Emily Sprague, OD, MBA, FAAO, FACHE (Navy)
Immediate Past President
Commander Sprague was born in Evansville, Indiana. She spent the majority of her childhood in Salem, Illinois, which she calls home. She received her Associate of Science degree from Kaskaskia College in 1999 before completing Optometry prerequisites at Illinois State University. After three years of undergraduate studies, she received a four-year Navy Health Services Collegiate Program scholarship. During Optometry School, she received Clinical Skills awards in her first and second years, and was recognized as “Clinician of the Year” in her fourth year. Commander Sprague earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2004. Upon graduation, she was commissioned by her brother as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy.
Commander Sprague served her first tour as a staff optometrist at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, California, where she thoroughly enjoyed working with and learning about the Marine Corps community. During her tenure, she served as Division Officer, Optometry Externship Program Manager, and Department Head. In August 2007, she reported to Naval Health Clinic Hawaii. During this “hardship” tour, she served as Department Head of the largest OCONUS Optometry Department, as well as Command Legal Officer and Assistant Director for Administration. Commander Sprague was then selected to complete a one-year Ocular Disease Residency through the Duty Under Instruction (DUINS) program at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Health Care System. In July 2012, she reported to Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to utilize her enhanced skills as the sole optometrist serving the entire base population. At the beginning of her tour, she was selected as the Command Managed Equal Opportunity Officer. She served as the Department Head of the Optometry Clinic, as well as Director of Clinical Support Services. Additionally, she provided support to Joint Medical Group, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, as well as Department of State Migrant Operations. While in Guantanamo Bay, Commander Sprague completed Naval War College Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) non-resident Phase I requirements. Shortly after transferring, she graduated from George Washington University with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management in August 2014. She served as Naval Hospital Beaufort’s Branch Health Clinic Parris Island Ancillary Services Department Head, overseeing Optometry, Radiology, Laboratory and Pharmacy services to over 5,000 Marine recruits monthly and 2,200 permanent party personnel. Commander Sprague currently serves as the Chief of Optometry at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. She is a staunch advocate for patient safety and process improvement, leading the TeamSTEPPS program as Provider Champion.
Commander Sprague’s personal awards and decorations include: Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Rifle and Pistol Medals with Expert rating. Her professional accomplishments include being named Southern College of Optometry’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 2013, the Armed Forces Optometric Society’s Navy Junior Optometrist of the Year in 2014, and the Navy’s “Junior Optometrist of the Year” in 2014. Commander Sprague is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, Fellow of the American College of Medical Optometrists, and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a 13-year member of the American Optometric Association and Armed Forces Optometric Society, where she serves on the Executive Board. Commander Sprague is licensed to practice Optometry in Tennessee.
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