A service club has honored a local optometrist and his career.
The Grand Rapids Lions Club presented the Dr. Mark Sheldon Lifetime Achievement Award to Gregory Patera, O.D. of Grand Rapids Ophthalmology, or GRO, Ionia, where he provides routine eye care for patients of all ages.
The award is given to someone who has made vision improvement and vision-loss elimination their “passionate life’s work, both inside and outside their profession,” especially for people from economically challenged communities.
Patera has been a supporting member of the Lions Club since 1973.
Founded in 1919 as the Downtown Grand Rapids Lions Club, the local organization’s members work to provide assistance to organizations and individuals in need, particularly support for the visually impaired.
“Dr. Patera has been an optometrist for 45 years, and for the last 18, we’ve been proud to have him here at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology,” said Robert Wolford, executive director, GRO.
“His selfless contributions in reducing avoidable blindness have restored hope to many people’s lives. This award recognizes not only Dr. Patera’s outstanding professional efforts, but is also a testament to his character. Above and beyond his dedication to patients, I am thankful to call him my personal friend.”