Posted by: Janet Hughes | July 30, 2010

Tribute to a Giant

Kudos to giant Dr. Floyd Mizener!

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton)

This post is dedicated to my giant… Dr. Floyd Mizener.

Eight years ago, this exceptional person looked up my phone number after reading about me in the American Optometric Association News.  It was my lucky day!

During the summer of 2002, I learned my eldest daughter’s first eye exam diagnosed a significant vision problem missed by vision screenings.

I wrote a letter to the American Optometric Association sharing my passion for better children’s eye care.  That letter was featured by editor Bob Foster in the AOA NEWS August 26, 2002 issue, “From Blurry Chalkboards to Grateful Parents.”

When Dr. Mizener read about my mission, he wasted no time and called me:  “Janet, I’ve been trying to get eye exams for kids for over 50 years.  Vision screenings have misled parents for decades.  I can help.  I will give you all the ammunition you need!”

Dr. Mizener, Dr. Woods, Dr. Vogel, Dr. Kernis, Amy, Lisa, Julie, Mark, and Grammy in 2003.

That’s when I began learning about lenses, prisms, and the marriage of two eyes working as one!

Dr. Mizener also led me to his great friends Dr. Larry Vogel, the late Dr. Floyd Woods, and the late Dr. Irving Kernis.

Together they formed the “Optometric Four Horsemen” and rallied beside me as we created the the first Vision First form and passed Amy’s Vision Law and required eye exams for children starting school.

Dr. Mizener, if I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made a difference in someone’s life, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.

Thank you for taking me under your wing and being my giant!

Doris Mochel, Dr. Elliot Politzer, Dr. Floyd Mizener, and Dr. Larry Vogel in 2007.

In addition to being co-founder and vice-president of Vision First Foundation, Dr. Mizener is also past president of the Illinois Optometric Association, past president of the Downers Grove Noon Lions Club, and a recipient of the prestigious Melvin Jones Award.

Dr. Mizener is known for his outstanding service and dedication to the Lions Club for over 50 years.

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Dr. and Mrs. Mizener, Dr. and Mrs. Schlange at the South Suburban Christmas Party in 2009.

Lions Floyd Mizener, George Swimmer, and Jim Addington

Dr. Mizener and friends at a Downers Grove Noon Lions Club meeting.

Dr. Mizener, Dr. Tannenbaum, and Dr. Vogel

Dr. Mizener and Dr. Steve Leon

We love you Dr. Mizener! From your friends and fellow Board members at Vision First Foundation


  1. Happy 85th Birthday, Dr. Mizener!

    Your energy, enthusiasm, and passion is contagious!

    God bless you with a year filled with all your wishes and dreams come true!

  2. Janet, your insight and perfection are astounding. Great tribute to a great man. Dr. Mizener is a super hero for me. I am so fortunate to know him.

  3. One Person Can Make A Difference….
    Dr. Floyd Mizener sure did make a huge difference for Vision First! If everbody would just do what she/he can this world would be perfect! But its a very small group of people that is realy doing what they can to make this world a better place…..
    Kudos to Floyd and to Janet the host of this blog!
    Hans Lak
    One Person Can Make A Difference

  4. happy 85th. my dad is toasting you up in heaven
    jackie multack

  5. Great tribute Janet!

    What a wonderful story of how Dr. Mizener and you came in contact with each other.

    Happy 85th Birthday Dr. Mizener.


  6. Janet
    Your tribute to Dr. Mizener is well deserved. Dr. Mizener has given his patients and the next generation of optometrists an excellent example of what it is to give back to all of humanity in the areas of eye and vision care.

  7. Happy Birthday, Dr. Mizener!

    You are a true credit to your profession.

  8. Janet,

    I had the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Mizener over 30 years ago.

    We had the opportunity to work together on a number of programs for the American Optometric Association.

    He has always shown a true dedication to his profession and the patients he served.

    Thank you for bringing his 85th birthday to our attention. I wish him all the the best.

  9. Party Harty as you retain the enthusiasm that may older patients and doctors seem to see waning. Every day in my practice, one over 65 says, “It’s hell to get old” while I then respond by saying you have more positive things to dwell on than the negative, so let’s celebrate and concentrate on the good things.

    My goal is to celebrate each and every day of the privilege of being an optometrist and helping patients and promoting optimism. YOUR PHILOSOPHY !

  10. It is good that you have friends like Dr. Mizener. Happy Belated Birthday and enjoy many more, doing good work where it is needed!

    Janet, you write about him as though you sort of like him. 😉 May your successes multiply!

  11. Sounds like a wonderful person , we need more people like him !!

  12. It has been inspiring getting to know you, as a member of the Vision First Board, Dr. Mizener.
    Thank you for all your hard work and dedication throughout your life, for children. Happy 85th!

  13. I know this is late, but so glad you were able to make a difference in Janet’s life and others.

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