VA Medical Center, West Haven, CT

VA Medical Center
West Haven Campus
Eye Clinic (112D)
Building 2  Floor 4
950 Campbell Ave
West Haven, CT 06516

Phone: (203) 932-5711 ext. 2760
Fax: (203) 479-8118
VA Connecticut Healthcare

Externship Supervisor
Dr. Jordan Zinn

Additional FacultyCharles Haskes, OD, MS
Theresa Zerilli-Zavgorodni, OD
Tam Nguyen, OD
Nancy Shenouda-Awad, OD
Sharon Bisighini, OD
Cheryl Haskes, OD
Christine Burke, OD
Kara Gagnon, OD

Program Description
West Haven is an ocular disease oriented site, which emphasizes education for its students and residents. Externs become comfortable with management of Glaucoma, Diabetic Eye Disease, Macular Degeneration, anterior segment pathology, and ocular manifestations of systemic disease.  Frequently, surgical cases are co-managed with the Yale Ophthalmology department, and many cases are co-managed with the Neurology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Peripheral Vascular, and Primary Care departments.

  • We are a fast paced clinic that aims to prepare our students to be comfortable for the conditions they will encounter in any primary care or ocular disease setting.  For those interested in Low Vision, observation in the Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center will be arranged.
  • Full-scope primary eye care in an outpatient veteran clinical population.  A significant proportion of the patient population requires management of ocular disease.
  • Full-scope therapeutic pharmaceutical privileges, consistent with Connecticut Optometric State Law.  This includes oral medications and all glaucoma medications.  This also includes the ability to order laboratory tests and imaging procedures.
  • Involvement of extern in specialty clinics here at West Haven.  These include:  Retina Clinic, Cornea Clinic, Glaucoma Clinic, Oculoplastics Clinic, and Neuro-ophthalmology clinic
  • Attending Yale Ophthalmology Grand Rounds at least monthly (except during summer)
  • Attending lectures given by Yale Ophthalmology faculty
  • Experience in challenging binocular dysfunctions
  • Weekly grand round meetings with Dr. Haskes, Dr. Zinn, and Dr. Shenouda-Awad.  They will present slides of interesting case reports and teach the different diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.  The student will also be expected to present 2 case reports / literature updates for discussion.  Each of these is in power point presentation format and is 15-20 minutes in length. Keeping updated on the recent literature will be stressed.
  • Access to VA hospital library.  Allows access to wide range of journals  including; Journal the following: of the American Optometric Association, Survey of Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology,  Journal of  the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, Journal of Glaucoma, The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Diabetes and the Journal of Neurology.  Medline access and articles available upon request.
  • Interaction with four optometry residents.
  • Monthly academic meeting and journal club with VA Newington Optometry Clinic
  • Extern observation of Fluorescein Angiography here at West Haven
  • Understanding the care of the patient in a multi-disciplinary healthcare facility, including sending and receiving consultations to the other medical clinics.  This site truly emphasizes working as part of the patient’s complete health care team, and facilitates understanding of ocular manifestations of systemic conditions
  • Additional Testing Equipment: Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer with Stat Pac II/SITA Strategy; FDT Visual Field; digital fundus camera with fluorescein angiography; digital anterior segment camera; A- and B- scan ultrasound; corneal topography, OCT/ YAG/Argon laser; MP1 Microperimeter; Goldmann Perimeter; ophthalmodynamometer; exophthalmometer; pachymeter; RGP standard and keratoconic fitting sets
  • Recent optometric and ophthalmologic textbooks.
  • Internet access and MedLine access in the Medical Library.


Not provided (see below)

Equipment Required


External Rotations

No (see below)

Housing availability
Housing is not provided, although we can provide contacts in the area and aid prospective externs in finding housing for reasonable cost.

External Rotations
All subspecialty clinics are held in the Eye Clinic.
Note: The student may do observation in the Blind Center on a limited basis if requested.

Directions to Clinic
Interstate 95 North (through the Bronx, Westchester and into Connecticut) to Exit 43 West Haven.  Turn left off exit.  At second light, turn left into the VA (there will be a VA sign visible).  Go up hill, at top of hill, there will be parking lot on right, or proceed slightly further and there will be a parking lot on left (this one is closer to Eye Clinic).  Eye clinic is in Building #2, 4th Floor.

Alternate route: Hutchinson Parkway/Merritt Parkway (Route 15) to Exit 54.  Follow signs for I95 North.  Get on I95 North to Exit 43 and proceed as above.

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