Adam Hickenbotham

Adam Hickenbotham Joins the Optometry Faculty at Tusculum University

Adam Hickenbotham, an eye care practitioner of 15 years who holds two doctorates degrees and has experience both in academia and private practice, recently joined Tusculum University’s Niswonger College of Optometry leadership team as founding faculty member, assistant dean for research, and chief surgeon.

Early Life and Education

Adam Hickenbotham, a 15-year eye care veteran with two doctorate degrees and multiple patents in laser medical devices. Over this period he has owned and managed an optometry clinic, provided on-site medical care at 20 skilled nursing facilities, managed refractive surgery clinics as well as led marketing initiatives for ophthalmology practices as well as led international clinical trials.

Mr. Wilson also served as one of the founding faculty members at the University of Pikeville’s College of Optometry, serving in key leadership roles on its Academic Rank and Promotions Committee, Scholarship and Awards Committee and Admissions Committee.

He has been practicing optometry (primary eye care) since 2003 and accepts Medicare, treating conditions including hypertension and high cholesterol. He is affiliated with Highland Hospital and Medical Center in Pikeville.

Professional Career

Adam Hickenbotham has extensive clinical experience, having managed several surgery centers and private practice clinics. Additionally, he has held various administrative roles and published multiple papers related to ophthalmic surgery techniques.

Recently, he joined Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions as founding dean for its College of Optometry. In this capacity, he will oversee curriculum creation, faculty recruitment and staff hiring efforts as well as accreditation from Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, according to an official press release issued by the university.

Previous to joining UAB, Dr. Barsanovic worked as an associate professor and held various leadership roles at Kentucky College of Optometry at University of Pikeville. Additionally, he founded Thru-Focus Optics LLC as a surgical research company; additionally he has developed an innovative laser treatment for presbyopia that is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Achievement and Honors

After years in private practice and surgical research, he established the surgical research company Thru-Focus Optics LLC and conducted a first-in-human clinical trial of an innovative laser treatment for presbyopia – age-related nearsightedness. Additionally, he played a vital role in helping Tusculum University establish its Niswonger College of Optometry where he served both as associate professor and assistant dean for research.

Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions announced in early 2019 its plans to establish a College of Optometry, selecting Hickenbotham to serve as its founding dean. He will oversee curriculum development, hiring, accreditation process and recruiting procedures before recruiting can begin in earnest, according to an university press release.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s in public health, and doctorate of optometry degrees – in addition to being a member of the American Academy of Optometry.

Personal Life

Hickenbotham founded Thru-Focus Optics LLC, a surgical research company which has pioneered new laser treatments for presbyopia. His company conducted first-in-human clinical trials of his treatment. Additionally, Hickenbotham founded Niswonger College of Optometry at Tusculum University and serves as founding faculty and assistant dean for research.

As founding dean, he oversees curriculum development and recruitment of faculty and staff, in order to meet an increasing demand for optometrists which is estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to increase by 30% over 10 years. With 17 years of clinical experience – managing surgery centers and clinics; receiving multiple patents related to laser medical devices.

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