Introducing Walter M. Fierson, M.D....the Children’s Eye Physician
Dr. Walter Fierson has been caring for children’s eyes in the San Gabriel Valley since 1979. He opened his private practice in Arcadia and serves on the faculty of the University of Southern California Medical School and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, has published numerous research papers, and lectures on Ophthalmology throughout North America.
Dr. Fierson holds privileges at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Glendale Adventist Hospital, Huntington Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia, Queen of the Valley, Citrus Valley Medical Center in West Covina, and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital and Medical Center in Whittier. The American Board of Ophthalmology has certified Dr. Fierson as an Ophthalmologist. He is a Fellow of the: American Academy of Ophthalmology (A.A.O.) and American Academy of Pediatrics (A.A.P.). He is also a member of A.A.P.O.S. and the Los Angeles Pediatric Society.
Dr. Fierson’s training as a Pediatric Ophthalmologist comes from Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, the Harvard University Program in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to that, he trained as an Ophthalmologist at Los Angeles County- USC Medical Center and as an Internist at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was an Intern at Harbor General-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Fierson graduated second in his class from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in his third year. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with Highest Distinction in Biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Between Internal Medicine Residency and Ophthalmology Residency, Dr. Fierson served as a Flight Surgeon in the United States Air Force with the rank of Major from 1973 to 1975. He was trained as a Flight Surgeon at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. He was stationed at McGuire Air Force Base where he was the Nuclear Safety Officer.)
Outside of his practice, most of Dr. Fierson’s professional efforts have concentrated on the American Academy of Pediatrics. For the A.A.P., he has served as Chairman of the Ophthalmology Section for two terms, Chairman of Surgical Sections, and Chairman of the Council on Sections of the A.A.P. He has Chaired the Retinopathy of Prematurity Subcommittee (R.O.P.) of the Ophthalmology Section of the A.A.P. since 1988. The Ophthalmology Section of the A.A.P. honored him for “Outstanding Contributions to the A.A.P. Section on Ophthalmology, 2013” at the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (A.A.P.O.S.) Meeting, April, 2013. He is also a Founding Executive Board Member of the Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care.
An active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Dr. Fierson has used his affiliation with the AAP to advocate for foster children, and was instrumental in the passage of the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. The law has been called the most significant foster-care legislation since 1980 because it provides financial aid to children when living with their extended family. Dr. Fierson's interest in foster children began in his private practice when it became apparent that he was the only consistent adult in the lives of several children. For many foster children, home life was destabilizing and disappointing. When Dr. Fierson became Chairman of Sections and, therefore, a participant on the A.A.P. Board of Directors, he sought grant money for a task force to look into enhancing the well being of foster children in the United States. The task force invited participation from the major stakeholders in the USA concerned with Foster Care such as social workers, judges, foster care parent organizations, and adults who were once foster children to create “Healthy Foster Care America”. As a result of their work, the 2008 law has improved overall physical, social, and psychological care, and tracking of placement and records for foster children.
Dr. Fierson lectures throughout North America on a variety of topics including: “Visual Problems of the Pre-school Child”, “Refractive Errors in Children”, “Visual Problems in Children”, “Treating Strabismus in Children”, “Amblyopia,” “Ocular Inflammation; Diagnosis and Treatment”, and “Treating Vision Problems of Pre-mature Babies,” "Learning Disabilities," "Myopia," and "Retinopathy of Prematurity."
Dr. Fierson has conducted research and published many Pediatric Ophthalmology papers. The following is a list of some of these publications:
Retinopathy of Prematurity. Dr. Fierson is lead author of the four Policy Statements on Retinopathy of Prematurity; the most recent statement, “Screening Examination of Premature Infants for Retinopathy of Prematurity” was published in Pediatrics, January, 2013. R.O.P. is a retina problem that can lead to blindness in premature babies. Because of research and treatment worldwide, premature babies are less likely to become blind. As the lead author, Dr. Fierson, with the R.O.P. subcommittee, summarizes the R.O.P. research from worldwide centers to write the guidelines for the policy statement. Myopia. Fierson, W.M. “Can Myopia be Prevented or Treated”. California Pediatrician. Vol. 27 No.2 Fall, 2011
Learning Disabilities. Dr. Fierson together with Dr. Sheryl Handler co-authored the Policy Statement and Technical Report on Learning Disabilities for the A.A.P. and A.A.O. “Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision” on February 28, 2011.
Down Syndrome. Dr. Fierson has written “Ophthalmological Aspects of Down Syndrome,” a chapter in the book, The Clinical Perspectives in the Management of Down Syndrome, Van Dyke et al, ed. 1990 Botox: Fierson,W.M. "Botulinum Toxin May Correct Strabismus." Pediatric News. 22:2, l988. Strabismus: Fierson, W.M. et al. "The Effect of Bilateral Superior Oblique Tenotomy on Horizontal Deviation in A-Pattern Strabismus."J. Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. l7:364-37l, l980
On a personal note, Dr. Fierson served as a Flight Surgeon in the United States Air Force in the rank of Major from 1973 to 1975. He was trained as a Flight Surgeon at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio and was stationed at McGuire Air Force Base where he was the Nuclear Safety Officer. Dr. Fierson, an Eagle Scout, is a past Scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America, Troop 120, Arcadia. He is an enthusiastic skier, hiker, and photographer, as well as an avid reader, and enjoys history and tinkering with computers.
Walter and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1969. They have two children, David, Executive Vice President of Business Affairs for Alcon Entertainment and Jeffrey, Executive Vice President of Development for Strange Weather Films. David and his wife Katherine, an attorney at Warner Brothers, have given him the light of his life, his two grandchildren, Sarah and Anya. Their son Jeffrey is married to Monica Leed, Production Designer.
Dr. Fierson finds his work immensely rewarding because he knows that the children will benefit fromhis care throughout their lives. We feel fortunate to have such an experienced doctor to work with us and we look forward to sharing his expertise.