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Tredici Award: Harriet Lester

July 05, 2022

Tredici Award: Harriet Lester

This award was established by Thomas J. Tredici and sponsored by an endowment fund managed by the Aerospace Medical Association Foundation. It is given for the most significant contribution to aerospace ophthalmology and vision science.

A smiling white woman with dark brown hair wearing a black shirt sits on a patterned padded bench with a pink wall behind her.Harriet Lester, M.D., FAsMA, FCAMA, FAAO, was the 2020 recipient of the Thomas J. and Margaret D. Tredici Award for her exemplary efforts to raise safety awareness with a focus on aerospace ophthalmology and human factors. She has given 21 years of outstanding contributions to aerospace ophthalmology and vision sciences as a subject matter expert on the eyes for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Aero space Medical Association (AsMA) leadership, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) vision work group; as Regional Chair of the FAA Laser Strike Workgroup and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); aeromedical research program initiatives; and created the Aerospace Ophthalmology Workgroup and Instructional Course, among other efforts. She has created aero medical vision-related panels for AsMA and others and is an active member of AsMA’s Science and Technology Committee, the Aerospace Human Factors Association (AsHFA), the ICAO Color Vision Workgroup, and the Advisory Board of York College Aviation Institute.
   Dr. Lester is currently the Acting Senior Regional Flight Surgeon and Eastern Regional Flight Surgeon for the FAA. She holds an M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine, earned in 1984. From 1984–1989, she served an ophthalmology residency at St. Lukes-Roosevelt/Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in General Surgery and then an Ophthalmology residency at New York University Medical Center. She later undertook Fellowship training in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1995–1996. She was in private practice from 1995 to 2000. She also served as Associate Director, Ophthalmology Residency, at North Shore University Hospital/Cornell Medical Center from 1989–1990. In 1991, she became Supervisory Ophthalmologist at Montefiore Medical Center Satellites until 1992 and then served in that position again from 1996–1997. From 1992 until 1994, she was Chief of the Ophthalmology Department at RCHP/HIP HMO in New Jersey. In 1997, she became Director of the North Central Bronx Hospital Department of Ophthalmology/Montefiore Medical Center, a position she held until 1999. From 1990–1997, she was Clinical Instructor of Ophthal mology & Visual Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 1997, she became Assistant Professor of Opthalmology & Visual Sciences until 2009. She took the position of Eastern Regional Flight Surgeon in 2001 and became Acting Senior Regional Flight Surgeon in 2022.
   Dr. Lester is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthal mology, the Civil Aerospace Medical Association, and
AsMA. Within AsMA, she is a Member-at-Large of AsMA’s Council, an Aerospace Human Factors Association Executive Committee Member-at-Large, and was the Arrangements Chair for the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting. She serves in the Iberoamerican Association of Aerospace Medicine, an affiliate group of AsMA, on the AsMA Program and Science & Technology Committees, and in the Life Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Branch. Her honors and awards include the Federal Executive Board Diversity Award, the Regional Administrator Honorary Award for Excellence in EEO, the Federal Executive Board Emergency and Preparedness and Employee Safety Award, Innovator of the Year and Flight Surgeon of the Year (twice) from the Office of Aerospace Medi cine, AsMA’s Marie Marvingt Award, the Aviation Safety National Leadership Manager Award, Regional Administra tor Honorary Award: COVID-19 Response Team, and three FAA Special Achievement Awards.