Dr. Catherine Chiarelli OD, FAAO, Diplomate BVPPO 1964 – 2019
Following a valiant and courageous battle with cancer, The Vision Institute of Canada very sadly reports that Dr. Catherine Chiarelli passed away on on August 3rd. Dr. Chiarelli worked tirelessly as a pediatric optometrist and advocate for children’s vision. She graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry in 1988 and subsequently completed a Residency in Children’s Vision at the University of Alabama, School of Optometry in 1990.
Dr. Chiarelli worked closely with many optometrists, pediatricians, teachers, early childhood intervention specialists, occupational therapists and parents, to help children develop strong vision skills. She actively participated on many committees to develop better eye care services for children and adults. These committees included the Ontario Association of Optometrists Children’s Vision Working Group, the Ontario Blind Low Vision Program, the College of Optometrists of Ontario Clinical Practice and Patient Relations Committees and the American Academy of Optometry Admittance Committee. She also directed the Vision Institute’s clinical teaching programs providing clinical training for optometry interns as well as educational workshops and seminars for other health care professionals.
Between 2012 and 2014, Catherine helped develop and deliver clinical outreach programs to the on-reserve elementary schools of Sagamok First Nation and M’Chigeeng First Nation, providing comprehensive eye exams and free glasses to the children in these communities. For her dedicated work with the children in these First Nations schools, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Anishinabek Nation in August 2019.
She will be greatly missed by her many patients and colleagues, friends and family, and by the profession she dedicated her life’s work to.