Community Health Leaders
Last updated: May 2023
In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to cope with chronic dry eye every day, ChronicDryEye.net brings you frequent articles, points of view and advice from leading patient health leaders and experts.
Current health leaders
Nina Ajdin started experiencing health issues after moving to the United States as a refugee from Bosnia at 10 years old, after going through significant amounts of childhood trauma during the Yugoslavian conflict in 1992-1996. Read more.
Diana Boyd is a former corporate accountant and financial analyst. She was diagnosed with chronic dry eye in 2016 and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis in 2018, though symptoms of both had begun many years earlier. Read more.
Julie Briggs is a personal trainer, Pilates instructor, and wellness advocate living in Westchester, NY. Specializing in applied neurology, Julie has been featured on The Dr Oz Show, speaks at workshops and conferences, teaches continuing education courses, and contributes guest blog posts. Read more.
Jacobi Cleaver, OD
Dr. Jacobi Cleaver received his Bachelor of Science in Biology along with a minor in Psychology from the University of Houston followed by a Bachelor of Science in VIsion Science and a Doctor of Optometry from Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Read more.
English has struggled with Chronic Dry Eye for more than 10 years after a medication caused most of the oil glands in her eyes to shut down. After years of inflammation and difficulty seeing, English now uses Scleral Lenses for her severe dry eye and has loved the change they have made in her everyday life. Read more.
I was diagnosed with chronic dry eye in the winter of 2020. While it seemed it happened overnight, it didn’t. I had no idea this kind of condition existed but it sure does. Learning to advocate for myself has been the biggest blessing on my journey. Read more.
I raise awareness, educate and advocate for people living with rare and invisible diseases, having a few myself. Along with all this, I’ve been suffering from chronic dry eyes since my early teens. I work mostly as an expert patient, public speaker, and owner of Ma vie de zèbre (My Zebra Life), a blog now turned website that I started in 2013 because I couldn't find much information in French. Read more.
Jonathan Heath is Communications Specialist for a public library district in rural Western Colorado. An avid hiker and outdoorsman, his eyes, and the window to the world they provide, are very important to him. A diagnosis of dry eye disease was a difficult blow, but also a call to action. Read more.
Barby Ingle is a best-selling author, reality personality, and lives with multiple rare and chronic diseases; reflex sympathetic dystrophy(RSD), migralepsy, PALB2-var breast cancer, valley fever, endometriosis, and other pain disorders. Barby is a chronic pain educator, patient advocate, and president of the International Pain Foundation. She is also a motivational speaker and best-selling author on pain topics. Read more.
Mrs. Stacy Jennings has been an advocate since birth where she began her advocacy. She states she advocated for herself when she was hungry, needed her diaper changed, or just wanted to be held in her mother's arms. She takes advocacy to heart and not only does she advocate for herself, but she also advocates for others as well. Read more.
Essence Johnson, OD, FAAO
Dr. Essence Johnson is an “HBCU made,” residency trained, community and correctional health optometrist in Dallas, Texas. She received degrees from Prairie View A&M University and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, in addition to completing her residency in Ocular Disease at Omni Eye Services of Atlanta. Read more.
Ava began experiencing dry eyes shortly after being diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2017. She saw doctor after doctor, but none of them were able to help her manage her symptoms. Not one to give up, she found creative lifestyle solutions, such as wearing motorcycle goggles while driving. Read more.
LeTysha Montgomery is an author, empowerment speaker, podcast host, health advocate, jewelry designer and entrepreneur. LeTysha was diagnosed with chronic dry eye in the Summer of 2015 after starting a new temporary job that involved a lot of paper dust. Read more.
Sharon Moore is a semi-retired Registered Nurse. Sharon worked for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as Director over the Diabetes Wellness Center. This program is grant-funded and led to her becoming a grant writer for the Choctaw Nation until her retirement. Read more.
Erica Osborne is a Jesus-following wife and mother of two, living in northeast Louisiana. Formerly an advertising copywriter and graphic artist, she now teaches middle and high school English at the close-knit Christian school that her children attend. Read more.
Anna Samson is a 22-year-old from Canada, living just outside of Toronto. They are currently studying at McMaster University where they are majoring in English. Read more.
Wendy is a retired teacher who earned her Bachelor of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney and her Diploma in Business through TAFENSW. Her recent working life was spent as a TAFE (technical and further education) Head Teacher of Business. Read more.
Anna is a mom to two teenage girls, one dog and four cats. She and her girls can be found volunteering in their community of New Albany, IN. They work with a local animal rescue league and serve coffee at the church cafe. Anna also leads a chronic pain class at church as a part of Care Night. Read more.
Previous Health Leader
Jonathan lives in the Yorkshire countryside, near the small town of Halifax, UK. He has been working in financial services for the past 8 years and was diagnosed with chronic dry eye in 2016. Read more.
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