NMMC Retina Center’s Nipp Receives Statewide Award
TUPELO, Miss.—The Mississippi Association for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MAER) has presented Cheri Nipp, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, with its Samuel Johnson Presidents’ Award. Nipp is an occupational therapist who coordinates North Mississippi Medical Center’s Low Vision Rehabilitation Program at North Mississippi Retina Center.
The award is named for Dr. Sam Johnson, a long-time chairman of the Ophthalmology Department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Dr. Johnson was a highly respected surgeon and administrator, and an avid supporter of services for low vision and legally blind individuals. He was very supportive of the Addie McBryde Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, which is located with the Ophthalmology Department on the UMMC campus. “This award is presented to an individual who exemplifies outstanding service to the visually impaired community and to MAER through their dedication and willingness to go above and beyond for the betterment of the visually impaired community and the organization,” said Harold Miller, MAER president.
A resident of Guntown and native of Detroit, Ala., Nipp graduated from Sulligent High School in 1985 and earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She continued her training by completing a graduate certificate in low vision rehabilitation in August 2010. Nipp earned a postprofessional master’s degree in occupational therapy with emphasis in low vision rehabilitation from the UAB. Nipp holds the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Specialty Certification in Low Vision, a distinction accomplished by less than 1% of all occupational therapists nationally.
Nipp worked for NMMC from 1991-1996 and re-joined the NMMC staff in 1999 at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo. In 2008, she transferred to Baldwyn Nursing Facility, where she started a low vision rehabilitation program for patients with glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, stroke, traumatic brain injury and related issues. She relocated the program to Tupelo in 2013.
A person is considered to have low vision when he is experiencing problems with daily activities because of his vision. Rehabilitation helps patients make the most of their remaining vision, and training may be provided in either the home or clinic, or both.
Solutions may include training with optical and non-optical devices; paying bills and managing finances; managing medications; preparing meals safely; teaching use of remaining vision and teaching non-visual methods. Medicare and most insurance will cover low vision services when provided by an occupational therapist. A referral from an optometrist, ophthalmologist or physician is required for services.
For more information about NMMC Low Vision Rehabilitation, call (662) 377-6610 or 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375) or visit www.nmhs.net/low-vision.