The California Optometric Association (COA) is proud to recognize Tommy Lim, OD, as COA’s 2013 Optometrist of the Year. Dr. Lim is an exemplary leader, contributing to the welfare of the public, his local community and being an advocate for optometry in California and the nation.
Dr. Lim grew up in Napa and San Francisco, graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) in 1977 and opened his practice in 1981. He believes some of his most profound contributions to public service were through his faith-inspired actions. From a young age he volunteered with his church. Since then, he has helped establish a new church in San Jose, and did multiple missions trips to Thailand. Dr. Lim also serves on the board of directors of the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) in San Francisco which helps the elderly and the poor of the Chinatown community with affordable housing. Read Dr. Lim's bio.
It’s Dr. Lim’s passion for helping others that has led to his contributions to the visual welfare of the public. Over the years, through a program in San Francisco called Project Homeless Connect (PHC), Dr. Lim has performed hundreds of vision exams for the homeless. He also works closely with The Nest, a residential shelter for minors.
In addition to serving his community and his church, Dr. Lim has also made an impact on optometry for his local, state and national optometric organizations. He has travelled extensively to Sacramento and Washington, DC to raise the awareness of the optometric profession to legislators.
“You passionately care for everything you are involved with — family, friends, church, optometry and sports. You make life fun, cool and meaningful! Congratulations on your award, California Optometrist of the Year! How cool is that?!”
—Bonnie Lim, Dr. Lim’s wife
“I am a very lucky man, being in a profession that I absolutely love. Something that I didn’t expect back when I graduated from ICO in 1977 was the level of involvement I would have in professional optometry. It is that involvement that has made optometry so special in my life, giving fulfillment to my career,” said Dr. Lim.
Throughout his career, Dr. Lim has been a part of major legislative movements for optometry. He provided leadership in the enactment of legislation that changed the way optometrist now practice, which allows doctors of optometry to diagnose eye diseases and the use of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents in their treatment.
Over the last 35 years, Dr. Lim has stayed on the cutting edge of technology and research. He has been quoted in both state and national optometric publications, including California Optometry and Review of Optometric Business. The Review of Optometric Business also named him on the 2014 Optometric Innovators List for Digital Media.
Dr. Lim is respected by friends and family alike. “From the profession of optometry he so deeply cares for, to his endless work with AOA and COA — to see his profession grow — he does it all, and he still spends quality with his family, church and community groups."