Gussie B. Branch, O.D.
Dr. Gussie Branch is a native of Clay County, Alabama where she enjoyed growing up near scenic Cheaha Mountain. She graduated Valedictorian from First Assembly Christian School before attending Judson College. At Judson, she was actively involved in SGA, serving as Vice President while also serving as President of the Science Club her senior year. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in Biology in 2012.
Dr. Branch then went on to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and received her Doctorate of Optometry in 2016. While in optometry school, Dr. Branch served as Vice President of the UABSO Private Practice Club as well as a UAB representative at the Student Optometric Leadership Network National Convention in 2014 & 2015. Dr. Branch also was awarded the title “Student Fellow” of the American Academy of Optometry in Denver in 2014. As an optometry student she enjoyed optometric volunteer work through Cahaba Valley Healthcare, Equal Access Birmingham, and Volunteer Service to Humanity, participating in clinics around Birmingham, central Tennessee, and also traveling internationally to Nicaragua.
At UAB School of Optometry Dr. Branch completed internships in primary care, ocular disease, contact lens, pediatrics, vision therapy, developmental vision, pediatric neurology, geriatrics, and community eye care. Additional clinical training includes internships in ocular disease and primary eye care at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and family practice optometry in Oneonta.
Dr. Branch currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Optometric Association as well as the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Alumni Association, and is a member of the Albertville Rotary Club. She has coordinated several volunteer mission trips to provide eyecare to impoverished areas from 2018 to the present. Dr. Branch and her husband were also licensed foster parents from 2018-2020 providing care to many children during that time. Dr. Branch was named "Young Optometrist of the Year" for the state of Alabama in 2021. In 2022 she completed the Marshall County Leadership Challenge. Dr. Branch is a member of New Covenant Baptist Church in Albertville where she enjoys helping in children's ministry. She lives in Albertville with her husband, Caleb, and her daughter Eliza.
Katherine Greer Kennedy, O.D.
Dr. Katherine Greer Kennedy was born and raised in Bardstown, Kentucky, a small town situated in the center of the bluegrass state. There, she graduated with honors from Nelson County High School. Earning an academic scholarship, Dr. Kennedy then attended Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky, where she was very involved in campus activities, most notably receiving a research grant through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the college’s Program for Advanced Learning in the Sciences. Dr. Kennedy graduated from Georgetown College Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.
She then became one of three Kentucky-resident students offered acceptance to the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry with an in-state position. She graduated from UABSO with her Doctorate of Optometry in 2017. As a student there, Dr. Kennedy enjoyed performing volunteer optometric work through numerous programs across rural Alabama, Tennessee and even Nicaragua. She also volunteered her services at numerous nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in the Birmingham area. During the four-year optometric education program, Dr. Kennedy gained experience in several areas such as specialty contact lenses, vision therapy, ocular disease, developmental vision, pediatrics and geriatrics. Dr. Kennedy completed additional training through her internships in ocular disease at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and in family eye care at a private practice in Bardstown, KY.
Dr. Kennedy resides in Guntersville, AL with her husband Austin Kennedy. The newlyweds (married in September of 2020) enjoy traveling, boating and spending time with friends and family.
Randall W. Hoerth, O.D.
Dr. Hoerth has been practicing on Sand Mountain since 1981 in a profession he chose as an elementary school student.
He has received both a bachelor's degree (Psychology) and his Dr. of Optometry degree from Pacific University. He's taken hundreds of hours of continuing education from the UAB college of Optometry. He's served on several board of director positions and served as president of the Albertville Civitan Club. He is currently serving on the board of directors for the Albertville Free Vision Clinic and Vision America. He's very active in his church and is also a retired Army officer.
He loves sports of all kinds and participates in a few of his favorites. He and his wife, Tricia, have a married daughter and triplet grandchildren who live in Huntsville. They spend as much time with their extended family as is possible.