Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DrPH, founding dean of the College of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., has been appointed to serve as a Secretarial appointee on the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Scientific Merit Review Board.

She will serve on the Subcommittee for Visual/Hearing Impairment for a term ending on Sept. 30, 2011.

The appointment is a tremendous honor, Hoppe said. Many active-duty military are experiencing traumatic brain injuries, mainly due to explosions.

“Vision function must play an important role in the rehabilitation of veterans,” she said.

The advisory committee provides scientific peer review of VA research program applications submitted to Rehabilitation Research and Development Services.

“The participation of appointees with outstanding scientific credentials is essential for maintaining high-quality VA research,” Joel Kupersmith, MD, Chief Research and Development Officer for the Veterans Health Administration, wrote in a letter. “Please accept my deepest appreciation for your contributions to this very important committee.”