Professor Luigina Sorbara Tribute
IACLE is saddened by the passing of Professor Luigina Sorbara
Professor Luigina (Gina) Sorbara passed away on 11 February after battling a long illness that she fought so hard to overcome. She has been a huge part of the IACLE family for many years and she influenced hundreds, if not thousands, of educators and eye care practitioners worldwide. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness and generosity – always sharing her time and resources with others.
Gina was an Officer of the IACLE Board of Directors since the early 1980s and acted in several roles, including Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President. In addition to her active involvement on the Board, she travelled around the world to provide contact lens education to educators and their students, participating in national and regional educational meetings, train-the-trainer programs and world congresses. In 2020, the IACLE Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Gina for her many contributions over the almost 40 years she has been involved in imparting her knowledge to IACLE members worldwide. Gina was touched by the recognition of this award and said, ‘It has always been my privilege to work with IACLE and I am especially thankful for all the wonderful opportunities it has given me to contribute to international optometry.’
Professor Sorbara completed her OD degree and later MSc degree in Physiological Optics in 1993 at the University of Waterloo. Since 1984, Gina was Head of the Contact Lens Clinic and became an Associate Professor. Gina was a Fellow of both the American Academy of Optometry and BCLA and had a Diplomate in Cornea and Contact Lenses. Her research interests were particularly in specialty lens designs for keratoconus and orthokeratology, optical coherence tomography, corneal topography, fluorophotometry, clinical grading and clinical trials involving new lens materials, designs and care systems.
IACLE Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Boshart said ‘Over and over these past weeks I have seen Gina described as one of a kind – and she was indeed like few others I have ever known. She was a kind and generous person who willingly shared her time and her resources to help others. During her many years serving as an Officer on the IACLE Board of Directors, she travelled the world to provide contact lens education to our members and their students. Gina always said that she wasn’t ready to retire as she still had so much left to do yet. She was taken from us far too early, and we will miss her dearly.’
IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo said ‘Gina was the face of IACLE for many years. She was an inspiring teacher and researcher. She was loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was passionate about IACLE and the field of contact lenses. She will be sorely missed and all at IACLE offer their prayers and love to her family.’