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Secretariat for State Affairs

2019 Hall of Fame Award

Kenneth P. Cheng, MD

Kenneth P. Cheng, MD has spent his entire medical career with a passion for patient advocacy. He has devoted himself over many years to protect ophthalmology as a profession and the high standards of surgical safety and quality eye care for patients. Throughout his 32 years as an ophthalmologist, Ken has publicly called for Individual involvement in advocacy and has been an active leader in organizations at every level.  As a board member of the Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society where he served as president from 2003-2005, he continues to serve as its legislative chair.  He has sat on the board of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology since 2002 and served as its president from 2009-2011.  He became their Secretary of Legislation and Regulation in 2014 and continues to be a strong advocate in the state legislature advising the board as its Secretary of Public Health. He has held leadership positions in the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.  He is an AAO Councilor Emeritus and served as both a member, and later chair of the Academy’s Surgical Scope Fund Committee where he proved himself repeatedly by strategizing, raising funds, and battling a rising number of scope of practice bills across the nation. He also served as a regional representative to the Secretariat for State Affairs representing the Metro East (DE, NJ, NY, PA) Dr. Cheng continues to work locally in Pennsylvania alongside state lawmakers to protect patient safety and preserve the ophthalmology-led eye care team.  He was instrumental in the successful passage of 2020 legislation that defines and restricts surgical eye procedures to ophthalmologists in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Cheng championed a vision screening bill, also enacted in 2020, that provides necessary childhood vision screening without requiring multiple costly and often unnecessary comprehensive examinations for all school age children as required by a competing optometric supported bill. Perhaps most impressive is Dr Cheng’s commitment to educating other ophthalmologists, starting from residency, in the importance and methods of effective advocacy.  He has mentored, encouraged, and inspired numerous ophthalmologists to get directly involved in patient advocacy efforts and active in their ophthalmology societies, thereby helping to create future leaders in ophthalmology. Dr. Cheng attended the University of Pittsburgh for both his bachelor’s and medical degree.  He went on to complete his ophthalmology residency at the Eye and Ear Hospital of Pittsburgh and completed his Pediatric and Strabismus fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  He joined a group pediatric practice early on, but soon after launched a solo practice in suburban Pittsburgh where he continued to practice until retirement in June of 2021. The Secretariat for State Affairs is honored to present Dr. Cheng with its 2021 Hall of Fame Award.

Last Updated: Aug 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

On July 28, 2021, David I. Silbert, MD, an ophthalmologist from Lancaster County, was presented the 2021 Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) Physician Award for Voluntary Service.

Dr. Silbert is the founder and medical director of KinderSee, an inner-city pediatric eye clinic located at George Washington Elementary School. Every month during the academic school year, Dr. Silbert brings his team of skilled ophthalmological staff to see students throughout the School District of Lancaster. During these visits, young patients receive a complete eye exam at no cost to the student’s family.

“Dr. Silbert and his staff provide an amazing example of how the medical community can quietly, but significantly, impact public health,” said PAMED Board Chair Edward Balaban, DO, who presented Dr. Silbert with the award (photo left to right Dr. Balaban presents the award to Dr. Silbert). “This award is noteworthy; however, it can only be a small gesture of recognition for such a far-reaching worthwhile effort. It was an honor and privilege to recognize Dr. Silbert and his clinic.”

In the last nine years, Dr. Silbert and his team have seen more than 2,500 children at the KinderSee clinic, examining, treating, providing glasses, and performing surgery on hundreds of children who may not have received care otherwise.

“Most of the children Dr. Silbert sees would have no ability to get to an ophthalmology office for an appointment, let alone be able to receive a proper fitting pair of children's glasses,” said Dr. Silbert’s nominator. “KinderSee is a powerful example of what happens when you can meet families and children in their environment.”

“I have a passion to serve underserved communities, whether here or abroad,” said Dr. Silbert. “As a physician, I feel that's just what we do.”

In odd-numbered years, PAMED’s Physician Award for Voluntary Service recognizes a member for his or her volunteerism in their community. In even-numbered years, it recognizes a member for his or her international volunteerism. Nominations are now open for PAMED’s 2022 awards.

PAO Award Recipients

Distinguished Service Award

An award presented for extraordinary work on behalf of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology, or to a member of the Academy who has made an extraordinary contribution to his specialty.

Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology 
(1990 – Present)

  • 2015 Michael J. Azar, M.D.
  • 2012 Mark C. Maria, M.D.
  • 2011 David S.C. Pao, M.D.
  • 2009 John P. Milliron, Esq.
  • 2007 Norman L. Edelstein, M.D., F.A.C.S.
  • 2004 John C. Maher, M.D.
  • 2000 Gary C. Brown, M.D.
  • 1999 Albert W. Biglan, M.D.
  • 1998 Mark H. Blecher, M.D.
  • 1997 Robert D. Reinecke, M.D.
  • 1996 Thomas B. Souders, M.D.
  • 1991 Dorothy C. Scott, M.D.
  • 1990 Joseph W. Sassani, M.D.


Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology 
(1959 – 1990)

  • 1990 G. William Jaquiss, M.D.
  • 1988 Edward A. Jaeger, M.D.
  • 1987 George J. Gerneth, M.D.
  • 1986 Donald B. Kamerer, M.D.
  • 1985 Joseph F. Novak, M.D.
  • 1985 Eugene B. Rex, M.D.
  • 1984 Thomas D. Duane, M.D.
  • 1983 Bernard J. Ronis, M.D.
  • 1982 Glen G. Gibson, M.D.
  • 1980 Silvio H. DeBlasio, M.D.
  • 1979 James M. Cole, M.D.
  • 1978 Paul A. Cox, M.D.
  • 1977 David Myers, M.D.
  • 1976 P. Robb McDonald, M.D.

  • 1975 John T. Dickinson, M.D.
  • 1974 Harold G. Scheie, M.D.
  • 1973 Daniel S. DeStio, M.D.
  • 1972 Wilfred E. Fry, M.D.
  • 1970 Benjamin F. Souders, M.D.
  • 1968 Edmund B. Spaeth, M.D.
  • 1967 George E. Martz, M.D.
  • 1966 Robert E. Shoemaker, M.D.
  • 1964 Matthew E. Ersner, M.D.
  • 1963 Paul C. Craig, M.D.
  • 1962 Lewis T. Buckman, M.D.
  • 1961 James E. Landis, M.D.
  • 1960 Kenneth M. Day, M.D.
  • 1959 Jay G. Linn, M.D.

Community Service Award

An award presented to an individual who makes a significant contribution to promoting quality medical eye care, promoting and enhancing vision research, or who has made significant contributions towards the vision care of Pennsylvania citizens.

  • 2015 Representative David Argall
  • 2014 Representative Mark Mustio
  • 2012 Representative Samuel H. Smith
  • 2011 Representative John Bear
  • 2010 Representative Mike Turzai
  • 2007 Jay E. Barrick and Robert W. Miller
  • 2004 Representative Mario Civera, Jr.
  • 2000 State Senator Clarence Bell
  • 1998 Honorable William Lloyd, Jr.
  • 1997 Patricia Hauser
  • 1994 L. McClure Lanning
  • 1993 Lester Keift, PhD

Humanitarian Service Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize Academy members' participation in charitable activities, indigent care, community service and other humanitarian activity through a program of public service. Individuals must perform this public service in their capacity as an ophthalmologist.
  • 2015 Jody R. Piltz-Seymour, M.D.
  • 2015 Herbert J. Ingraham, M.D.
  • 2015 Jeffrey D. Henderer, M.D.
  • 2014 Richard C. Lanning, M.D.
  • 2013 James A. Nesper, M.D.
  • 2012 Edward J. Zobian, M.D.
  • 2011 Karl R. Olsen, M.D.
  • 2007 Evan Waxman, M.D
  • 2004 Joseph H. Calhoun, M.D.
  • 2000 Jermane Mayberry
  • 1999 Donald E. Evans, M.D.
  • 1997 Albert A. Alley, M.D.
  • 1994 Joseph F. Novak, M.D.

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