PROVO, Utah–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Addressing the shortage of optometry colleges in the Western U.S., Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) announced an intent to develop a new College of Optometry on the RMUoHP campus with Dr. Adam Hickenbotham, OD, MPH, PhD, selected as the Founding Dean. <see full announcement> <Photo>
As Dean, Hickenbotham will oversee the development of the curriculum, the hiring of faculty and staff, and guide the new college through the accreditation process in preparation for an anticipated opening in 2023. The College of Optometry is seeking accreditation through the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, a multistage process before a new school can begin to recruit or enroll students.
“We are pleased Dr. Hickenbotham, one of the leading experts and groundbreakers in optometry, will lead our efforts in starting our College of Optometry,” said Dr. Richard P. Nielsen, founding president and CEO of RMUoHP. “The College will offer the traditional training that optometrists have received in the past but will also prepare physician-level providers of optometry.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for optometrists will grow an estimated 30 percent during the next ten years.
“Due to an aging U.S. population, we must prepare for a potential shortage of optometric physicians during the next few decades,” said Hickenbotham. “The RMUoHP College of Optometry will help alleviate this shortage by preparing new optometrists to meet the demand for primary eye care in the fastest-growing region of the country which is currently without an optometric training institution.”
Dr. Hickenbotham has more than 17 years of clinical experience, including the management of surgery centers and private practice clinics. He is ranked among the top one percent of all optometrists in the country, having performed ocular surgeries such as trabeculoplasties, iridotomies, capsulotomies, etc.
Hickenbotham played a crucial role in creating a new college of optometry in Tennessee where he was the Director of Research for the College of Health Sciences and the Assistant Dean for Research.
Hickenbotham has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University, a Doctorate in Optometry from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in Public Health, and a Doctorate in Bioengineering in a joint program between the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco, a Clinical Research Conduct and Management one-year certificate from University of California, Berkeley, and he completed Post-Graduate Medical Education training at Harvard Medical School’s Surgical Leadership program.
Founded in 1998 and located in Provo, Utah, RMUoHP is an accredited institution by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accrediting commission recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. RMUoHP offers high-quality, evidence-based, and outcomes-oriented graduate healthcare programs. www.rm.edu