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OPW Awards

The Optometric Physicians of Washington honors the outstanding accomplishments of its members and community through our Awards Program. Annual recipients are recognized by colleagues and peers for promoting excellence and respect of the optometric profession.

2024 Award Recipients

Congratulations to this year's recipients of the OPW Awards, presented on May 25, 2024 during our Annual Convention at Great Wolf Lodge.

Doctor of Optometry of the Year:

Michael J. Sirott, O.D.

Dr. Michael Sirott grew up in Virginia near Washington D.C. He completed undergraduate school in 1998 at the University of Mary Washington with a bachelor's degree in biology and visual science. In 2002, he graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry and completed a post-doctorate residency program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia. After finishing this training in 2003, he moved to Spokane, drawn to the beauty of the Northwest.

Dr. Sirott served as president of OPW from 2022-23 and dedicated a significant amount of time, effort, and personal sacrifice to advance our scope of practice legislation. In addition to his role as president, he chaired the PR Committee, the coalition of scope-related committees, and checked in weekly to ensure the scope bill's success in 2023. That same year, he graduated from the American Optometric Association’s Leadership Institute 2.0 course. Dr. Sirott is currently chair of the PR Committee and Federal Legislation Committee. His passion for the goals of OPW is unsurpassed and he continues to be a team player, never letting his ego veer OPW off course.

For many years, Dr. Sirott has also been involved in organizing and participating in bicycle racing. He supports the Washington State Bicycling Association (WSBA) as part of the Board and as a liaison to USA Cycling (USAC), aiding and influencing bike racing throughout our state and beyond.

Young Doctor of Optometry of the Year:

Charissa D. Young, O.D.

Dr. Charissa Young has been involved with the OPW since her time at Pacific University College of Optometry as a Student Membership Committee Leader and Liaison. As a student, she organized two VOSH trips to Thailand to provide eye care to children in rural areas and worked with Special Olympics to conduct vision screenings for competing athletes. Since graduating in 2015, Dr. Young has completed fellowships in the American Academy of Optometry and the Scleral Lens Education Society, published several articles (Optometry Times, Review of Myopia Management, and more), and has remained an active member of the OPW King County West Optometric Society (KCOS) even serving as President of the Society in 2021-22. 

Currently, Dr. Young serves as co-chair of the Membership Development & Retention Committee where she strives to strengthen and expand the OPW membership. Dr. Young has always practiced to the top of our scope and is currently a Specialist for Myopia Control and Medically Necessary Contact Lenses at Eye Clinics of Seattle. Committed to helping those in need, Dr. Young is also involved with Uplift NW, a Seattle-based organization that focuses on helping struggling individuals improve their situation with an emphasis on job placement for long-term growth. Dr. Young has also volunteered for the Seattle/King County clinics to provide underserved populations with eye care.

Jack Hale Lifetime Achievement Award:

Cynthia A. Murrill, O.D.

Dr. Cynthia Murrill has had an extraordinary career in the profession she cherishes. After graduation from the University of Houston College of Optometry, she earned a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Washington. This exposure to public health care policies and wellness helped shape her life's work to advance optometry as a leading primary health care provider. Dr. Murrill was hired as the first O.D. and Director to the newly formed PCLI (Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute) co-management referral center in 1986.

Dr. Murrill served on numerous AOA and OPW committees early in her career, and as OPW President from 1993-94. She was the catalyst for the introduction of O.D./M.D. co-management in the Pacific Northwest. It was under her leadership that the Washington State Board of Optometry (BOO) determined that O.D.s can insert punctal plugs. She was also essential in organizing continuing clinical lab education for the 2003 orals and injectables law. Dr. Murrill has been a member of the BOO, an adjunct faculty of PUCO, co-author of the Book Primary Care of the Cataract Patient. She has been an active volunteer in her community through involvement in mission trips and civic organizations. In retirement, she has served on the Multicare Navos Behavioral Health Board, Multicare Behavioral Health Network Foundation, University of Washington School of Public Health Alumni of Impact selection committee, and volunteers weekly at SeaMar Community Health Center.

Robin Cameron Memorial Award:

Christy L. Alfano, O.D.

Dr. Christy Alfano has been a member of OPW since 2022. She has displayed her leadership by serving as the Southwest Society President and will continue in that role for a second year. In the last year, she planned a member welcome event, a legislative dinner, and actively promoted the SW Eye Symposium. She also participated in the Winter Board Meeting and Day in Olympia to engage and educate legislators on scope expansion. She continues to cultivate her leadership skills by participating in the AOA Leadership Institute and will graduate at the 2024 Optometry’s Meeting.

Society of the Year:

Pierce County Optometric Society,
James Alvarez-Carpenter, O.D.

Dr. James Alvarez-Carpenter (Dr. JAC) serves as OPW’s Pierce County Optometric Society (PCOS) President with outstanding dedication. As President, he has cultivated engagement and enthusiasm among PCOS members by organizing a Fall welcome event, two CE meetings, and two networking events. He communicates regularly with society members to promote OPW events, provide local and state updates, and share opportunities to learn about specific products and services. He has also helped rally the members of his society to advocate for the profession by providing instructions on how best to contact local government officials and educate them on the missions of Optometry in Pierce County and  the whole state of Washington. Dr. JAC has agreed to serve a second year as PCOS President. The 2024 Society of the Year award was accepted on his behalf by PCOS President-Elect, Dr. Alexandra Matejczyk.

President's Distinguished Service Award:

Deborah J. Kyle

DJ Kyle was appointed as the Executive Director of OPW in 2023 after a nationwide search was conducted. Dr. Judy Chan led the search committee, while a professional recruiter was tasked with finding qualified candidates. DJ stood out as the strongest contender. She brought 20 years of experience in association management and previously held the designation of a Certified Association Executive (CAE). DJ graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a BBA in Finance. As Executive Director of the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors, she increased long-term investments by 125%, event sponsorship by 45%, and organized and managed successful meetings and events. With DJ’s background and skill, she was brought on board to lead the state office and grow the association. Since then, both OPW staff and membership have become stronger under her leadership.

For award criteria and descriptions, click here.

2023 OPW Awards

Presented during the OPW Advancing Eye Care at Seattle University on August 11, 2023.

Awards Recipients  »

2022 OPW Awards

Presented during the OPW Annual Convention at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA on June 2, 2022.

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2021 OPW Awards 

Presented during the OPW Annual Convention at Clearwater Resort in Suquamish, WA on June 5, 2021.

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2020 OPW Awards 

Presented via video due to the global pandemic.

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2019 OPW Awards 

Presented during the OPW Annual Convention at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla, WA on June 1, 2019.

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2018 OPW Awards 

Presented during the OPW Annual Convention at Three Rivers Convenction Center in Kennewick, WA on May 19, 2018.

Awards Recipients  »

2024 OPW Industry Partners