J Lawton Smith Award Recipient

J Lawton Smith was one of the original founders of the COS.  He was globally well known as a neuroophthalmologist who was charismatic in practice and his faith!

The J Lawton Smith Award is given out each year at the COS Annual Meeting to an ophthalmologist who has shown a lifetime commmitment to serving the Lord through their personal practice of excellence in medicine, academic influence, and/or missionary dedication.

strauss mercyship

Compassion, Skill and Humility . . .




Award Year:

“He treated my training not just as an exercise in learning how to move my hands but as an exercise in how to love people, how to love God and how to love my patients!”

quote from Nathan Henson

Glenn has been described by his students as kind, quiet, calm, humble, super hero talented, Christ-like, wise, steady, patient, a servant leader, a visionary, an encourager and one who loves people and who loves God.

Dr. Strauss, after being involved in residency training in Texas and private practice, stopped working in his early 50s and trusted God while he became a full time missionary serving on the Mercy Ships in Africa. While there, he transformed the ophthalmology program into a vibrant, busy service involved in teaching African surgeons and others while doing 1000s of surgeries.

While he was there, Glenn became the overall medical director of the ship and provided amazing leadership to the entire organization. He trained many African surgeons and American missionary surgeons who were impacted for life by working with Glenn.

Some of the things shared by his students include:

“I learned from Glenn how to do bible study with my staff”

“I learned to stay calm and trust in the sovereignty of God even in difficult times and when there were complications”

“I learned that – if our love for the Lord is our motivation then no matter what happens, we’re loving what we do”

After serving in the Mercy Ships for more than 10 years, Dr. Strauss dedicated a number of years to developing a surgical simulator for manual small incision cataract surgery. His expertise in working with engineers to describe the exact grams of pressure on each instrument and in each step was unparalleled to work that anyone has done in ophthalmology.

At the COS Annual Meeting in Kansas City, the 2019 J Lawton Smith Award was presented to: Dr. Glenn Strauss!

Watch this powerful video which contains testimonies and reflections about Dr. Strauss from just a few of his many students sharing how Dr. Strauss has integrated ophthalmology fully with his faith with excellence in every manner.  You will see why he was selected for this honorable award.

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JLS Award Recipients

Other amazing ophthalmologists to know . . .