Dr. Thomas Stokkermans has been with University Hospitals since 1998 and serves as the Director of the Optometry Service. He is an Assistant Professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
Dr. Stokkermans was born in the Netherlands, and also lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, prior to moving to the United States at the age of twenty two. He graduated from the Jakarta International School with an International Baccalaureate Diploma and then completed an M.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. His M.Sc. included research at the Dutch biotechnology firm, Mogen International, and as a visiting scientist at Kent State University, Ohio. Dr. Stokkermans then completed his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, after which he did a brief post-doctoral fellowship at Tromso University, Norway, in the same field as his Ph.D., followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in parasitology at the Dartmouth Medical School, Department of Pathology, in Hanover, New Hampshire. At this point, Dr. Stokkermans initiated the clinical part of his training at the New England College of Optometry in Boston, Massachusetts, completing internships at, among others, the Bedford Veteran Administration Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center Beetham Eye Institute. After graduating with honors, he finished a one year optometric residency in ocular disease at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute after which he started his current position at University Hospitals.
Dr. Stokkermans provides comprehensive eye care for adults and children including specialty contact lens care for patients with corneal disease and care for patients with complex refractive needs such as prism fitting for strabismus and solutions for anisometropia. He also manages a wide variety of non-surgical medical eye conditions of the eye including eye infections and inflammation and mild to moderate glaucoma and provides triage and referral services to the different surgical sub-specialists at the University Hospitals Eye Institute. He has had a long standing interest in low vision care, has pursued additional training at the New York Light House, New York, New York, and has been a consultant in low vision care for the Cleveland Veteran Administration Hospital System and the Cleveland Sight Center. Dr. Stokkermans sees patients at UH Eye Institute’s Case Western Reserve University facility as well as the Landerbrook, Westlake, and Hudson satellites.
Dr. Stokkermans teaches primary eye and contact lens care to Case Western Reserve University ophthalmology residents, optometry student externs from The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) and Western University of the Health Sciences (Pomona, California) Colleges of Optometry, and ophthalmic assisting students from Cuyahoga Community College. He is the Chief Preceptor for the optometric externship programs. Besides clinical teaching, he heads the didactic optics program and also lectures in optics to the ophthalmology residents and ophthalmic technicians at Case Western Reserve University and UH Eye Institute. He directs and regularly lectures at the UH Eye Institute optometric continuing education program provided to private optometrists in the Cleveland area and has also lectured on ocular disease, contact lens and low vision topics at regional ophthalmology, optometry and opticians conferences.
Other Notable Facts
Dr. Stokkermans is a Fellow and member of the American Academy of Optometry and is a member of the American and Ohio Optometric Associations, the American Medical Center Optometrists Special Interest Group and the Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Fraternity. He has also been a volunteer for many years at the Northeast Ohio Vision Care Outreach Program of Prevent Blindness Ohio, Lake County Division, providing free eye exams to the medically indigent or homeless. He is currently the optometrist for the Cleveland Browns Team and provides vision care to players, coaches and staff.
Education & Training
1987, Universiteit Leiden
1998, Optometry - Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
1997, The New England College of Optometry
Contact Lenses, Glasses, Low Vision Care, Medical Eye Care, Optometry, Primary Eye Care, Work Exams
UH Cleveland Medical Center
Department of Ophthalmology
11100 Euclid Ave
UH Westlake Health Center
950 Clague Rd
UH Eye Institute, Bldg B, Ste 102
UH Landerbrook Health Center
5850 Landerbrook Dr
UH Eye Institute, Ste 306
UH Hudson Health Center
5778 Darrow Rd
UH Eye Institute, Ste 104
In addition to his main interest of caring for patients, Dr. Stokkermans has participated in over thirty clinical trials while on staff at UH Eye Institute. These clinical trials consist of studies on the safety and efficacy of contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and ophthalmic medications, the Argus II retinal implant, and the Ivantis Hydrus III glaucoma implant. These studies include the largest study to date on keratoconus, Food and Drug Administration approval studies for most of the soft contact lenses and of the only hybrid (a combination of a soft and rigid gas permable) lens on the market today and Food and Drug Administration approval studies for the therapeutic use of two different contact lenses. Several of these studies were to monitor ocular side effects of experimental systemic medications. Dr. Stokkermans has also researched the use of different commercially available prisms for homonymous hemianopia (peripheral field loss).
Dr. Stokkermans has published twenty peer-reviewed articles in the scientific and optometric literature and has appeared in the local and national media to comment on ocular disease, contact lens and low vision topics.
University Hospitals is committed to transparency in our interactions with industry partners, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies. At UH, we disclose practitioner and their family members’ ownership and intellectual property rights that are or in the process of being commercialized. In addition, we disclose payments to employed practitioners of $5,000 or more from companies with which the practitioners interact as part of their professional activities. These practitioner-industry relationships assist in developing new drugs, devices and therapies and in providing medical education aimed at improving quality of care and enhancing clinical outcomes. At the same time, UH understands that these relationships may create a conflict of interest. In providing this information, UH desires to assist patients in talking with their practitioners about industry relationships and how those relationships may impact their medical care.
UH practitioners seek advance approval for certain new industry relationships. In addition, practitioners report their industry relationships and activities, as well as those of their immediate family members, to the UH Office of Outside Interests annually. We review these reports and implement management plans, as appropriate, to address conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with medical research, clinical care and purchasing decisions.
View UH’s policy (PDF) on practitioner-industry relationships.
As of December 31, 2015, Thomas Stokkermans, OD, PhD did not disclose any Outside Relationships with Industry.