PANDORA — When the Ohio State College of Optometry celebrates their 100th
anniversary, a Pandora optometrist will be attending as one of the
Dr. Darrel Groman has been named as one of a select group of Centennial Notables by the Optometry Centennial Committee.
“When I received the email notifying me of the selection I must have read it 20 times,” said Dr. Groman. “I was so surprised.”
Groman has practiced for 28 years in a private solo practice in
Pandora. His contribution to eye care though has gone worldwide.
he was a student Dr. Groman helped in the Amigos Project transition to
an official student chapter of the Volunteer Optometric Services to
Humanity (S-VOSH). Once he was in private practice he helped organize
VOSH-Ohio and served as its first state director. He has served as the
mission leader or co-leader for 12 overseas VOSH missions in India,
Tanzania, Ukraine and six countries of Hispanic America.
observed the smiles of many who were able to see better instantly, with
simple used glasses which could have been discarded,” Dr. Groman said.
Seeing the value of discarded glasses he helped organize the VOSH-Ohio
Lay Team’s Eyeglass Sorting Center in Pandora in 1987. Local volunteers
at the center continue to collect glasses at the Pandora United
Methodist Church daily. The center has instruments to read and record
the prescription of each pair of donated glasses. The Glasses are put in
individual Ziploc bags, labeled and put in inventory for future VOSH
Dr. Groman also served as the consulting optometrist at
Oakwood Correctional Institute from 1985 to 2001, Twelve years later a
mother bringing her son to Dr. Groman said someone who worked at the
prison had sent her. He had told her Dr. Groman’s work with the
prisoners’ eye sight had helped a lot of inmates go off behavior and
“This position offered me the opportunity
to see first-hand the significant impact of which vision undergirds
behavior,” he said. The doctor said he was perplexed to find 1/3 of the
inmates had never had comprehensive vision exams until he provided
optometric care. Another 1/3 of the prisoners had glasses previously,
but had been without them for two to four years.
cannot function well if they are without their customary lenses for more
than five minutes. I was baffled to find out there was no concerted
effort by the prison’s staff to ensure the inmates had their glasses to
Dr. Groman has also offered in-service courses regarding
the impact which good vision, proper posture and slanted desk-top
positively impacts student’s performance and behavior. He is a strong
proponent of the slant-board for students.
“They have flat desks
now in so many classrooms,” he said. “When we read we naturally read at
an angle of 40 to 60 degrees. Using a flat desk causes posture problems
and shadow problems on reading material.”
When Dr. Groman was a
young boy in scouting he decided he would like to go into the health
field. It was when an optometrist prescribed him contact lens he had
much more peripheral vision.
“I found I was less introverted when I was seeing well,” he said. “It was then he decided he wanted to become an optometrist.
then Dr. Groman has witnessed first-hand countless individuals whose
lives have been tremendous for the better with optometric vision care.
had a few academic challenges of my own, I have empathy for the student
who struggles in the classroom,” Dr. Groman said. “I wish I could write
about the numerous ‘Hallmark Patients” whom I have seen over the years,
who have been helped with optometric vision care.”
Dr. Groman resides in Bluffton with his two sons Michael and Christian.
“To God be the glory,” Dr. Groman said about his years as an optometrist and recognition by the Ohio State School of Optometry.