate of the UAMS Ophthalmic Medical Technology program, earning her Bachelor of Science in 2010.  She also completed an Orthoptic fellowship at the Orthoptic Teaching Program of Tulsa in Oklahoma in 2011.

She maintains certifications by the American Orthoptic Council as a Certified Orthoptist and by the Joint Commission of Allied Health Personnel as a Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist.

She is a member of the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, the American Association of Certified Orthoptists, the International Orthoptic Association, and the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

The baccalaureate program in ophthalmic medical technology at UAMS is a collaboration of the College of Health Professions and the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute. It is one of only four accredited programs in the country offering the highest level of ophthalmic medical technician training — the ophthalmic medical technologist level.  Most graduates work alongside ophthalmologists in private practice or academic group settings as ophthalmic medical technologists.  Others have continued their education and become Optometrists, Orthoptists, or Physician Assistants.  Some graduates have gone on to work in corporate ophthalmology as clinical application specialists, clinic managers, administrators, technical directors, and program directors.

Upon completion of the two-year program, students are eligible to take the national certification exam.  Certification at the ophthalmic medical technologist level is the most advanced level of certification available to an ophthalmic technician.  They have advanced knowledge, skills and training to complete the prescreening and diagnostic testing needed for the ophthalmic exam.  They may also provide instruction and supervision of other ophthalmic personnel as well as assist with minor surgical procedures, applying aseptic techniques and preparing instruments.  Many opportunities for further education and certification are available within this profession.

The ophthalmic medical technology program at UAMS is currently accepting applications, to learn more about this exciting profession please visit

Mrs. Baird replaced the now former chair of the department, Suzanne Hansen, M.Ed., COMT.  You can read more about her departure here.

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