Dr. Gemma S. Stirba, O.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Optometry

Dr. Gemma Stirba was born in the Philippines and migrated to the US at the age of 14 to be raised in Oakland, California.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Neuroscience at University of California, Riverside in December 1999.  During her college years, she worked as a laboratory assistant in neuroscience research lab learning neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and excitotoxicity.  She was also very active in sports and played volleyball in high school, college, optometry school and church tournaments every year.

Prior to attending optometry school, Dr. Stirba worked at University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry for a year and half as a research staff associate coordinating clinical studies in contact lenses.

Dr. Stirba earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in May 2005.  After her first year in optometry school, she was a recipient of National Eye Institute Research Fellowship award and participated in a summer research training program at UC, Berkeley.  During her 3rd and 4th years in optometry school, she worked as a teaching assistant in some of the classes being taught to 1st and 2nd year students.  She has presented posters at ARVO Annual Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 2003 and at American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida on December 2004.  She has also published papers at Contact Lens and Anterior Eye journal;  and  Optometry and Vision Science journal.  Her clinical experience includes externships at Palo Alto VA Hospital in California, Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago Illinois, Mid Florida Eye Center in Mt. Dora, Florida and Newington VA Hospital in Connecticut.

Dr. Stirba joined Killingly Eye Care in November 2009 as a part-time associate.  She became a full time associate in January 2011.

On January 2012, the Connecticut Association of Optometrists elected Dr. Gemma Stirba as the “Young Optometrist of the Year”. She is a member in good standing with the American Optometric Association, Contact Lens and Cornea Section of AOA and Connecticut Association of Optometrists. She is also a member of the Clinical Skills Examination committee for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) and served as an Examiner from April 2009 to April 2011. Dr. Stirba has been serving as a Board of Director for Connecticut Association of Optometrists (CAO) since 2013.

Dr. Stirba loves to be involved with volunteer works, she is very active in her church community as a choir member, finance auditor and a lead activity organizer.  She enjoyed teaching children and served as a Sunday School teacher for 14 years.  During her spare time she loves to travel.  She went to do her first VOSH medical mission trip in Haiti with her husband in May 2010 where they provided eye care to the underprivileged.

Dr. Stirba currently resides in Brooklyn, CT with her husband Cliff.  They love the outdoors during the summer and winter is their favorite season because they enjoy snowboarding.