Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO)

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19

What Is FCO International?

The Fellowship of Christian Optometrists, International, Inc., founded in 1986, is a not-for-profit evangelical organization of Christian optometrists, optometry students, and allied ophthalmic personnel committed to world wide eye care missions and intraprofessional Christian  fellowship.


The Fellowship of Christian Optometrists in Metropolitan New York (FCOMNY) is a local chapter of FCO International formed in August 2003.  As a local chapter of FCO International, FCOMNY's statement of purpose and beliefs are the same as FCO International.  The purpose of FCO is being carried out in FCOMNY in three ways: Fellowship, Missions, and Mentoring.

Who We Are

The Fellowship of Christian Optometrists at SUNY is the local student branch of FCO International founded in 1998 by a student named Michael Prince.  We are an organization of optometry students and optometrists that function as a Christian fellowship for students and faculty that also participates in eye care missions.  Our faculty advisor is Dr. Joan Portello and we also have several spiritual leaders including Dr. Ester Han, Dr. Alice Chen, and Dr. Kelly Ludden.


  • Weekly informal meetings consisting of worship, ice breakers, and student-led Bible study
  • Social events such as dinners, game nights, potlucks, laser tag, concerts etc.
  • Missions
  • Volunteer opportunities such as preparing donated glasses and helping out at soup kitchens

Meet the Leadership Team

FCO consists of several office positions and opportunities for leadership. If you have any questions for any of our leaders, please feel free to contact them via the email address provided below:

Dr. Joan Portello
Faculty Advisor
Email: Jportello@sunyopt.edu

Loren Franke
Class of 2017
Email: LFranke@sunyopt.edu

Alison Lynch
Vice President
Class of 2018

Debbie Simon
Class of 2019
Email: dsimon@sunyopt.edu

Mission Team Leaders:

Loren Franke
Class of 2017
Email: LFranke@sunyopt.edu

Alison Lynch
Vice President
Class of 2018

Bessie Thomas
Class of 2017

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Mission Service Opportunities

There are many ways to get involved in missions!  Here are just a few ways that you can help participate in some of FCO’s missions:

  • Donation of glasses – always welcome!
  • Donation of any eye drops or medications (from optometrists/ophthalmologists)
  • Financial support for our Missions teams
  • Prayer support for our team, affiliated missionaries, and the people we are trying to reach
  • Get involved!  Come help out and join us on a trip.

To be involved in one of FCO International’s mission trips, please visit http://fcoint.net/index.php/missions.

Annual Conference

FCO International has been hosting an annual educational conference for almost 20 years now.  The goal of these conferences is to provide optometric education with a mission-oriented program in a friendly and fun environment.  This year the annual conference will take place on October 30 – November 1, 2015 in Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN. There will be 12 hours of CE (COPE accreditation received). 

For more information or to register for this conference, please visit http://fcoint.net/index.php/conference/general-info

Becoming A Member

It’s easy!  Simply go to the following website and print out an application.  After you have filled it out, simply mail it in and you will receive a certificate along with your membership in the mail.

Links to Other Mission Groups

  • informity