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Dr. David A. Heath has served as President of the State University of New York College of Optometry since June 2007 and holds the rank of Professor. He is the third president of SUNY Optometry, which was founded in 1971. The SUNY College of Optometry is one of the 64 campuses which constitute the State of New York’s comprehensive public university system.
Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Heath was at The New England College of Optometry where he served as Vice President/Dean of Academic Affairs (2000-2006), and Dean of Academic Affairs (1994-2006). He was on the faculty of The New England College of Optometry beginning in 1984 and attained the rank of Professor of Optometry in 1994. Dr. Heath received his B.A. from Ithaca College in 1976; Doctor of Optometry from The New England College of Optometry in 1983; completed his residency in 1984; and earned his Master in Education from Harvard University in 1992.
With over ninety scholarly publications and/or presentations to his credit, Dr. Heath is best known for his work in educational program development and international vision care. In 2001 and 2007, Dr. Heath was the recipient of the Jack Bennett Innovation in Education Award from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry for his leadership in optometric education nationally. He was recognized and awarded the status of “Distinguished Scholar” in the National Academies of Practice in 2009.
Internationally, Dr. Heath has worked extensively in China with the Wenzhou Medical College, the Ministry of Public Health and the medical education system to increase the quantity and quality of primary eye care providers in China. In 2010, he was recognized by China’s Ministry of Foreign Expert Affairs with China’s highest honor for foreigners, the “China Friendship Award”.
Dr. Heath is active nationally, serving on the Executive Committee of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and as ASCO President during the 2012-2013 academic year. He was also recently appointed as a member on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Optometry (ABO) which is developing a Board Certification process for the profession. Dr. Heath is also active with the American Optometric Association and the New York State Optometric Association.