Unique Mentoring Program Launched by the Career Development Center
The Career Development Center (CDC) was established in 2012 as way to help the students, residents and alumni of the College meet their career goals. Through its various programs, events and individualized activities, the CDC has created opportunities for busy students and professionals to connect and create meaningful relationships that are critical for career development and advancement.
Recently, the CDC developed a unique new mentoring program, the first of its kind among schools and colleges of optometry, called the Family of Mentors Program. We asked Mr. Francisco Lucio, director of career development and minority enrichment at the College, to answer a few questions about this new program and talk to us about its goals.
Tell us why the Career Development Center decided to create the Family of Mentors program as one of the services it provides to students and residents at the College?
No one ever makes it alone. Everyone who has ever achieved career success has done it with the help of others. Mentoring is a focused effort to facilitate career success because there is a rich and meaningful connection formed between a mentor and mentee. The CDC felt that it was crucial to create that space where mentoring relationships could form and thrive, and thus, the development of the Family of Mentors Program. But beyond the positive impact to the individual mentor and mentee, the Family of Mentors Program exists within the context of the larger optometric field that is enhanced as future and current optometrists are nurtured.
What do you hope that students and residents will gain most from their interaction with their mentor?
My hope is that students and residents will make a deep and meaningful connection with a life-long colleague. So often in today’s fast-paced world of text messages, tweets and one-line email responses opportunities to truly get to know someone are lost. The structured Family of Mentors Program creates built-in opportunities for mentors and mentees to get to know one another via monthly discussion prompts that touch on not just optometry, but also on personal goals and aspirations.
How about the mentors, what would you like them to take away from their experience mentoring?
As a former teacher, I know the great satisfaction one receives from helping a young person grow and achieve their goals, so I’m positive our mentors will get similar satisfaction from helping their mentees. And more often than not, it is the mentor who ends up gaining the most from the relationship because he or she has the opportunity to be introspective and giving.
What kinds of mentors are you looking for? Do they have to be in the optometric profession or are you looking to recruit mentors with a variety of professional backgrounds?
We're looking for mentors with the passion to help students and residents here at the College. We want mentors who come from all walks of life and have decided to take on the responsibility of developing a future colleague.
The mentors we're seeking can come from other professional backgrounds because there is a lot that can be learned from someone else’s experience; however, our mentors should be familiar with the optometry student or resident experience and the optometric profession in general. For example, we may have industry partners and consultants who can provide a unique perspective on the optometric career, and that is a very valuable thing.
To find out more about the Family of Mentors Program visit the website
December 2013 Scholarly Activities
Hue JE, Rosenfield M, Saa G. (2013) Reading from electronic devices versus hardcopy text. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. Publisher IOS Press .ISSN 1051-9815 (Print) 1875-9270 (Online).
Lin Z, Vasudevan B, Jhanji V, Gao TY, Wang, NL, Wang Q, Wang J, Ciuffreda KJ, Liang YB. (2013) Eye exercises of acupoints: their impact on refractive error and visual symptoms in Chinese urban children. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:306 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-306
Thiagarajan P, Ciuffreda KJ, Capo-Aponte JE, Ludlam DP, Kapoor N. (2013) Oculomotor neurorehabilitation for reading in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI): An integrative approach. NeuroRehabilitation. 2013 Nov 27. Prepress.
Zaidi Q, Victor J, McDermott J, Geffen M, Bensmaia S, Cleland TA. (2013) Perceptual spaces: mathematical structures to neural mechanisms. J Neurosci. 2013 Nov 6;33(45):17597-602. doi: 10.15 23/JNEUROSCI.3343-13.2013. PMID: 24198350 [PubMed - in process]
Posters/Presentations at Society for Neuroscience Conference , November 2013, San Diego, CA
Backus BT, Law CL. Theory-based options for assessing and treating disorders of binocular vision. . Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Bereshpolova YI, Stoelzel CR, Zhuang J, Alonso JM, Swadlow HA. V1 Corticogeniculate input to LGN is sustained. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Caziot B, Park J, Harwood MR, McPeek RM, Changes in build-up rate and threshold level in superior colliculus neurons in a simple saccadic decision task. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Hei X, Stoelzel CR, Zhuang J, Bereshpolova Y, Huff JM, Alonso JM, Swadlow HA. Directional selective neruons in rabbit LGNd project to layer 4 of V1 and are modulated by brain state. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Jansen M, Li X, Lashgari R, Kremkow Y, Bereshpolova Y, Swadlow H, Zaidi Q, Alonso JM. Spatial tuning for color and luminance in awake area V1. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Komban SJ, Jin J, Kremkow J, Wang Y, Lashgari RR, Alonso JM, Zaidi Q. Cross-orientaton interactions between on and off pathways. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Kremkow J, Jin J, Komban SJ, Wang Y, Lashgari R, Alonso JM. Asymmetries in ON and Off cortical retinotopy: are OFF receptive fields the anchors of cortical retinotopic maps? Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Li X, Lashgari R, Jansen M, Bereshpolova Y, Swadlow HA, Alonso JM. Increased attentional suppression of cortical LFP with practice time. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Pola J, Matin E, Matin L. The Influence of saccadic adaptation on perceived location of the pre-saccade fixation target and the saccade goal target. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Stoelzel CR, Bereshpolova J, Zhuang J, Alonso JM, Swadlow HA. The Tortoise and the Hare: Fast vs. very slow corticogeniculate axons differ in visual response properties. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Wang, Y, Jin J, Kremkow J, Komban SJ, Lashgari R, Alonso JM. Vertical organization of spatial phase in cat primary visual cortex. . Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Wool LE, Kremkow J, Jansen M, Li X, Bereshpolova Y, Swadlow H, Zaidi Q, Alonso JM. Electrophysiological correlates of color salience. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Zhuang J, Stoelzel CR, Befeshpolova, Huff JM, Hei X , Alonso JM, Swadlow HA. Layer 4 in primary visual cortex of the awake rabbit: Contrasting properties of simple cells and putative feed-forward inhibitory interneurons. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Zaidi Q. Minisyposium: Geometric structure of perceptual color space. Society for Neuroscience Conference, November 2013, San Diego, CA.
Dr. Peter Reinach has been invited to lecture on the Potential drug targets for improved management of ocular inflammation and fibrosis at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Department of Ophthalmology in Sao Paulo Brazil on December 4, 2013.
2013 Year in Review
SUNY System Tackles Big Data at Critical Issues Conference
In late October the State University of New York system hosted the third in its Critical Issues in Higher Education conference series in New York City, bringing together a vast number of higher education administrators, including President Heath and others from the SUNY College of Optometry.
Titled “BUILDING A SMARTER UNIVERSITY: Big Data, Innovation and Ingenuity,” the two-day conference offered presentations by more than 65 speakers from across the country, focusing on the value and use of data for improving higher education, including the student experience, research, infrastructure and beyond . The keynote speaker, Harper Reed, is a self-described “hacker/engineer” who was the chief technology officer for the “Obama for America” campaign in 2012.
“SUNY is well-positioned to take a leadership role in exploring how the tidal wave of data surrounding us can be used to build smarter universities,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said in a statement about the conference.
SUNY designed the Critical Issues in Higher Education conference series in 2011 as a way to bring together national thought leaders to examine, discuss and debate critical issues confronting higher education.
Homebound Program Gets Continued Support
The Arthur and Phyllis Milton Foundation has reiterated its ongoing support for SUNY's Manhattan Homebound program, providing the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the philanthropic wing of the SUNY College of Optometry, with a $10,000 grant to help fund the unique service. The program, which was developed to provide individuals who are struggling with their mobility the opportunity to receive high-quality eye and vision care from University Eye Center doctors in their home, has long been a focus of the OCNY’s fundraising activities and a staple of the UEC’s community outreach activities. The Milton Foundation has supported the program since 2010.
The Manhattan Homebound program serves approximately 120 patients throughout the borough each year providing everything from routine eye exams to ongoing treatment for a wide-range of ocular issues such as glaucoma, cataracts and low vision.
“We have been able to help hundreds of people who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to receive crucial eye and vision care,” said Dr. Richard Soden, vice president for clinical affairs at the College. “Without the support of the OCNY and the Milton Foundation this program would not exist so I am extremely grateful for what they have done over the years to help us better serve our community.”
SUNY Optometry Takes an Inter-Professional Approach to Diabetes
November was Diabetes Awareness Month and the members of the Student Chapter of the American Public Health Association (SAPHA) took an active and inter-professional approach toward recognizing the occasion at the College.
In addition to posting diabetes facts throughout the College and providing reference cards about diabetes for students to use with their patients in the University Eye Center, SAPHA hosted Dr. Gary Glickman, an ophthalmologist from the Diabetic Eye Center in New York who specializes in diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Glickman spoke to a capacity crowd of students and faculty about the disease at the College on November 20.
SAPHA also sponsored a presentation by Ms. Neelam Gaur, a health coach who specializes in holistic nutrition and preventative wellness issues. Ms. Gaur spoke to students, faculty and staff at the College about nutrition and diabetes.
SUNY Optometry’s Low Vision Center Making a Growing Impact in China
The Optometric Center of New York, the philanthropic wing of the SUNY College of Optometry, has received the second installment of a nearly half-a-million dollar grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind to expand its low vision and vision rehabilitation clinic in Wenzhou, China.
In 2008 the College established the Center for Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation at Wenzhou Medical University (WMU) and four years later, in 2012, it received a three-year grant totaling more than $420,000 from Lavelle to expand on the work that it is doing and serve more low vision patients in China.
Over the past year the grant has enabled the Center to establish a satellite clinic at an eye hospital, affiliated with WMU, in the city of Hangzhou. In addition, a close association with several schools that serve visually impaired students in Zhejiang province was developed. The Center is helping these schools screen children and, in some cases, it has established special classrooms designed to assist low vision students studying there.
Over the past year, doctors and other staff members from the Center have traveled to the College and elsewhere in the United States in order to receive more advanced training in the use of field expansion devices, bioptic telescopes and other assistive technologies. The grant has also enabled the Center to begin the process of improving data collection and patient tracking systems which will ultimately allow the clinic to better serve a greater number of patients.
A large and increasing number of individuals suffer from low vision in China, particularly in rural areas of the country. The low vision population in China also includes a larger proportion of children than in the United States. The Center for Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation was established to help address this major public health issue and improve the lives of many of those living with low vision in China.
“In just a few short years, the Center has established its reputation in China as a resource for the training of low vision and vision rehabilitation personnel from hospitals throughout China,” said SUNY Optometry’s Dr. Michael H. Heiberger. “Having demonstrated a model to serve the needs of the visually handicapped, the Center, under the current grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, is developing a database to demonstrate the sustainability of its efforts.”
The Lavelle Fund for the Blind, which supports programs that help people who are blind and visually impaired lead independent and productive lives, will provide the final installment of the grant next year.
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman Pays a Visit to SUNY Optometry
New York State Senator Brad Hoylman made his first official visit to the SUNY College of Optometry recently to meet with senior administrators at the College and tour its Midtown Manhattan campus. Senator Hoylman, who was elected to the New York State Senate in 2012, represents the state’s 27th District where the College is located. During his first year in Albany, Senator Hoylman has proven to be a strong supporter on issues related to both education and health care.
In addition to meeting with SUNY Optometry’s president, Dr. David Heath, and other members of the administration, Senator Hoylman was briefed about some of the College’s ongoing research activities by Dr. David Troilo, vice president and dean for academic affairs, and had the opportunity to see some recently-completed renovations to the College’s research facilities.
Senator Hoylman also spoke with Ms. Liduvina Martinez-Gonzales, the chief operating officer of the University Eye Center, about the various services that the clinic provides to tens of thousands of people—including many of his constituents—each year.
The College maintains close ties to its elected representatives in Albany. Longtime Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, the College’s representative in the New York State Assembly, has been a close friend of the institution for a number of years.
The SUNY College of Optometry has produced the majority of optometrists currently practicing in New York State. It also makes a valuable contribution toward clinical and basic visual sciences research through a consortium with other SUNY institutions as a member of the SUNY Eye Institute and provides critical primary, advanced and rehabilitative eye and vision care to thousands of New Yorkers each year at the University Eye Center and elsewhere in the community.
“The work that we do at the College educating future health care practitioners and vision scientists, engaging in research and providing unmatched care to thousands of children and adults in our community is something that we’re very proud of,” said President Heath. “It’s important for Senator Hoylman and our other representatives in Albany and elsewhere to see firsthand the impact that we have and to recognize also that our institution is a vital resource for information related to health care issues and policy.”
Q&A: Dr. Kathryn Richdale on Clinical Research at the College
Dr. Kathryn Richdale, an assistant professor at SUNY Optometry, is the director of the Clinical Vision Research Center (CVRC) . Here she answers a few questions about the CVRC and the important role that clinical research plays at the College
Tell us, what is the Clinical Vision Research Center, when was it established at the College and what is its goal?
The CVRC was established at the College in February 2013. The primary goal of the CVRC is to provide the necessary infrastructure to allow the conduct of sponsored clinical research in eye and vision care.
How does the CVRC work in conjunction with the University Eye Center and the College to accomplish their goals?
The College, the University Eye Center (UEC) and the CVRC work together to accomplish many greater goals. Through the establishment of the CVRC, the College helps faculty to conduct research in their area of expertise, but the CVRC also supports the students and patients at SUNY. For example, teaching students about the practice of evidence based medicine is one of the missions of the College, and the CVRC provides opportunities for students to learn about the latest clinical studies and gain hands-on experience conducting research.
In addition, our doctors in the UEC strive to provide the best care and treatment options for their patients – and this now includes the ability to refer patients to clinical studies in the CVRC.
Also, the studies at the CVRC often provide services free of charge, pay patients for their time or offer treatments not otherwise available at a general eye care provider’s office. Together, we’re providing better services to those who work, study or are cared for at our institution.
You do your research in conjunction with corporate and nonprofit entities. Do you find developing relationships with organizations outside of higher education to be particularly helpful?
The understanding of eye and vision problems and the safe and careful development of new treatments can be a very time consuming and expensive process. At the College and UEC, we have some of the best and brightest clinicians and researchers in the field, but it's only through our industry, private and government partners that we are able to gain the necessary financial support and materials, such as new drugs or devices, to carry out our clinical research. Working with these partners allows us to bring cutting-edge diagnosis and treatment options directly to our patients.
What are your biggest challenges when trying to conduct effective clinical research?
Successful clinical research requires a massive team effort and we’re only as strong as our weakest link. We rely on our sponsors for support, our doctors to communicate with patients about clinical research opportunities, our patients to volunteer as study participants and our clinical research team to provide the best care for our study patients. This past year has been a growing process as we’ve learned how to work together in the best interest of our institution, our patients and the greater optometric community. We’ve come a long way in a short time, but our biggest challenge currently is the recruitment of patients from the UEC’s busy and bustling clinic.
In your estimation, why is a clinical research program so important for an institution like the SUNY College of Optometry?
Without a doubt, the best health care and teaching facilities in the world are the ones that are actively engaging in research. Participating in research keeps clinicians at the forefront of their field; making them better teachers and care givers. Offering research opportunities attracts new patients who recognize the institution for its expertise and its ability to provide the latest health care options. Providing a strong clinical research graduate program attracts more knowledgeable and skilled students. In short, clinical research is the foundation upon which better patient care and education are built.
To find out about the CVRC's latest research programs click here.
A meeting for greater New York vision scientists
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street
New York NY 10036
Monday, December 9
6:00–6:30: Arrival and refreshments (3rd floor lounge)
6:30–8:00: Talks (2nd floor lecture hall)
RICHARD KRAMER (UC Berkeley)
Restoring visual responses to blind animals with ion channel photoswitches
MICHAEL STRYKER (UCSF)
A neural circuit for active vision and enhanced plasticity
8–9: Light supper, drink and conversation (3rd floor lounge)
Directions to SUNY College of Optometry
Entrance at 33 W. 42nd Street, midway between 5th and 6th avenues, opposite Bryant Park.
B or D train to 42nd street and exit at Bryant Park
4, 5 or 6 train to 42nd street and exit at Grand Central Station
1 or 2 train to 42nd street and exit at Times Square
You must present a photo ID to obtain a visitor pass at the entrance.
Doctors Share Advice, Wisdom with Students at Networking Event
It was an evening of collaboration and collegiality when two students clubs, the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA) and the Student Optometric Association for Private Practice (SOAPP), joined forces with SUNY Optometry’s Career Development Center (CDC) to host the inaugural “Networking with the Doctors Social.” Both student clubs and the CDC have been working hard to engage students in meaningful activities designed to help them better understand their career options and lead them to professional fulfillment and success.
Fifteen doctors and more than 50 students took part in a “speed dating” activity intended to showcase doctors from a wide variety of practice modes and specialties, each of whom had followed a unique career path. The goal was to help students gain a broader knowledge of the professional options that will be available to them once they graduate.
During the program, a small group of students spent several minutes engaging directly with each doctor. This enabled each of the students the opportunity to ask each doctor specific questions related to his or her career path. Doctors rotated among each of the small groups in order to speak with and field questions from all of the students.
“The Networking with the Doctors Social was a perfect way for students to ask their burning questions and get perspectives from a diverse group of doctors in a condensed period of time,” explained Lina Cawog, a Class of 2016 OD student.
SUNY Optometry’s CDC has put a particularly strong emphasis on exposing students as early as possible to a variety of optometric career options, and providing them with a better understanding of what will be available to them once they leave the College. The recently launched Family of Mentors program as well as the annual Career Symposium, both produced by the CDC, give students a critical opportunity to connect and learn from their soon-to-be professional peers. The Networking with the Doctors Social hopes to build on this important theme and provide students with even more opportunities to learn from professionals.
“There was a buzz in the air. You could see the engagement from both the students and the doctors as wisdom was being passed from one generation of doctors to the next,” said Francisco Lucio, director of career development and minority enrichment at SUNY.
The program was capped by a reception where doctors and students could continue their conversations and make even deeper networking connections.
“The event brought students into contact with doctors from a variety of practice modalities,” Jenny Soo Hoo, president of SOAPP, said. “Students had the opportunity to strengthen their networking skills while also learning from each doctor's personal experiences.”
The Networking with the Doctors Social, which is expected to be an annual event, was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Allergan.
Gund Foundation Renews Grant for General Operating Support
The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation has renewed its support for the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) by providing another $10,000 grant that will be used for general operating expenses. This is the fifth year in a row that the Gund Foundation has thrown its support behind the OCNY.
Gordon Gund, who along with his wife Llura, operate the foundation, received an honorary degree from the College in 2008. Last year Mr. Gund, who is a businessman and philanthropists as well as an artist, donated an original sculpture to the College that is currently on display in the Center for Student Life and Learning on the third floor of the College's building.
This generous gift will enable the OCNY to continue to support projects such as the homebound program and the Bowery project that help to provide vulnerable New Yorkers with high quality eye and vision care. In addition the OCNY helps to support the training of the next generation of knowledgeable and compassionate eye and vision care providers through scholarships, as well as assisting in the advancement of research knowledge in the field.
12th Annual Envision New York Offers Expanded Program
The Office of Continuing Professional Education held its12th Annual Envision New York conference during the weekend of October 18 - 21st and, for the first time ever, expanded the signature CE program to Friday night.
A panel discussion on "The Challenges of Healthcare Reform for the Profession of Optometry," followed by a "Meet the Exhibitors" reception where attendees and students from the College were given the opportunity to mingle with each other rounded out the Friday events. Then, from Saturday through Monday, a broad array of courses, totaling 59 CE hours in all, were offered to hundreds of optometrists from around the country. The program featured many notable SUNY faculty members and clinicians, and for the first time, also included a high-tech, diagnostic hands-on workshop. For the second consecutive year a five-hour "Low Vision Track" provided credits that could be used toward the New York State Low Vision Certification. A three-hour symposium "Genetics in Eye Care" concluded the program on Monday.
SUNY Wins ‘Innovation in Education’ Grant
It was recently announced that SUNY has secured a nearly $3,000 “Innovation in Education” Grant from The American Optometric Foundation (AOF). The grant, which is provided by the AOF in collaboration with VISTAKON, and The Vision Care Institute, LLC., both divisions of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. is designed to aid recently appointed faculty in advancing their teaching skills in the areas of improving delivery of information to students, new methodologies, increasing the use of new technology in all teaching settings, and the promotion of online learning tools. A particular emphasis is given to innovative and creative projects.
The SUNY project “Optimizing Course Management Sites through the Integration of Dynamic Learning Resources” is designed to provide support to faculty in advancing their teaching skills through the utilization of new technologies in the classroom and the promotion of online learning.
SUNY plans to use the grant for quantitative and qualitative assessments that will measure learning outcomes and student reaction to the learning tools. In addition, there are plans to facilitate a faculty development workshop as a model for other courses and share the findings and results for consideration of publication in the Journal of Optometric Education.
The grant was conceived and written by Ms. Elaine Wells, Ms. Jill Locascio, the library director and assistant librarian respectively, as well as Ms. Jean Pak, academic programs coordinator, in conjunction with faculty member Dr. Kathryn Richdale.
OCNY Recognizes Donors with Private Showing at Famed Auction House
On November 4 the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the philanthropic arm of the SUNY College of Optometry, hosted a unique private viewing of impressionist and modern art for approximately 65 of the Foundation’s donors and friends the day before the collection was set to go to auction at Bonhams, one of the oldest and largest fine art auction houses in the world.
The collection included over 75 works by such artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Auguste Rodin and many others.
Prior to the viewing, which was hosted by Tanya Wells, the head of sales at Bonhams, the gathering was welcomed Mr. Richard Feinbloom, the OCNY president, Mr. Michael Mariani, a member and Trusts and Estates Advisory Committee of the OCNY and Dr. David A. Heath, president of the SUNY College of Optometry.
Q&A: Dr. Jillia Bird, 2013 SUNY Optometry Alumna of the Year
The SUNY College of Optometry Alumni Association held its annual alumni reunion reception as part of Envision New York at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square the evening of October 19. This year the Alumni Association honored the classes of 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008, and it presented 1989 graduate, Dr. Jillia Bird, with the 2013 Alumna of the Year Award. More than 130 people were in attendence at the reception and special recognition was given to Dr. Julia Appel for her service as immediate past president of the Alumni Association and to Dr. Denise Whittam, the Association's new president. The 2012 Alumnus of the Year, Dr. Richard Madonna, joined the others in recognizing Dr. Bird.
Dr. Bird, who is from the Caribbean island of Antigua, is extremely active in the Caribbean’s glaucoma awareness movement. Earlier this year Dr. Bird was named president of the World Glaucoma Patient Association and received the World Council of Optometry’s International Optometrist of the Year award in Malaga, Spain. She is also a board member of The Glaucoma Foundation in New York and Caribbean coordinator for the World Glaucoma Week Committee.
We asked Dr. Bird of few questions about her career, her work on glaucoma and her view on the future of optometry. Read the Q&A here:
Dr. Bird, first of all, congratulations on being honored as "International Optometrists of the Year" by the World Council of Optometry, as well as "Alumna of the Year" by SUNY Optometry, it's been a great year for you! Can you start by telling us how you decided to study optometry and how you ended up coming to SUNY to study?
I stumbled upon optometry not truly by choice but in an interesting way. I had done an undergraduate degree at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica with a double major in Chemistry and Applied Chemistry and my first job was as a trainee sugar chemist at Antigua's lone sugar factory. After going for months of training on a Guyana sugar estate, the local industry failed financially and I had to decide on a new career path. After turning down a medical school place some years earlier I applied to four allied health disciplines and vowed that I'd pursue the first one that accepted me. Out of optometry, podiatry, pharmacy and pharmacology, optometry won out. Why SUNY? Well New York was comfortable for me since I had the most friends and family living there at the time, it was the only optometry school that I applied to.
You're extremely active in creating awareness about glaucoma in your native Caribbean. How did you become so passionate about this issue?
SUNY Optometry also played a huge part in developing my interest in glaucoma and raising its awareness. After an epidemiology lecture in my fourth year by Dr. Cristina Leske of SUNY Stony Brook describing her imminent Barbados Eye Study, I walked up to her and asked to work with her and she hired me even before graduation. She then sent me and my young family to Barbados where I was to see more open angle glaucoma than I ever knew existed. My passion to educate patients about the silent nature of the disease grew from there and was fueled by my mother's dilemma when I returned home to Antigua two years later to find her misdiagnosed and losing her sight from open angle glaucoma.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges that optometrists and other health professionals face in dealing with glaucoma and raising awareness about it?
The foremost challenge is the silent nature of the disease and the lack of awareness of it as an irreversibly blinding group of conditions. Because it involves slow, insidious loss encroaching from the side and affecting central vision late, patients present too late in the disease for effective intervention.
Secondly no single effective screening test has yet been invented so populations can't be screened en masse.
Thirdly and fourthly, the ageing of the world's populations and the increase of NCD's as a result are poised to increase the burden of the disease on our public health systems.
What would you say is the state of the optometric profession in Antigua and throughout the Caribbean?
The future of optometry in the Caribbean is bright with the recent introduction of schools of optometry at two Caribbean universities—the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and the University Of Guyana.
The only stumbling block, aside from fragile economies, lies in archaic legislation that persists in many Caribbean territories, including Antigua, that continue to restrict our scope of practice similar to the conditions that prevailed in the US thirty years ago.
You've accomplished a lot in your career so far, what more would you like to achieve? What advice would you offer to ODs who are just starting out?
Before I retire I'd like to see optometry laws fully revamped so that it can be practiced to its fullest scope in all Caribbean territories and I'd be happy to be a part of the process that brings that to fruition. I hope I live to see the achievement of zero blindness from diseases such as open angle glaucoma... and not just in the Caribbean. I believe this is achievable if the patients are brought fully on board in the management teams and are made team players, allowed to “own” their disease treatment plans and are empowered to lead in the decision making process. This will require greater emphasis on awareness campaigns, patient education, low vision rehabilitation strategies, etc. than presently exists.
My advice to new OD’s: Take business management courses as well as psychology courses early in the game. Believe in empowering your patients as partners and prepare to be amazed. Optometry is a wonderful career that should hold no regrets, only joy. Sight is our most precious sense and optometrists remain the gatekeepers to clear, comfortable vision.
SUNY Sports Vision Center Evaluates Future Major League Baseball Stars
Dr. Arnold Sherman, director of the University Eye Center’s Sports Vision Center, and a number of SUNY students performed eye and vision testing on highly recruited baseball prospects at the East Coast Pro Showcase in Syracuse, New York last August.
For this year's annual program, Dr. Sherman and his team, made up of students Chelsea Ashlaw, Matt Bovenzi, Jason Rutherford, Greg Borukhov, John Gialousakis, Tyler Maxon, as well as Dr. Robert Byne, partnered with Mr. Tim Osbourne of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau to test 133 of the best high school baseball players on the east coast of the United States.
The players, who were all chosen to appear at the showcase by Major League Baseball scouts, were tested for visual acuity, dynamic visual acuity, focus speed from far to near, oculomotor skills, eye-hand coordination, proaction, reaction, reaction adjustability, binocular coordination at 20 feet and three feet, stereopsis at 32 inches, speed and span of perception as well as for general eye health.
An astounding 99.8 percent of those tested had better than 20/20 acuity. Meanwhile, 54 percent of the players had difficulty with a far-to-near focus change and more than 80 percent over-aimed their eyes in their batting stance at 20 feet. Eleven percent of the players tested were referred to their doctors for various conditions, including one who suffered from Duane syndrome, a rare congenital disorder, and another with a preexisting ocular injury resulting in uncorrected anisometropia. About one-quarter of those who were tested wore contact lenses. The eye and vision testing results are made available to each Major League Baseball club in order to allow them to make informed decisions about future draft selections.
The East Coast Pro Showcase is designed to provide Major League Baseball scouts with an in-depth look at the playing skills of some of the nation's best high school baseball players. During the week that the players are at the showcase they have the unique opportunity to compete in games amongst some of the best talent on the east coast.
“We're really pleased to be partnering with the MLB Scouting Bureau and hope to include a vision performance enhancement program in the future; enabling the players involved in the showcase the opportunity to improve their dynamic vision skills,” Dr. Sherman said. “I am also very excited that MLB realizes vision skills are so fundamental to performance on the field. As Pete Rose said: “See it. Hit it.”
The showcase has produced many current Major League Baseball stars, including Mike Trout, David Wright, Brian McCann, Mark Teixteira, Prince Fielder and former Most Valuable Player Justin Verlander.
SUNY Community Provides Record-Breaking Support for World Sight Day
For the first time in its history, the SUNY College of Optometry celebrated World Sight Day on October 10. World Sight Day (WSD), which is sponsored by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and supports World Health Organization programs designed to eradicate avoidable blindness, is specifically designated to raise awareness about international vision impairment. WSD has been celebrated around the globe on the second Thursday of October since 2007.
This year WSD concentrated on universal eye health in coordination with the launching of a new, multi-year World Health Organization action plan aimed at the prevention of avoidable blindness around the world. The College focused on this theme and used it as an opportunity to create a positive sense of community as well as to raise funds to support various programs that prevent blindness globally. Additionally, SUNY Optometry took part in Optometry Giving Sight’s “World Sight Day Challenge,” the largest annual global fundraising campaign designed to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error.
In preparation for the day, student organizers facilitated a T-shirt drive with shirts designed specifically by Optometry Giving Sight. Student leaders aimed to get as many members of the SUNY Optometry community to wear the shirts as possible on October 10 and the initiative proved to be successful. In fact, the 184 shirts that SUNY sold eclipsed all of the other schools and colleges of optometry, setting a new World Sight Day Challenge record in the process. The sea of T-shirt at SUNY—in the College and throughout the University Eye Center—on October 10 also contributed to a remarkable sense of community and solidarity and helped raise awareness of preventable vision impairment.
To further engage patients in the clinic and visitors to the College, a table was set up in the lobby of SUNY’s midtown Manhattan building. Free magnets and stickers were offered to visitors to commemorate the day. Information about global vision impairment was also distributed along with an opportunity to make a donation.
During the day SUNY students also had the opportunity to participate in a “Guess the Spectacle Rx” contest for a small donation. The contest served not only as a fundraiser, but also as a fun way for students to hone their clinical skills. Fourth-year student Matt Bovenzi was the winner.
The day’s main event included two speakers, Dr. Christine Melton and Ms. Donna Campbell, from the Aravind Eye Foundation who spoke to the community about the Aravind Eye Care System, an internationally lauded eye and vision hospital headquartered in India.
Dr. Melton, an ophthalmologist who practices in Manhattan, founded the Aravind Eye Foundation in 2000. The foundation helps to build networks and raise money to support Aravind’s vital work in India where it has seen over 32 million patients during its nearly four-decade existence. Dr. Melton currently serves as the president of the board of directors for the foundation. Ms. Campbell is the executive director for the board and has been working with the Aravind Eye Foundation since 2011. The Aravind Eye Care System’s mission is to end needless blindness by providing all patients with the same high quality care regardless of their ability to pay. Today, Aravind is one of the largest eye care providers in the world and its sustainable health care model, which inspired a Harvard Business School case report, has helped the institution remain successful. In addition to patient services, Aravind conducts research, capacity building and consulting as well as manufacturing ophthalmic supplies.
“We were extremely pleased to be part of SUNY's World Sight Day celebration,” Ms. Campbell said. “Every SUNY student is already helping Aravind achieve our mission of eliminating needless blindness. Every time you see a patient, you are helping someone regain or maintain sight."
During the presentation, SUNY Optometry also hosted Mr. Kyle Kilness of NYSee20/20, an organization that works to increase health literacy and access to quality eye care to New York City’s underserved populations. Mr. Kilness has partnered often with the College's Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) organization in recent years hosting vision screenings and other activities.
A reception followed the presentation in SUNY’s Center for Student Life and Learning. Various competitions and games were held during the reception and students had the opportunity to win items from TOMS, a shoe and eyewear company known for its global philanthropic activities, such as sunglass straps, posters and discount codes.
“Without a doubt, the first World Sight Day celebration at SUNY Optometry was a great success,” said Elsa Sheerer, a third year OD student at SUNY and one of the organizers of the WSD activities.
World Sight Day efforts continued at SUNY throughout the remainder of October, including during Envision New York, the College’s marquee continuing education and alumni weekend. Ms. Sheerer, who is currently the president of SUNY Optometry’s Student Chapter of the American Public Health Association, spoke to attendees about WSD, Optometry Giving Sight, and the SUNY’s celebration just a week before.
Scholarly and Professional Activities
Congratulations to Dr. Ilana Gelfond-Polnariev, Assistant Clinical Professor, was offered, and gratefully accepted, membership on the International Examining Certification Board (IECB). The board, led by Dr. Irwin Suchoff, retired faculty member of the College, consists of 10 members. In addition, Dr. Gelfond-Polnariev, Treasurer of the National Beta Sigma Kappa (BSK), developed a relationship between BSK and COVD (Council of Vision Development) which helped to creat a $50,000 endowment fund for COVD fo research in visual development.
Rosenfield M, Bass S. Global Vision: Globalisation and advances in eye care delivery. Optician (8.30.13) 17-21.
Rosenfield M. Global Vision: The spread of technology. Optician (9.27.13) 36-37.
Gould JA, Ciuffreda KJ, Yadav NK, Thiagarajan P, Arthur B. (2013) The effect of retinal defocus on simple eye-hand and eye-foot reaction time in traumatic brain injury (TBI).) Brain Inj. 2013 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Gould JA, Ciuffreda KJ, Arthur B, Yadav, N. (2013) Retinal defocus and eye dominance effect on eye-hand reaction time. Optometry & Visual Performance, vol. 1, no. 4, 224-237.
Kunzevitzky NJ, Willeford K, Feuer WJ, Almeida M, Goldberg JL (2013). Amacrine cell subtypes differ in their intrinsic neurite growth capacity. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science. PMID: 24130183 (Ahead of print)
Mergler S, Mertens C, Valtink M, Reinach PS, Szekely VC, Slavi N, Garreis F, Abdelmessih S, Türker E, Fels G, Pleyer U. (2013) Functional significance of thermosensitive transient receptor potential melastatin channel 8 (TRPM8) expression in immortalized human corneal endothelial cells.Exp Eye Res. 2013 Oct 14. doi:pii: S0014-4835(13)00291-1. 10.1016/j.exer.2013.10.003. [Epub ahead of print]
Yadav NK, Ciuffreda KJ.(2013) Optimization of the pattern visual evoked potential (VEP) in the visually-normal and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) populations. Brain Inj. 2013 Oct 10. [Epub ahead of print]
Lam DY, Richdale K, Chalmers RL, Mitchell GL, Kinoshita BT, Jansen ME, Sorbara L, Wagner H. Repeatability of the Contact Lens Risk Survey. Accepted as a poster presentation at the 2013 American Academy of Optometry meeting, October 23-26, 2013, Seattle Washington.
Richdale K, Sinnott LT, Bullimore MA, Zadnik K. Lens and ciliary muscle dimensions as a function of age, accommodation, and refractive error. Accepted as a paper presentation at the 2013 American Academy of Optometry meeting, October 23-26, 2013, Seattle Washington.
Zheng Y, Gee J, Backus B, Richdale K. Automated Measurement of Lens Thickness Using Optical Coherence Tomography. Accepted as a poster presentation at the 2013 American Academy of Optometry meeting, October 23-26, 2013, Seattle Washington.
Peter Reinach was invited to be a Guest speaker at the Japanese Cornea Society Meeting in Wakayama Japan at Wakayama Medical School on November 8-9, 2013. The Title of his lecture is Functional Roles of Transient Receptor Potential Channels in Ocular Health and Disease.
The following members of the faculty were newly elected Fellows in the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) at its annual meeting in October:
Dr. Sandra Benaventes-Perez
Dr. James Li
Mr. Naveen Yadav
2013 American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Lectures, Presentations and Posters by SUNY Faculty and Students
Bass S, Patel T, and Sherman J. (2013) The Differential Diagnosis Of Paravenous Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) From Pigmented Paravenous Retinochoroidal Atrophy (PPRA), A "Pseudo RP" Masquerade, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Bass S and Tran I. (2013). The Differential Diagnosis Of Syndromes Presenting With Combined Vision And Hearing Loss: A Case Of Alport Syndrome, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Bass S and Sherman J (2013). Hi-Tech Workshop in the Detection of Glaucoma and Retinal Disease, , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Yan L , Roden K, Abarr K, Troilo D (2013). Brief Periods Of Focused Vision Are More Effective Than Myopic Defocus At Reducing Lens Induced Increases In Eye Growth , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Bittner A, Gould J, Rozanski C, Rosenfarb A, DeJong B, Benavente-Perez A, and Dagnelie G. (2013). Visual Function Improvements Following Electroacupuncture For Retinitis Pigmentosa, , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Ciuffreda K, Thiagarajan P , Capo-Aponte J, Ludlam D, Kapoor N (2013). Effect Of Combined Oculomotor Training On Reading Ability In Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Ciuffreda K and Thiagarjan P. (2013). Pupillary Dynamics To Light Are Slowed In Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI), AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Epshtein D, Lee J, Ahamed A and Sherman J (2013). Progression In Stargardt Disease As Visualized By Auto Fluorescence, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Gajjar A, Lim M, Harwerth R, and Patel N (2013) Effects Of Habitual Soft Contact Lens Wear On Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography RNFL Measures, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Klein, M, Viswanathan S, Burns S, Huang G (2013). Cone Spatial Density And Multifocal Electroretinogram (MFERG) A-Wave Amplitude: A Comparison Across Eccentricity, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Lam A, Portello J, and Rosenfield M. (2013). Effect Of Artificial Tears On Symptoms Of Computer Vision Syndrome (Cvs) In Dry Eye Patients, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Lam D, Richdale K, Chalmers R, Kinoshita B, Jansen M, Sorbara L, and Wagner H. (2013). Repeatability Of The Contact Lens Risk Survey, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Lim M, Gajjar A, Harwerth R, and Patel N (2013). Age-Related Loss Of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer (RNFL) Thickness After Compensating For Major Retinal Vasculature And Ocular Magnification, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
McGovern M and Soden, R (2013). Medical Compliance with Billing and Coding 2013, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Nehmad L, Yang A, Sharma M, and Pereira S (2013). A Comparative Study of Methods Used to Evaluate Visual Field Progression in Glaucoma , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Richdale K, Sinnott L, Bullimore M, and Zadnik K (2013). Lens and Ciliary Muscle Dimensions as a Function of Age, Accommodation And Refractive Error , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Rosenfield M. , Rosenlicht T, Huang Y, and Simon J (2013). Effect Of Colored Overlays On Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Slotnick, S, Ciuffreda, Yadav N and Byne R. (2013). Relation Between Prosopagnosia And Hemifield Loss Of Contrast Perception Following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) , AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Slotnick S, Epshtein D, Awad C, Nath S, and Sherman J (2013). Novices In Ophthalmic Field Trained To Identify Ocular Disease With High Sensitivity & Specificity Using Ivue(R) Iwellnessexam(TM) Test, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Truong J, Ciuffreda K, Han MH, Suchoff IB. (2013). Photosensitivity In Mild Traumatic Brain-Injury (MTBI): A Retrospective Analysis, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Yadav N, Thiagarajan P, and Ciuffreda K (2013). Effect of Oculomotor Vision Rehabilitation on Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) Responses and Visual Attention in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Yadav N and Ciuffreda K (2013). Optimization of the Pattern Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) in the Visually-Normal and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Populations , AAO Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Vasudevan B, Grk D, Cox M, Meehan K, Feis A and Ciuffreda K (2013). Comparison Of Non-Cycloplegic Objective Refraction In Darkness To Conventional Cycloplegic Subjective Refraction, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Rosenfield M (2013).Today's Technology: Yesterday's Eye Exam, AAO Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Young J, Kim WF, Wagner L. (2013).Orbital Venous-Lymphatic Malformation Misdiagnosed As A Chalazion, AAO, Seattle, WA, October 2013.
Zabala K, Richter S and Bass, S (2013). Macular OCT As The Key For Diagnosing Achromatopsia In Patients With Nystagmus, AAO Seattle, WA, October 2013.
We are happy to announce that Dr. Dipali Dave has joined the Graduate Center for Vision Research as the Sponsored Research Officer. Dr. Dave joins us after serving as Director of Human Clinical Trials in the Department of Ophthalmology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. She received her M.D. from the American University of Antigua College of Medicine and is currently working towards a Masters of Health Care Administration. Dr. Dipali will oversee human subject research at the College, including implementation of school policies and compliance.
College of Optometrists in Vision Development
Dr. Barry Tannen (pictured at left) was selected to serve on the Executive Board of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development at their Annual Meeting in October. Dr. Tannen also lectured in the continuing education program on "Research in Reading: The Work of Harold Solan, OD and others."
2013 SUNY alumna Dr. Miki Lynn D'Angelo (pictured with Dr. Tannen) serves this year as the College of Optometrists in Vision Development National Resident Liaison.
SUNY Launches Inaugural Externship Expo
Last month SUNY Optometry’s Career Development Center hosted the inaugural Annual Externship Expo. The Expo is designed to allow third year OD students the opportunity to become better acquainted with the externship opportunities that will be available to them as fourth year students and provide them with a closer look at the various modes of practice once they graduate.
“Externship experiences are paramount to a students’ career trajectory as those experiences may influence a students’ practice philosophy, mode of practice to seek and whether to pursue residency training,” said Francisco Lucio, SUNY Optometry’s director of career development and minority enrichment. “The Externship Expo gave students the opportunity to make a better informed decision regarding which externship sites to pursue.”
As part of the Expo, externship site doctors had the opportunity to attend a continuing education luncheon led by SUNY faculty members Dr. Patricia Modica and Dr. Richard Madonna. Students attended a networking presentation led by Mr. Lucio. The half-day event ended with a reception.
"This was a great opportunity for our students to meet lots of our adjunct faculty members in a short period of time. As a result, they were able to identify sites that would be most beneficial to their continued development as clinicians and professionals," said Dr. Modica.
The Expo featured 16 externship sites including: East New York, VA Boston, VA Hudson Valley, VA Lyons in New Jersey, VA North Port, VA Southern Arizona Tucson, VA West Haven, CT, Eye Care Unlimited, Ezra Medical Center, Fromer Eye Centers, Keller Army Hospital and New York Vision Group
The Expo was attended by 65 students from the Class of 2015.
SUNY Optometry Open House
SUNY Optometry's next Open House will be held on Thursday January 9th, 2014. Please RSVP to email@example.com with your name, email address and your number of guests. There is a limit of 2 guests per person.
SUNY Optometry Introduces Grand Rounds
Beginning last July, the SUNY College of Optometry began a monthly schedule of Grand Rounds coordinated by Dr. Andre Stanberry. During its initial few months the program has been extremely successful, hosting more than 20 speakers and including over 200 attendees.
Grand Rounds have a long tradition as a vital teaching tool for health care professionals. During Grand Rounds interesting and often complex cases are presented and discussed between students, residents and faculty.
The entire College community, including alumni, are invited to attend and participate in Grand Rounds at SUNY. For more information please contact Dr. Stanberry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNY Optometry in the Media - October 2013
Recent mentions in the media of SUNY Optometry community members:
The September issue of Women in Optometry includes many SUNY-related individuals, including a cover story on Dr. Anna Marie Fernandez. Other SUNY-affiliated doctors included in the issue are: Dr. Jillia Bird, Dr. Gloria Chow, Dr. Andrea Thau, Dr. Kara Rose Pasner and Dr. Ilana Gelfond-Polnariev.
SUNY researcher Dr. Benjamin Backus is consulted and quoted for “The Mind-Bending Science Of James Turrell's Art” appearing in Popular Science.
The New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) presented its Scientific Achievement Award to SUNY’s Dr. Diane Adamczyk. Check out the article in the Bergen Record.
SUNY’s Dr. Mark Rosen is consulted for this article about vision and smartphones in the Seattle Times.
- Dr. Thau is consulted and quoted in “What Every Contact Lens Wearer Needs to Know (But Is Afraid To Ask)” in the Huffington Post.
Record Amount of Scholarship Support for Students
Nearly two dozen students were honored by members of the SUNY College of Optometry’s administration and the College’s foundation the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) during a lunchtime presentation on October 2. Fourteen different scholarships were handed out to 22 students during the event in the College’s second-floor seminar room, and it offered a unique opportunity for some scholarship donors to connect directly with the recipients of their scholarship.
“The decision to donate money for a scholarship is a deeply person one,” President Heath told the gathering, while noting that it was particularly poignant for the donors to directly interact with the beneficiaries of their generosity.
OCNY trustee, Dennis Gehr and his wife Lesley were on hand to present their scholarship to Marina Davydova of the Class of 2017. While OCNY vice president Barbara Saltzman presented her scholarship to Class of 2016 student Jenna Salner.
President of SUNY Optometry’s Alumni Association, Dr. Denise Whittam, presented both the alumni scholarships and the alumni memorial scholarship and Dr. Kristen Fry, the immediate past president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Academy of Optometry, presented the NJOA Scholarship at the event.
President Heath also reminded those in attendance about the vital work that the OCNY does in support of scholarships for students at the College and encouraged the beneficiaries to remember this day and think about giving back once they’ve established their own careers in the future.
This year a record total of $247,000 in scholarship support has been provided to students at the College.
The following scholarships were given to the following recipients during the event:
Presented by: Dr. Denise Whittam, President, Alumni Association
Richard Chu (Class of 2017)
Teresa Nguyen (Class of 2017)
Alumni Memorial Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. Whittam
Rima Bakhru (Class of 2015)
Scott Tasker Folsom Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. David A. Heath, President, SUNY College of Optometry
Christine Corrente (Class of 2015)
Kenneth Wenthen (Class of 2015)
Rania Hallal (Class of 2015)
NYSOA Scholarship Dr. Alden Haffner Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. Ida Chung, Section Chief of Pediatrics
Rima Bakhru (Class of 2015)
Chelsea Ashlaw (Class of 2015)
Presented by: Dr. Kristen Fry, President, NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry
Jennifer Turturea (Class of 2017)
Dr. Nathan and Laura Millman Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. Heath
Brittney Gewolb (Class of 2016)
Ellen McCrary (Class of 2016)
Matt Siu (Class of 2016)
Brenda Liang (Class of 2016)
Dr. Jerome Weiss Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs
Jeremy Whitney (Class of 2014)
Jeff White Memorial Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. Heath
Colleen Dye (Class of 2014)
Dr. Harold Solan Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. Neera Kapoor, Chief Vision Rehabilitation Services
Danielle Kalberer (Class of 2014)
Harold M. Spielman Scholarship
Presented by: Mr. Harold Spielman, OCNY Trustee
Raul Daniels (Class of 2017)
Barbara Saltzman Scholarship
Presented by: Ms. Barbara Saltzman, OCNY Trustee
Jenna Salner (Class of 2016)
Dennis and Lesley Gehr Scholarship
Presented by: Lesley and Dennis Gehr, OCNY Trustee
Marina Davydova (Class of 2017)
Dr. Sanford and Claire Levy Scholarship
Presented by: Dr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs
Chelsea Ashlaw (Class of 2015)
Tea Avdic (Class of 2016)
Christine Morra (Class of 2016)
Presented by: Dr. Troilo
Tyler Maxon (Class of 2015)
October College Research Activities
Robert Ennis, a doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Vision Science, successfully defended his PhD dissertation, "The Role of Mental Representations in the Geometrical Structure of Color Similarity Judgments" on August 27, 2013. His dissertation advisor was Dr. Qasim Zaidi. Dr. Ennis has secured a position as a Post-Doctorate at the lab of Karl Gegenfurtner at Justus Liebig University Giessen in Giessen, Germany.
Bade A, Boas M, Gallaway M, Mitchell GL, Scheiman M, Kulp MT, Cotter SA, Rouse M; CITT Study Group (2013) Relationship between clinical signs and symptoms of convergence insufficiency. Optom Vis Sci. 2013 Sep;90(9):988-95. doi: 10.1097
Richdale K, Lam DY, Mitchell GL, Chalmers RL, Jansen ME, Kinoshita BT, Sorbara L, Wagner H. (2013) Geographic and temporal risk factors for interruptions to soft contact lens wear in young wearers. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2013 Oct;36(5):253-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 Mar 15.
Rubinos C, Villone K, Mhaske PV, White TW, Srinivas M. (2013) Functional Effects of Cx50 Mutations Associated with Congenital Cataracts. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]
Thiagarajan P, Ciuffreda KJ.(2013) Visual fatigue effects on vergence dynamics in asymptomatic individuals. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2013 Aug 22. doi: 10.1111/opo.12083. [Epub ahead of print]
Troilo D. (2013) In memoriam: Josh Wallman, PhD, 1943-2012: Editorial introducing the special issue of Experimental Eye Research in tribute to Josh Wallman. Exp Eye Res. 2013 Sep;114:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 Apr 18.
Yang Y, Wang Z, Yuang H , Wang L, Gillespie S, Wolosin JM, Bernstein A, Reinach P (2013) TRPV1 potentiates myofibroblast development. PLoS ONE (accepted for publication).
Mergler S, Derckx R, Reinach PS, Garreis F, Böhm A, Schmelzer L, Skosyrski S, Ramesh N, Abdelmessih S, Polat OK, Khajavi N, Riechardt AI. Calcium regulation by temperature-sensitive transient receptor potential channels in human uveal melanoma cells. Cell Signal. 2013 Sep 29. doi:pii: S0898-6568(13)00298-2. 10.1016/j.cellsig.2013.09.017. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24084605 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Related citations Select item 23838019
Alves M, Fonseca EC, Alves MF, Malki LT, Arruda GV, Reinach PS, Rocha EM. Dry eye disease treatment: a systematic review of published trials and a critical appraisal of therapeutic strategies. Ocul Surf. 2013 Jul;11(3):181-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 May 10. PMID: 23838019 [PubMed - in process] Related citations Select item 23707408
Bernardes A, Souza PC, Muniz JR, Ricci CG, Ayers SD, Parekh NM, Godoy AS, Trivella DB, Reinach P, Webb P, Skaf MS, Polikarpov I. Molecular mechanism of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α activation by WY14643: a new mode of ligand recognition and receptor stabilization. J Mol Biol. 2013 Aug 23;425(16):2878-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2013.05.010. Epub 2013 May 21. PMID: 23707408 [PubMed - in process] Related citations Select item 23391327
Paula JS, Ribeiro VR, Chahud F, Cannellini R, Monteiro TC, Gomes EC, Reinach PS, Rodrigues Mde L, Silva-Cunha A. Bevacizumab-loaded polyurethane subconjunctival implants: effects on experimental glaucoma filtration surgery. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul-Aug;29(6):566-73. doi: 10.1089/jop.2012.0136. Epub 2013 Feb
Stewart Bloomfield, PhD, was invited to speak at Grand Rounds on The Roles of Gap Junctions in Retinal Physiology and Pathology in the Department of Ophthalmology at Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY on September 25, 2013.
Partners for Sight Foundation Renews Support for SUNY Homebound Program for the Sixth Time
The Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has awarded the Optometric Center of New York a renewed $30,000 grant for its Homebound Program. This support is critical for the continuation of eye and vision care that is provided by the University Eye Center to homebound residents in Queens, as well as for providing lamps, eyeglasses and low vision devices to homebound patients in Manhattan. This is the sixth grant from the Foundation.
Vision loss puts individuals at increased risk for a variety of dangers including falls, fractures, depression or mistakenly taking the wrong medications, all of which can result in earlier admission into nursing homes and increased costs to the health care system. The College’s Homebound Program offers much-improved quality of life for patients, enabling them to perform the tasks of daily living while remaining safer at home. The renewed grant will offer access to essential services for homebound populations particularly at risk, including older adults, people with multiple disabilities and/or other health conditions which can make it challenging, if not impossible, to access available health services in the community. A portion of the funds will also be allocated for the purchase of lamps to address issues in the home like proper lighting, and will also be used for eyeglasses and low vision devices.
“We are delighted that the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has continued to offer its support to this vital program for the sixth year in a row,” said Dr. Richard Soden, vice president clinical affairs, and executive director of the University Eye Center at SUNY Optometry. “
Other recent activities:
- The Badgeley Trust recently provided a $10,000 unrestricted grant to the OCNY
- Hyde and Watson gave a $5,000 grand\t to purchase equipment for the Bowery Project.
- Alcon has committed to providing a $45,000 grant to the Partners in Education Program which benefits SUNY students, faculty, residents and Envision New York.
Graduate Center for Vision Research Holds Open House
On September 18, the Graduate Center for Vision Research held a Research Open House. The event introduced incoming, first-year optometry students to the many research opportunities at the College as well as the graduate programs offered in conjunction to their OD degree.
The event commenced in the afternoon where Dr. Stewart Bloomfield, director of the Graduate Center for Vision Research, spoke in depth about the graduate programs offered at the College. Besides dual degree programs (OD/MS, PhD/OD), there is also a singular PhD degree program offered to those interested specifically in vision science.
Graduate student Kathleen Abarr spoke about her experience as a dual degree student as an OD/MS student while doctoral candidate Lauren Wool spoke about her research titled, “Salience of Unique and Other Hues.” Drs. Alexandra Benavente, Christina Llerena and Robert McPeek also spoke on their respective research.
After the speakers concluded, a reception followed on the third floor of the Center for Student Life and Learning where students were able to view poster presentations by the various research labs at the College. Students gained insight into the clinical and basic research currently being conducted at the College. Selected topics included the Effects of Artificial Tears on Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome in Dry Eye Patients and Risk Factors for the Development of Soft Contact Lens Complications.
SUNY Doctors Educate Weill-Cornell Clinicians about InfantSEE
Last July Associate Clinical Professor, Dr. Andrea Thau and Associate Professor and Chief of Pediatric Services at the University Eye Center, Dr. Ida Chung addressed a group of 30 pediatric residents at the Weill-Cornell Medical Center about the InfantSEE® program. This was the first such collaboration between the SUNY College of Optometry and Weill-Cornell Medical and was an outgrowth of the highly successful InfantSEE® event held at the College last spring.
The presentation by Drs. Thau and Chung was designed to foster an exchange of knowledge and promote the importance of early eye examinations for infants. Early eye examinations are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular and visual disorders that can affect the overall development of a child and impact the child’s social, motor and speech skills. The InfantSEE® program, a public health program coordinated by volunteer AOA member optometrists, provides one no-cost vision assessment of a baby’s eye and vision health between the ages of 6 and 12 months.
SUNY Optometry is proud to be an active participant in the InfantSEE® program since its inception. To date, more than 100,000 babies have been examined through the nationwide InfantSEE® program. Discussions such as the one conducted by Drs. Thau and Chung at Weill-Cornell, have helped to increase the visibility of this important program among physicians and other health care practitioners across the United States.
Q&A: Dr. Diane Adamczyk, Director of Residency Education
The 2013-14 residency class is the largest in the history of the SUNY College of Optometry’s clinical residency education program. In light of this, we’ve asked Dr. Diane Adamczyk, director of residency education here at SUNY, a few questions about residency programs at the College and the future of residency education.
Q: One of the College’s missions—as it pertains to both education and patient care—is to provide for the future health care needs of our community. How do you think the residency program at SUNY contributes to this important objective?
A: Residency education in many ways is where one should look to see where the future of optometry and health care is going. It provides the resident with advanced clinical competencies that go beyond the core training of the professional education. It is in residency education that one can get an idea of where the profession is going. SUNY has always been a leader in residency education, setting the example for the country in meeting the health care needs of today, and preparing the practitioner for the needs of tomorrow.
Q: SUNY has a long history of providing clinical residency education yet the program has continued to grow and evolve over the years. Can you tell us about some of the newer residency programs that are being offered and some of what the College is hoping to offer in the future?
A: SUNY has a rich residency history, beginning with the first residency program established in the country, back in 1975. We have since grown to 15 diverse programs with a total of 37 residents (as was mentioned, this is the largest residency class in the history of the College). Our two most recent programs are Fromer Eye Centers and Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, the first being an ophthalmology/optometry practice, and the second a hospital-based program, both seeing a broad and diverse population of patients. In addition to continued development of residency programs in this area, I also see growth in rehabilitation programs, such as our Acquired Brain Injury Residency.
Q: What do you think are the most important reasons for an optometrist to do a residency today?
A: Residencies develop not only advanced skills that go beyond what can be learned in the professional program but also sharpen the clinical thinking skills that are critical in providing exceptional patient care and clinical thinking skills that will remain with the practitioner their entire professional career.
Q: What would you say to somebody who is on the fence about doing a residency?
A: Get off the fence --- there is no question --- if there is one decision that you make that will change the course of your professional career in ways you can’t even begin to imagine --- it’s doing a residency.
Fifth Annual Recognition Awards Ceremony Highlights Excellence
On August 16 the College held its Fifth Annual Recognition Awards Ceremony in the Schwarz Theatre. Designed to celebrate the contributions, service and achievements of faculty and staff at the College, this year’s ceremony had an old-school Hollywood theme that featured a humorous video tribute to both the optometric profession and the silent film era as well as cleverly photo-shopped images of the award recipients as movie stars.
During the program, President Heath recognized more than a two dozen employees of the College, including those who have served 25 years or more as well as the most recent retirees. The Community Spirit Awards went to Ms. Kimberly Price and Dr. Catherine Pace-Watson. The Unsung Hero Award went to Mr. Rockley Lawes and the President’s Merit Award in Excellence was awarded to Dr. Guilherme Albieri.
The years of service recognitions and retirees for 2013 are:
40 Years of Service:
Dr. Harold Friedman
Dr. Jerry Rapp
Mr. Thomas Flagg
30 Years of Service:
Dr. Benjamin Freed
Ms. Ann Warwick
25 Years of Service:
Ms. Karen DeGazon
Dr. Catherine Pace-Watson
Mr. David Bowers
Ms. Janeth Scaturro
Dr. Tanya Carter
Dr. Lloyd Haskes
Dr. Marlene Jurman
Dr. Steven Ritter
Ms. Ellen Baberadt
Dr. Joel Warshowsky
Dr. Robert Byne
Dr. Neil Falasca
Dr. Kenneth Landesman
Dr. Staurt Rothman
Dr. Rodolfo Rodriguez
Dr. Michael Yellen
Dr. Steven Shaby
Dr. Terry Scheid
Dr. Helen Duan
Career Development Center Launches Distinctive Mentoring Program
The SUNY College of Optometry’s Career Development Center (CDC) has unveiled a one-of-a-kind mentoring program that is designed to enrich and enhance the academic and professional development of students and residents at the College. In keeping with the CDC’s mission, as well as the College’s new strategic plan which focuses heavily on providing assistance to students, residents and alumni in helping them to realize their career goals, this new program will provide a proactive and meaningful way to network, gain and develop valuable skills and build first-hand knowledge of the optometric profession.
The Family of Mentors Program (FMP) is an easy-to-use, online platform that will match mentors and mentees intelligently based on specific criteria such as career goals, geography and other factors. Once paired, the mentors and mentees will then move through a series of goals and exploratory questions based on the needs and desires of the mentee. Along the way the FMP will provide both individuals with helpful prompts to keep the process on track and moving forward.
“Ultimately with the Family of Mentors Program we’re looking to capitalize on our vast network of alumni as well as our professional and organizational partnerships to create meaningful relationships between students and mentors in order to help positively impact the optometric profession,” said Mr. Francisco Lucio, SUNY’s director of career development and minority enrichment.
To launch the program SUNY has initially developed a pool of approximately 50 mentors drawn from its community of more than 2,200 alumni as well as from the ranks of organized optometry such as the New York State Optometric Association and the corporate world. Not all mentors are required to be optometrists and Mr. Lucio is hoping for a broad cross-section of professional experience among the pool of mentors.
“We want to have a wide variety of mentors available for our students and residents to choose from,” Mr. Lucio said. “There are so many modes of practice within optometry and so many different career goals that our students and residents are interested in and can choose from. We want to be able to offer connections to mentors that will suite anyone’s interests and needs.”
Mr. Lucio said that mentors must have a strong commitment to the CDC’s mission of helping the students and residents who pass through SUNY’s doors realize their professional goals. They must also be willing to commit to providing at least one hour each month to their mentee, whether through the online FMP platform or through face-to-face meetings.
“No other school or college of optometry has engaged in this kind of formalized mentoring program for their students and residents,” Mr. Lucio said. “So we’re excited to see the FMP quickly become a vital tool for them to achieve their professional and personal goals.”
Dr. Andrea Thau Elected Secretary-Treasurer of the AOA
Dr. Andrea Thau, associate clinical professor at the College, was elected secretary-treasurer of the American Optometric Association (AOA) at its 116th Annual AOA Congress and 43rd Annual AOSA (American Optometric Student Association) Conference: Optometry's Meeting® in San Diego, California this past June.
First elected to the AOA Board of Trustees in 2007, Dr. Thau was re-elected at Optometry's Meeting® in June 2010. She will not only have responsibilities as secretary-treasurer, but will also serve as chair of the AOA Constitution and Bylaws and Finance Committees and be a member of the AOA Executive and Investment Committees. In addition, Dr. Thau also will serve as board liaison to Optometry Cares® - The AOA Foudation and to the affiliate associations in Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University.
Prior to her election to the Board, Dr. Thau served as president of the New York State Optometric Association -- the first female president in the history of the association. She is also past-president, and the first woman to serve as president of the New York Academy of Optometry where she also served as membership chair for 18 years.
Dr. Thau is an alumna of SUNY Optometry and has been a member of the faculty since graduation.
SUNY Optometry in the Media
Dr. Andrea Thau appeared on WNBC News 4 NY on Monday, August 12, 2013 to comment on the importance of comprehensive eye examinations for children before they start school. Click here to see video.
College Research Activity
Alves M, Fonseca EC, Alves MF, Malki LT, Arruda GV, Reinach PS, rocha EM (2013). Dry eye disease treatment: a systematic review of published trials and a critical appraisal of therapeutic strategies. Ocul Surf. 2013 Jul;11(3):181-92. doi:10.1016/j.jtos.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 May 10. PMID:23838019 [PubMed - in process] Select item 23707408
Bernardes A, Souza PC, Muniz JR, Ricci CG, Ayers Sd, Parekh NM, Godoy AS, Trivella DB, Reinach PS, Webb P, Skaf MS, Polikarpov I. (2013). Molecular Mechanism of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor α Activation by WY14643: a New Mode of Ligand Recognition and Receptor Stabilization. J Mol Biol. 2013 Aug 23;425(16):2878-93. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2013.05.010. Epub 2013 May 21. P MID: 23707408 [PubMed - in process]
Caldwell MD, Hu SS, Viswanathan S, Bradshaw H, Kelly ME, Straiker A. (2013). A GPR18-based signalling system regulates IOP in murine eye. Br J Pharmacol. 2013 jun;169(4):834-43.
Hue JE, Rosenfield M, Saá G. (2013). Reading from electronic devices versus hardcopy test. Work. (in press).
Paula JS, Ribeiro VR, Chahud F, Cannellini R, Monteiro TC, de Lima Gomes EC, Reinach PS, Veronese Rodrigues Mde L, Silva-Cunha A. (2013). Bevacizumab-loaded polyurethane subconjunctival implants: effects on experimental glaucoma filtration surgery. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul-Aug; 29(6):566-73. doi: 10.1089/jop.2012.0136. Epub 2013 Feb 7. PMID: 23391327 [PubMed - in process]
Rosenfield M. Global Viaion. Part 6. globalisation and spread of technology. Optician (in press).
Sanchez HA, Villone K, Srinivas M, and Verselis VK. (2013). The D50N mutation and syndromic deafness: altered Cx26 hemichannel properties caused by effects on the pore and intersubunit interactions. The Journal of General Physiology, June 24, 2013, vol. 142, no. 1, 3-22. Doi:10.1085/jgp.201310962.
Schwartz SH (2013). Geometrical and Visual Optics: A Clinical Introduction, Second Edition. McGraw-Hill:New York.
Volgyi B, Pan F, Paul DL, Wang JT, Huberman AD, and Bloomfield SA. (2013). Gap Junctions are Essential for Generating the Correlated Spike Activity of Neighboring Retinal Ganglion Cells. PloS ONE 8(7) e69426. Boi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069426.
Zaidi Q, Li A, Wong C, Cohen EH and Meng X. (2013) Chapter 22. Hard-Wired and Plastic Mechanisms in 3D Shape Perception in Shape Perception in Human and Computer Vision: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Eds., Sven J. Dickinson and Zygmunt Pizlo, Springer-Verlag, London.
Zhuang J, Stoelzel CR, Bereshpolova Y, Huff JM, Hei X, Alonso JM, Swadlow HA. (2013). Layer 4 primary visual cortex of the awake rabbit: contrasting properties of simple cells and putative feedforward inhibitory interneurons. The Journal of Neuroscience 33(28):11372-89, PMID:23843510. PMCID:3724558
Caziot B, Rolfs M, Backus BT. The orienting of attention across binocular disparity. (2013) The European Conference in Visual Perception on August 26, 2013.
Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Yan L, Roden K, Abarr K, Troilo D. (2013) The Role of Peripheral Refraction in the Temporal Integration of Induced Eye Growths in Marmosets. International Myopia Conference (IMC). August. Asilomar, CA. US
Sedgwick, HA (2013) Contact relations in the visual perception of spatial layout. Invited talk presented at the Asia Pacific Conference on Vision. July 5-8, 2013, Suzhou, China.
Sedgwick, HA (2013) Orientation, location, and scale in the visual perception of extrapersonal space. Invited talk presented at the Hong Kong Univeristy - International Workshop in Vision Science, July 11, 2013, Hong Kong.
Troilo, D, Nour, A, and Benavente, A. (2013) Manipulation of Eye Growth and Refractive State using Contact Lenses, International Myopia Conference 2013, Monterey, California, August 19-22.
Meeting Abstracts Presented at VSS 2013
Adams-Bedford J, Wallis G, and Backus B. (2013). The impact of intention, action, and learnt contingency on visual perception. Journal of Vision, July 24, 20013, vol. 13, no. 9, article 754. doi:10.1167/13.9.754.
Cai L, Yuan A, and Backus B. (2013). Motion perception in RDK with signal and noise dots distributed across eyes. Journal of Vision, July 24, 2013, vol. 13 no 9 article 934. doi:10.1167/13.9.934.
Giesel, M and Zaidi Q. (2013). Constituents of material property perception. Journal of Vision, July 24, 2013, vol. 13 no 9 article 206. doi:10.1.1167/13.9.206.
Jain, A, Doerschner K and Zaidi Q. Identification of nongrid 3D shapes from motion cues in the fovea and periphery. Journal of Vision, July 24, 2013, vol. 13 no 9 article 264. doi:10.1167/13.9.264.
Komban S, Jin J, Wang Y, Lashgari R, Kremkow J, Alonso JM and Zaidi Q. (2013). Perceptual consequences of temporal differences in ON and Off channels. Journal of Vision , July 24, 2013, vol. 13 no. 9 article 1022. Doi: 10.1167/13.9.1022.
Llerena Law C, Backus BT, Yuan A, Natanelova O, Steele L, Tseng I and Cai L. (2013). Use of dichoptic random dot kinematograms to assess amblyopic suppression. Journal of Vision, July 24, 2013, vol. 12 no. 9, article 544. doi:10.1167/13.9.544.
Zaidi Q. (2013). Phenomenology and neurons. Journal of Vision, July 24, 2013, vol. 12, no. 9 article 1395. doi:10.1167/13.9.1395.
12th Annual Envision New York Continuing Education Meeting and Alumni Reunion
The 12th Annual Envision New York Continuing Education meeting and Alumni Reunion will be held at the SUNY College of Optometry on Friday, October 18 - Monday, October 21, 2013. This year's conference will continue to offer world-class optometric education and the opportunity to socialize with old friends and colleagues. Our tradition has been to offer new and distinctive programs -- this year is no different.
Highlights for 2013 program include:
- For the first time, Envision will expand to Friday night, offering a panel discussion on "The Challenges of Healthcare Reform for the Profession of Optometry". The discussion is available for both doctor and student registration. It will be followed by a "Meet the Exhibitors" reception and an opportunity to mingle with other attendees and with students from the College.
- The always popular Envision reception and Alumni Reunion will be held at the Millennium Broadway Hotel. The SUNY College of Optometry "Alumna of the Year" will be honored at this reception.
- A hands-on workshop will allow attendees to utilize high-tech diagnostic instruments.
- For the second consecutive year, the Office of Continuing Professional Education is offering a five-hour Low Vision track that can be used towards New York State Low Vision Certification.
- A three-hour symposium on Genetics in Eye Care will conclude the program on Monday.
Once again, the Millennium Broadway Hotel is offering exceptional rates for Envision attendees. The Office of Continuing Professional Education looks forward to seeing you for a fantastic Envision New York weekend!
Campaign Update: Our Goal is in Sight!
Thanks to the generosity of donors to The Vision and The Promise Campaign, the Optometric Center of New York, the College's foundation, will be able to increase its support of programs that help the City's underserved.
Our project at the Bowery Mission will have a new autorefractor and phoropter because of gifts from friends of the College.
A member of the staff has designated her gift to benefit glaucoma patients.
One of our faculty has created a scholarship endowment in her name that will support an academically qualified and financially needy student. This gift was made in the form of a bequest. The interest from this endowment will be given as the scholarship while the principal will remain untouched and in perpetuity.
Three alumni have joined together to buy a locker plaque with their names prominently displayed in the new Center for Student for Life and Learning as part of the campaign's Locker Legacy effort.
We have reached 46% giving from faculty and staff! Thank you for your continued support.
Please feel free to contact Ann Warwick and staff at extension 5600, or visit the 18th floor Institutional Advancement Suite, if you have any questions.
Allene Reuss Memorial Trust Helps University Eye Center Provide Care for Needy New Yorkers
For the eighth year in a row the Allene Reuss Memorial Trust has provided support to the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) for its Indigent Patient Fund, a pool of money that was created by the OCNY to provide financial support that enables thousands of people from throughout New York City to have access to high-quality, vital vision care at the University Eye Center (UEC).
The Indigent Patient Fund, which has been in operation at the UEC for nearly four decades, provides patient care to both children and adults who are either uninsured or underinsured and are not financially able to pay for their care in full. Typically about 1,500 patients from all five boroughs of the city receive assistance annually through the fund. However, the number of patients served by the fund has been on the rise in recent years.
The fund enables increased access to essential eye care services for patients who might not otherwise seek the care that they need. In many cases, the care that they receive thanks to support from the fund helps those adults and children live better, happier and more productive lives. Last year the $25,000 Allene Reuss grant allowed the fund to treat nearly 200 patients.
“We’re very proud to provide this valuable service to our community,” said Dr. Richard Soden, executive director of the UEC and an OCNY trustee. “And we’re grateful for the continued support that the Allene Reuss Memorial Trust has provided for nearly the past decade as we look to expand this important community program even further.”
Residents Honored During Ceremony
Check out some photos from SUNY’s event recognizing the hard work of its 2013 class of residents.
SUNY Earns Spirit Award at Student Bowl
At last month’s 116th Annual American Optometric Association Congress and 43rd Annual American Optometric Students Association Conference—otherwise known as Optometry’s Meeting—it was the extraordinary energy and unyielding enthusiasm of SUNY’s large contingent of students at the Varilux® Optometry Student Bowl that made a lasting impression in San Diego. Sponsored by Essilor USA, this enormously popular and much-anticipated event, which is in its 22nd year, was attended by well over 1,500 students, doctors and others who were in town for the meeting. Matt Bovenzi (Class of 2014) adeptly represented SUNY with an exceptional effort and for the first time in the event’s history there was a tie for first place between students representing the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Nova Southeastern University.
But it was the passion and zeal of the SUNY contingent that won the day. With students from every school and college of optometry gathered in matching t-shirts, sporting signs and even belting out original songs and chants, SUNY out shinned them all and earned the coveted “Spirit Award” which, along with well-deserved recognition for three hours of gusto, comes the responsibility of producing the “rules video” that will be shown at next year’s Student Bowl in Philadelphia.
‘Women in Optometry’ Recognizes SUNY Graduate
The June issue of the Review of Optometry’s supplement Women in Optometry has recognized 2013 SUNY graduate Dr. Irene Tran as one of the 16 women who earned top honors from North America’s 22 schools and colleges of optometry this year.
SUNY Optometry VP Named Business Officer of the Year
The State University of New York Business Officers Association (SUBOA) bestowed Mr. David A. Bowers, the SUNY College of Optometry’s vice president for administration and finance, with the prestigious 2013 Robert J. Wagner Business Officer of the Year Award at the association’s annual conference in Rye Brook, NY last May. The award, which has been conferred by SUBOA since 2006, is the association’s highest honor and is given, according to its citation, "in recognition of outstanding performance, high professional standards and significant contribution to SUNY and SUBOA.”
Mr. Bowers joined the College more than 25 years ago, in 1988, and has served on the SUBOA executive board since 1998. He served as SUBOA president from 2002-2004. In addition to his role as vice president for administration and finance, Mr. Bowers serves as the College’s internal control officer and as the campus operations manager for The Research Foundation for The State University of New York. He served as officer-in-charge of the College from July 2006 to June 2007 while a presidential search was being conducted.
Mr. Bowers holds master’s degrees in business administration and urban planning. Prior to joining SUNY Optometry, he held positions as the associate dean for administration and finance in the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, the assistant dean for administration and finance in the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and as a research associate in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.
The award is named in honor of Robert J. Wagner, a former business officer from SUNY's University at Buffalo. He is a past-president of SUBOA and currently serves as senior advisor to the president of the University at Buffalo Foundation.
Office of Continuing Professional Education Launches Two Online Courses
The Office of Continuing Professional Education has launched two online courses; each course is COPE approved for one hour of distance learning CE credit.
- Dr. Leon Nehmad presents: “Practical Approach to Visual Field Testing and Interpretation for Glaucoma”
- Dr. Jerome Sherman presents: “VEP: Objective Assessment of macula and optic nerve function with office based VEPs”
Also, Drs. David Libassi & Ralph Gundel present Contact Lenses for the Post Surgical at the Breakfast & Learn program on Sunday, August 11, 2013 from 8:00am-12:00pm. The course will be COPE approved for four hours of CE credit.
Registration is also now open for New Jersey Orals Certification program on Friday, September 20th- Sunday, September 22nd. This course fulfills many state licensing requirements for prescribing oral pharmaceuticals including New Jersey’s State Board of Optometrists. The course is presented by nationally recognized educators and held over the weekend at the College. It includes the six hours of CPR/AED required for the professional rescuer and 24 hours of COPE & CE Broker approved continuing education credits.
SAVE THE DATE: 12th Annual Envision New York October 18th-21st. Over 40 hours of CE credit will be offered at this year’s Envision New York along with CEE/TQ, NJ Orals and LV courses. Also, for the first time ever we will be presenting a Friday night doctor's lecture and exhibitors cocktail reception. Stay tuned for more information soon.
Please visit our website for additional upcoming programs and information.
OCNY Receives Support to Help Those in Need in New York City
The Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the philanthropic arm of the SUNY College of Optometry, recently received a $25,000 grant from the Allene Reuss Memorial Trust in support of the College and the University Eye Center’s efforts to provide eye and vision care to indigent patients throughout New York City.
Meanwhile, the OCNY has also received a series of recent grants to assist in establishing a unique partnership between the College and the Bowery Mission in New York City that will help to provide high-quality eye and vision care for many of the city’s homeless population. A total of $30,000 in grants from The Lydia Collins deForest Charitable Trust, The Chatlos Foundation, the Ethel Kennedy Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation and the Tides Foundation will help to directly build on an existing, volunteer collaboration between faculty and students at the College and the Bowery Mission. This fall, students will begin rotating through the Mission to provide care to hundreds of homeless and transient patients in New York.
Both of these vital initiatives need continuous support in order to provide much-needed care. To make a tax-deductible gift please visit our website.
SUNY Optometry Scholars Honored at Reception
With 40 grants, 47 papers published and a total of $3.1 million of research funding over the past year there was much to celebrate at a reception held in honor of the scholarly activities of faculty at the SUNY College of Optometry on June 17.
“We’ve made great progress in our research,” Dr. David Troilo SUNY Optometry’s vice president and dean for academic affairs told the faculty, administrators, staff and students gathered in the College’s Center for Student Life and Learning overlooking Bryant Park.
Troilo pointed out recent renewal of grants awarded to various SUNY Optometry faculty members, noting that this was indicative of the excellent scholarship being produced at the College. He also recognized the recent $1.6 million five-year research project, supported by funding from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., awarded to SUNY faculty member Dr. Alexandra Benavente-Perez. He also lauded the efforts of the College’s new Clinical Vision Research Center and that work that it has engaged in since opening its doors earlier this year.
SUNY Optometry President David A. Heath reiterated the importance of research and scholarship for the College’s mission.
“Our long term success is tied to the intellectual leadership of our community,” Heath told the gathering before thanking the faculty for its impressive output of work.
During the ceremony the College also honored its recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, Dr. Andrea Yang. A total of 312 faculty members from throughout the 64 campuses of SUNY received the prestigious annual award.
"SUNY employs an exemplary body of faculty and staff across the state and the annual presentation of these awards underscores our deep appreciation for those who serve SUNY campuses, students, and communities with the highest levels of distinction,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher in a statement. “Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees.”
In addition, PhD student Reza Lashgari, working under the direction of his faculty advisor Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso, received the Dr. Dean Yager Memorial Award. The award has been given annually since 2009 to the best published research paper by a graduate student.
Dr. Stewart Bloomfield, SUNY Optometry’s associate dean for graduate programs and research, noted that the scholarly output from the College was particularly remarkable given the size of the institution.
In addition, here are some recent scholarly activites by SUNY faculty members:
Joan K. Portello, Mark Rosenfield, and Christina A. Chu, “Blink Rate, Incomplete Blinks and Computer Vision Syndrome,” Optometry and Vision Science, Volume 90, Number 5, May 2013
Laura J. Monahan, Gregory S. Calip, Patricia M. Novo, Mark Sherstinsky, Mildred Casiano, Eduardo Mota, Inês Dourado “Impact of the Family Health Program on gastroenteritis in children in Bahia, Northeast Brazil: An analysis of primary care-sensitive conditions,” Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health (peer reviewed and accepted, the article will appear in a future issue)
Drs. Qasim Zaidi and Ben Backus gave presentations at Vision Sciences Society conference in Naples, FL in May.
Dr. Backus also presented on June 19 at the Child Vision Research Society biennial meeting in Waterloo, Canada.
Find out about the ongoing research studies at SUNY's Clinical Vision Research Center by clicking here
SUNY Optometry Honors Dr. Jia Qu, Celebrates Student Achievement at 39th Commencement
On Sunday, June 2 the SUNY College of Optometry conducted its 39th commencement exercises at the historic Hudson Theatre in midtown Manhattan. Seventy-five graduates from the Class of 2013 received their OD degrees, dual OD/MS degrees or PhD degrees during the afternoon event.
SUNY Optometry president, Dr. David A. Heath told the graduates that they had met the challenge of a vigorous education and thanked faculty, family and other members of the College community for helping the Class of 2013 succeed.
An honorary Doctor of Science degree was awarded by SUNY at the ceremony to Dr. Jia Qu, professor and president of the Wenzhou Medical University (WMU) in Wenzhou, China. During his remarks after accepting his degree Dr. Qu, who has led WMU for the past quarter century, noted the significant progress that optometry has made in China in recent years, a development that he attributed, in part, to the cooperation between institutions like WMU and SUNY Optometry. In 2008 the College established the Center of Excellence in Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation at WMU and has maintained a strong relationship with the institution in recent years.
The commencement address was given by Dr. Melvin Shipp, dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Dr. Shipp, who in 2011 became the first optometrist to lead the American Public Health Association, the world’s oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals, reminded the graduates about the debt that they owe—to family, loved ones, peers and others—for their success and urged the new doctors to continuously work to pay this debt back through their actions.
“Your new status brings with it the responsibility for not only protecting the health and welfare of others, but also enabling those less fortunate than yourself,” Dr. Shipp told the graduates. “Involve yourself in organizations that promote and advance your profession, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the less fortunate in your community.”
During the commencement ceremony Dr. Susan Fisher, president of the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA), awarded Dr. Frank Pirozzolo the NYSOA’s “Optometrists of the Year” award and his son, Dr. Raymond Pirozzolo the NYSOA’s “Young Optometrist of the Year” award. In addition, SUNY alumna Dr. Julia Appel, president of SUNY Optometry’s Alumni Association, announced that 1989 graduate Dr. Jillia E. Bird has been awarded the honor of “Alumna of the Year” which will be presented to Dr. Bird during the College’s Envision New York weekend in October.
During the beginning of the hour-long ceremony, the “Star Spangled Banner” was performed by SUNY student Raha Fahimi. Following a welcome from President Heath, Tammy Thuy Dang, the president of the Class of 2013, offered greetings from the graduating class as well as words of encouragement and thanks to her peers and to those in attendance.
At a separate ceremony at the College that morning a series of awards were given to various members of the Class of 2013, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellent which was awarded to both Antonio Chirumbolo and Irene A. Tran. Additional academic and clinical awards, service awards and professional distinction awards were also handed out during the ceremony which was followed by a pre-commencement brunch at the College’s newly completed Center for Student Life and Learning.
To view a complete listing of the awards please click here.
SUNY Awarded ASCO Optometric Education Diversity Mini-Grant for IDEA Initiative
The SUNY Office of Student Affairs has been awarded an Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry Mini-Grant as part of ASCO's Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee initiative. Dr. Guilherme Albieri, Director of Admissions and Marketing, will manage the $4,200 grant which will be used to support SUNY's IDEA Initiative. This initiative is designed to help the College expose traditionally underrepresented minority and socioeconomic disadvantaged undergraduate students to the profession of optometry and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to become competitive applicants to the College.
The goal of the Optometric Education Diversity Mini-Grant Program, which is in its ninth year, is to develop and implement activities and programs that are designed to recruit and/or retain underrepresented minority students, as well as financially disadvantaged students and first-generation college students. Some of the programs it funds include summer "bridge programs" for undergraduate students, mentoring and guidance programs for first-year optometry students and partnerships with organizations, high schools, community colleges and undergraduate programs to promote optometry as a career among underrepresented groups. Funding is provided by The Vision Care Institute, LLC, Luxottica Retail, and Alcon.
SUNY Resident Recipient of 2013 Douglas W. Hopkins Residency Award
SUNY Primary Care resident Dr. Gloria Chow has been chosen by a committee of primary care optometrists and the American Optometric Foundation (AOF) as the 2013 recipeint for the Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Residency Award. The award is designed to promote the practice and development of the field of primary care optometry by providing incentives and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research, and education in primary care.
Among the 16 applicants to the program, Dr. Chow, a 2012 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, School of Optometry, had extensive experience in clinical, research, leadership and extracurricular activities. She also expanded her residency experience by initiating and coordinating a weekly resident seminar talk session given by members of SUNY's gifted clinical faculty. Dr. Chow will receive a $2,000 award and a $750 travel fellowship to attend the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) 2013 Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington this October.
"Dr. Chow has been an excellent role model for the beginning practitioners that she is a preceptor for within the Primary Eye Care Clinic," said Dr. Susan Schuettenberg, SUNY's primary care residency supervisor.
Dr. Douglas W. Hopkins who was an optometrist and a leader within the Primary Care Section and the AAO, passed away in 2007. His friends and colleagues established the Douglas W. Hopkins Primary Care Fellowship Fund in his honor. Over $80,000 has been donated to facilitate the award, including $40,000 from his widow, Roberta.
The AOF is a 501(c) (3) philanthropic organization that is dedicated to the advancement of optometric education and research. The AOF develops and provides financial support for optometric research and education in vision and eye health and is an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO).
White Coat Ceremony Ushers OD Students into Clinical Education
For the third year in a row the SUNY College of Optometry conducted a “white coat” ceremony for its incoming third year OD class in recognition of the transition that students traditionally make between their classroom and clinical studies. The event marked both “a point of celebration and also a point of responsibility,” according to SUNY Optometry’s president Dr. David A. Heath.
Dr. Richard Soden, the executive director of the University Eye Center, congratulated the students and welcomed them to this new phase of their education toward becoming optometrists. He was also quick to point out that they were beginning their clinical activities at one of the most distinctive moments in the history of health care in the United States with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. “The health care system will look remarkably different,” Soden told the gathering of 76 students from the Class of 2015 (pictured above), along with many of their family members and friends as well as SUNY faculty, staff and others.
The white coat ceremony is a relatively recent phenomenon at professional health schools and colleges across the United States and around the world. Soden noted that the first white coat ceremony took place at Columbia University’s medical school in 1993 but it is a tradition that his quickly spread across the various health professions. SUNY’s ceremony was sponsored by both Allergan and Essilor, as well as by the Optometric Center of New York and the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA). The NYSOA’s immediate past president, SUNY alum Dr. Denise Whittam, also addressed the students during the ceremony, telling them that they should be proud of their accomplishments and that the time had come for many of them to recognize the value and importance of advocacy groups like the NYSOA in a “legislated profession” like optometry.
Dr. David Troilo, SUNY’s vice president and dean of academic affairs, noted that the student’s passage across the threshold into patient care is accompanied by great responsibilities and expectations. While Dr. Richard Madonna, SUNY’s chairman of clinical education, told the students that with these new expectations comes the need to be “proactive and responsible for your own education.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Jeffry Philpott, SUNY’s vice president for academic affairs, reminded the students that during their first two years at the College they had built strong relationships across the SUNY community that will only continue to grow during the remaining years of their education and beyond.
The ceremony, which took place on Friday, May 17 and lasted about an hour, was followed by a reception for the students and attendees in the College’s new Center for Student Life and Learning.
SUNY Presentations at ARVO 2013 Annual Meeting
Here is a complete list of the posters and presentations by SUNY Optometry faculty and students at ARVO 2013 (SUNY presenters are in bold):
Sherry J. Bass; Anna Wong; Jerome Sherman. (2013) The Dissociation Between the Ganglion Cell Analysis/Ganglion Cell Complex and Peripapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Hereditary Retinal Disease. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Alexandra Benavente-Perez; Ann Nour; Luying Yan; Keisha Roden; Kathleen Abarr; David Troilo. Daily interruptions to hyperopic defocus can reduce induced eye growth in marmosets (2013). The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Ava K. Bittner; Jeff Gould; Collin Rozanski; Andy Rosenfarb; Marius R. DeJong; Alexandra Benavente-Perez; Gislin Dagnelie. (2013) Visual Function Improvements following Electroacupuncture for Retinitis Pigmentosa. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Stewart A. Bloomfield; Tamas Atlasz; Bela Volgyi; Abram Akopian (2013) Secondary Cell Death of Amacrine Cells Under Excitotoxic and Ischemic Conditions is Mediated by Gap Junctions Formed with Neighboring Ganglion Cells. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Kenneth J. Ciuffreda; Preethi Thiagarajan (2013).Effect of oculomotor rehabilitation on vergence responsivity in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI.). The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA.
Jennifer Gould; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda; Naveen K. Yadav; Preethi Thiagarajan (2013). Effect of Retinal Defocus on Simple Eye-Foot Reaction Time in Traumatic Brain Injury. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA.
Dorothy Hitchmoth; Jerome Sherman (2013). New Potential Biomarker of Neurofibromatosis Type I, discovered with Multi-Spectral Imaging (MSI) of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) and Choroid. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA.
Jae-do Kim; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda (2013) Effective amblyopia treatment using near adds spectacle lenses alone. . The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Yuanbo Liang; Zhong Lin; Balamurali Vasudevan; Vishal Jhanji; Tieying Gao; Ningli Wang; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda . (2013) Outdoor activity exhibit protective effect for myopia in children having a moderate near workload. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Diana P. Ludlam; Naveen K. Yadav; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda (2013) Effect of Simulated Octant Visual Field Defects on the Visual-Evoked Potential (VEP). . The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Sarah MacIver; Jerome Sherman; Natalie Hutchings. (2013) Clinical Utility of Thresholding Segmentation in Ultra-Widefield (Optos®) Fundus Autofluorescence Images. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Jennifer M. Martinez; Hong Zhan Wang; Pallavi V. Mhaske; Caterina Sellitto; Miduturu Srinivas; Richard Z. Lin; Thomas W. White. (2013). Gap junctional conductance produced by Cx50, but not Cx46, is regulated by the PI3K signaling pathway in the lens. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Shira Radner; Robert Ennis; Barry Lee; Mitchell W. Dul; Qasim Zaidi (2013). Adaptation abnormalities in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Peter S. Reinach; Jacqueline F. Faustino; Monica Alves; Danilo Ribeiro; Jayter S. Paula; Eduardo M. Rocha. (2013) Clinical Correlations Among Dry Eye Tests, Physical And Metabolic Findings In Diabetes Mellitus Patients. . The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Jerome Sherman; Daniel Epshtein; Sanjeev Nath; Samantha Slotnick (2013). SD OCT Analysis of Retinal Zones Identified as Abnormal with Ultra-Widefield Autofluorescence. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Samantha Slotnick; Daniel Epshtein; Catherine Awad; Sanjeev Nath; Jerome Sherman (2013) iVue® iWellnessExam™ Retains Highs Sensitivity & Specificity Among Novice Reviewers. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA.
Preethi Thiagarajan; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda; Diana P. Ludlam; Neera Kapoor; Jose E. Capo-Aponte (2013) Effect of oculomotor rehabilitation on basic versional eye movements and reading in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA.
David Troilo; Li Qin Jiang; Alexandra Benavente-Perez; Xiangtian Zhou; Fan Lu; Jia Qu. (2013). Eye shape and peripheral refraction as predictors of myopia progression in a population of Chinese children. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Kevin T. Willeford; Naveen K. Yadav; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda (2013).Effect of Test Duration on the Visual-Evoked Potential (VEP) and Alpha Wave Responses. . The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Naveen K. Yadav; Kenneth J. Ciuffreda (2013) Optimization of Check Size and Contrast on the Visual-Evoked Potential (VEP) in Visually-Normal Individuals. . The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
Linxi Zhao; Mitchell W. Dul; Jose M. Alonso; Stanley J. Komban; Qasim Zaidi Darks are detected faster and more accurately than lights in normal subjects and patients with moderate glaucoma. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle, WA, USA
UEC Partners with InfantSEE to Promote Pediatric Vision Care
For much of the last decade InfantSEE, a public health program managed by Optometry Cares, the philanthropic arm of the American Optometric Association (AOA), has determinedly worked to help make eye and vision care an essential part of infant wellness. Through the program, participating optometrists provide a no-cost, comprehensive assessment to any infant between 6 and 12 months. According to Dr. Ida Chung, chief of the pediatric unit at the University Eye Center (UEC) and one of the organizers of a series of events at SUNY on April 26 designed to promote the program, the UEC has been a strong partner in the InfantSEE program since its inception in 2005. More broadly, Dr. Richard Soden, executive director of the UEC, estimates that the clinic has examined up to one million children during its more-than-four-decades of service to the community. Pediatric services are indeed a major component of the care that is regularly provided at the UEC today.
These two unique events, conducted as part of a four-year, Allergan Foundation-supported campaign to promote InfantSEE at the nation’s schools and colleges of optometry, were organized by members of the SUNY community in conjunction with InfantSEE and the AOA and held at the College’s Schwarz Theatre. A morning panel discussion, which was open to the public and attended by various health care providers, parents and caregivers from throughout the New York City region, focused on the importance of vision and vision-related issues during an infant’s development. InfantSEE founder Dr. Glen Steele, a professor of pediatric optometry at the Southern College of Optometry, began the discussion by highlighting the results of the program to date.
“InfantSEE is about changing lives,” Dr. Steele said, noting that in recent years the program has helped to reveal the startling fact that about one in six infants—and one in four minority infants—show signs of having some sort of eye-related issue.
Many of these issues, however, are able to be successfully treated while the child is still very young. Tim Angerame, a father of triplets from New Jersey who also participated on the panel, discussed how two of his three children had early eye issues that were diagnosed through InfantSEE assessments and ultimately treated by Dr. Andrea Thau, a fellow panelists and an associate professor at SUNY who also runs a successful midtown Manhattan practice. Dr. Thau is a passionate supporter of the program and of pediatric vision care in general.
Dr. Chung provided pediatric-related statistics from the UEC to help better illustrate the kinds of issues that the clinic has been diagnosing and treating in children in recent years. And Dr. Jennifer Cross, a pediatrician from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, also participated on the panel and reinforced the notion that optometrists—along with pediatricians, dentists and other health care professionals—are integral members of the team of care givers that all children should have as they grow.
Rounding out the panelists was actor, singer, entertainer and author Tom Sullivan, a tireless supporter of the InfantSEE program who has been traveling with Dr. Steele to help promote the program, particularly to students at the schools and colleges of optometry across the United States. In the afternoon of April 26 Sullivan performed his unique program of songs and inspirational and often humorous recollections of his childhood growing up visually impaired.
SUNY Alum Receives International Optometrist of the Year Award
SUNY Optometry graduate, Dr. Jullia Bird (Class '89) of Antigua, W.I., is the recipient of the World Council of Optometry's (WCO) International Optometrist of the Year award. The ceremony to present the award was held April 21, 2013 in Malaga, Spain. Extremely active in the Caribbean's glaucoma awareness movement, Dr. Bird was also named president of the World Glaucoma Patient Association earlier this year. She is also a board member of The Glaucoma Foundation in New York and Caribbean Coordinator for the World Glaucoma Week Committee. Upon graduating from SUNY, Dr. Bird spent two years working with SUNY Stony Brook and later at Barbados Eye Studies in Bridgetown, Barbados before starting a private practice in Antigua.
“In 2007, Jillia founded the Antigua and Barbuda Glaucoma Support Group, a thriving patient support and advocacy group," said Nigel St. Rose in his nomination for Dr. Bird. "The group successfully lobbied Antigua’s government to recognize the public health threat that glaucoma poses to its predominantly African-origin population," he continued. "
“I am deeply humbled to be chosen by the WCO for this prestigious award," Dr. Bird said at the ceremony. "Sight is by far our most precious sense. Each of us holds the potential to raise the world's awareness of avoidable blindness, and in doing so, reduce the current unacceptable global blindness burden.”
In early April 2013, SUNY vision scientist Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda was the Behavioral Scholar-In-Residence at the New England College of Optometry's (NECO) annual program. Dr. Ciuffreda lectured to the first, second and third year professional classes and provided CE on optometric vision care in Mild Tramatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and oculomotor rehabilitation in mTBI. In addition, he participated in a panel discussion about concussions with fellow optometrists and neuropsychologists.
Dr. Ciuffreda received a plaque from NECO honoring his decades of work in vision therapy/neuro-vision rehabilitation in mTBI and related conditions. This coincided with the 40th anniversery of his graduation from the Massachusetts College of Optometry, now NECO.
In late April, Dr. Ciuffreda was the keynote speaker at the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association's annual meeting in San Diego. He spoke on his research in mTBI, including oculomotor aspects, visual-evoked responses and a model of optometric vision care in mTBI. He also received the"Advancement of Science Awarad" for his work in vision-related aspects of mTBI and lectured on how to write clinical research papers.
Later this month, Dr. Ciuffreda will have eight poster presentations on a range of topics, including amblyopia, myopia and mTBI. His collaborators are from the United States, China and South Korea.
SUNY Optometry Completes VisionWalk
SUNY Optometry participated in the Foundation Fighting Blindness' fundraiser VisionWalk on Saturday, April 20, 2013. It was the largest and most successful New York City VisionWalk in its seven year history. Foundation Fighting Blindness is dedicated to funding research that will lead to the prevention, treatment and cure of hereditary retinal degenerative diseases.
SUNY's team consisted of over 200 students, faculty, staff and family members--about one-third of the total number of participants at the event. The team raised nearly $9,000, one of the top fundraisers on the day, and took home the highly coveted award for "most team spirit."
The VisionWalk Student Committee worked very hard to make this year's VisionWalk such a great success and they wish to thank Chelsea Stewart, Maegan Sauer, Jenna Blechman, Lisa Lappan and Jen Gould.
SUNY Optometry looks forward to next year where it expects to field yet another record-breaking team!
We Share the Same Vision
Today, we ask you to share that spirit and help us care for people in our community who need your support...the homebound elderly, the working poor, glaucoma patients or students in financial need.
Your gift to the Optometric Center of New York, the philanthropic arm of the College, will touch someone's life in a meaningful way. You can make your tax deductible gift online.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support of The Vision & The Promise: The Campaign for SUNY College of Optometry.
CPE Holds Oral Pharmaceuticals Day at the College
On January 27, the Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE) held Oral Pharmaceuticals Day at the College. Over 150 attendees were at the program which focused on oral pharmaceuticals in eye care. A Glaucoma Symposium was held at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel on February 10. New topics in the diagnosis, therapy and management of glaucoma were emphasized and there were over 100 attendees. March 7 & 8, the OCPE, in conjunction with the Office of Residency Education, sponsored the annual Residents' Day Program. 14 hours of continuing education credits were provided to over 300 attendees.
Upcoming CE programs include: Breakfast & Learn on Sunday, May 5 at the College. Dr. Leon Nehmad and Dr. Andre Stanberry will give a presentation on "Utilization of Imaging and fields in Glaucoma." Four hours of CPE credit will be offered. On Sunday, May 18 through Monday, May 20th,the OCPE, in conjunction with Optometry Board Certified, will hold "Essentials in Eye Care: Comprehensive Board Certification Preparation Program." Twenty hours of COPE-approved CE credit will be offered over a period of two and a half days at the College. This program includes online and video access to all course materials, in addition to the on-site education. For further information, please visit the OPCE website (http://www.sunyopt.edu/education/academics/continuing_professional_education) for further information and registration details.
April FY Eye - Recent Scholarly Publications
Chang, A, Cohen, A.H., Kapoor, N "Top-down visual framework for Optometric Vision Therapy for those with Tramatic Brain Injury, Optometry and Visual Performance: Vol. 1, Issue 2
DeVivo, A.J, Scheid, T "Anti-inflammatories in Ocular Allergy Treatment," Review of Optometry: February 15, 2013
SUNY Set to Host Event to Promote Pediatric Vision Health
College Announces Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient for 2013 Commencement
SUNY College of Optometry has announced that Dr. Melvin Shipp (pictured at left) will be the speaker for the 2013 commencement this June. Dr. Shipp has been the dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry since 2004. In 2011, he was named president of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the first optometrist to lead the world’s oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals. Prior to his arrival to OSU, Dr. Shipp was a member of the faculty and the assistant dean for clinical services and director of clinics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UABSO). Dr. Shipp has served as a consultant, panelist and reviewer for several federal institutions notably: the Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, and National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Shipp served on the NEI National Advisory Eye Council and was a member of the NEI Planning Committee for the National Eye Health Education Project (NEHEP). Dr. Shipp is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and a Diplomate and former Chair of the Public Health and Environmental Optometry Section. Dr. Shipp’s research interests include: the evaluation of the impact of vision related public policy and traffic safety, the reduction of racial and ethnic eye and vision health disparities, and relationships between blood homocysteine levels and premature presbyopia. Dr. Shipp received the Doctor of Optometry (OD) from Indiana University, the Master of Public Health (MPH) from Harvard University, and the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from the University of Michigan. Dr. Shipp is only the second optometrist to receive the DrPH degree; he is the first to do so through the highly competitive Pew Health Policy Doctoral Fellowship Program at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Jia Qu (pictured at left), Professor and President of the Wenzhou Medical College (WMC) in Wenzhou, China, will received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at June's commencement. Dr. Qu has been an intellectual leader in vision research and a visionary in the development of eye care services in China. Dr. Qu’s work, while wide ranging, has focused on myopia development and the genetic basis of ocular diseases including Leber’s Optic Neuropathy and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Dr. Qu was recognized in 2005 by Zhejiang Province receiving its most “Outstanding Scientist Award”.
Under Dr. Qu's leadership over the past twenty-five years, WMC has emerged as an intellectual leader nationally and internationally in optometry and ophthalmology. The WMC program has multiple international partners in both the research and education realms and it has been recognized broadly in China not only for its scientific contributions, but also for its innovative efforts to enhance the quality of eye care in China. Dr. Qu currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Chinese Society of Ophthalmology.
Grants Will Help SUNY Provide Care to New York City’s Homeless Through Unique Partnership
The SUNY College of Optometry is looking to establish a unique partnership with the Bowery Mission in New York City to provide regular vision care for members of the city’s homeless population and two new grants will assist in helping to get the project off the ground.
The Lydia Collins deForest Charitable Trust and The Chatlos Foundation have both provided valuable funding recently to the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY)--the philanthropic arm of the College--which is hoping to gain more support to help build on an existing, volunteer collaboration between faculty and students at the College and the Bowery Mission. Currently student volunteers from the College, coordinated through the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists and supported by an organization called Hope for New York, make regular trips to the Bowery Mission in lower Manhattan on a volunteer basis to provide eye exams and other services, including dispensing eyeglasses free of charge to people who are served by the Mission. These vital services often help many people fulfill their personal goals, often enabling them—thanks to improved eyesight—to peruse job training or computer classes that will put them onto a path toward recovery and steady, gainful employment. In addition, some patients at the Mission are found to suffer from a variety of sight-threatening conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Once the team detects these diseases, the patient is usually able to obtain appropriate treatment for their condition.
The OCNY has been actively seeking support to help the volunteer project grow into a regular, College-sanctioned program, as well as to provide equipment and other assistance.
The Lydia Collins deForest Charitable Trust was established in 2002 and generally supports projects in New Jersey although, because of the merits of the Bowery Mission project, they made an exception and decided to offer their support.
The Chatlos Foundation was established by builder and philanthropist William F. Chatlos and since its founding in 1953, has awarded over $100 million in grants to nearly 7,000 non-profit organizations around the world.
Since its founding in 1956, the OCNY has had an ongoing commitment to the New York community and to the community-at-large. The foundation has stood as a shining example of what cooperation among visionary community leaders in education, business and philanthropy can accomplish. The OCNY’s enduring mission is to sponsor and support professional scholarships and fellowships, vision science research and vision care for those who cannot afford it.
Doing Our Part to Care for Our Community
On March 21 the University Eye Center (UEC) held a glaucoma screening and a patient educational session, free of charge, for anyone in the community. A large group of New Yorkers took advantage of the opportunity to be examined by UEC doctors and interns and to learn more about this damaging, yet often undiagnosed, disease through a presentation by Dr. Andre Stanberry.
This was just one of the dozens of screenings and educational programs, both within the clinic and throughout the community, that the UEC hosts each year as part of its ongoing commitment to providing care and education to as many people as possible.
"The University Eye Center has had a long-standing dedication to serving the people in our community,” said the UEC’s chief operating officer Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez. “Our vision screenings and other educational programs demonstrate our strong desire to increase public health awareness about the importance of proper eye care and how the UEC can serve as a resource for their eye and vision care needs.”
In addition to vision screenings, the UEC provides a variety of support groups, including those for people with low vision or individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. There are also support groups that are designed to serve family members of people with low vision or who have sustained brain injuries as well. Educational talks and discussions are also offered on subjects as wide-ranging as learning disabilities, sports vision and pediatric vision health, all done in an effort to educate the community about vision and vision-related health issues--part of the core mission of the institution.
“In addition to being a vital health care facility for the community, we’re also a teaching facility,” said Dr. Richard Soden, the UEC’s executive director. “And we take that commitment to education very seriously. Not only do we want to educate our students and residents but we also want to educate our patients and our community.”
SUNY Optometry In the News: Setting the Stage for Optical Industry Honors
VisionMonday covers OCNY's 2013 "Eyes on New York Gala"
The College Celebrates Opening of the Center for Student Life and Learning
A large crowd was on hand as the SUNY College of Optometry celebrated an historic milestone in its 42-year history on March 14. After more than five years of planning and design—and two years of construction—the three-floor, 20,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Center for Student Life and Learning officially opened its doors ushering in a new era for students, faculty and staff at the College and the community that it serves.
With SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees H. Carl McCall in attendance, SUNY Optometry’s President David A. Heath welcomed the assembled crowd on the third floor, with its vistas of a sun-drenched Bryant Park and Empire State Building, to what he called “a symbol of the SUNY College of Optometry’s commitment to professional excellence and the long-term success of our students."
The Center, which has a sleek, contemporary design, includes a large pre-clinical procedures lab (pictured at left) on the second floor that is designed to prepare students for the latest technological advances in optometry. Each station in the lab contains a fully automated refracting lane as well as instruments that produce digital images of both the front and back of the eye that can be viewed either in real-time at the exam station or stored for later use. In addition to the lab, the Center contains classroom and study space, as well as a large seminar room and lounges (pictured at right) on the second floor. The Center also includes a major new event and recreation space on the third floor as well as a fitness center on the mezzanine above the third floor.
Chancellor Zimpher noted that the Center creates a “vibrant community” that will not only serve the College well but that also aligns itself perfectly with the “Power of SUNY,” the university system’s strategic plan. Chairman McCall also recognized that the Center will help the College’s doctors and students continue to serve the people of New York as they have for more than four decades.
As part of the event, entrepreneur, philanthropist and artist Gordon Gund unveiled “Dance,” a bronze sculpture that he created and donated for permanent display at the Center. Gund, who is visually impaired, told the gathering that he was proud to have one of his creations housed at the Center, calling it “a great environment for learning and sharing” that will continue to nurture the development of important and vital work related to eye and vision health for generations to come.
Optometric Center of New York Has its Most Successful ‘Eyes on New York’ Gala
That is how Dr. David A. Heath, president of the SUNY College of Optometry, described the 10th Annual ‘Eyes on New York’ gala on March 15 at Cipriani 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan. It was the largest gathering that the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the philanthropic arm of the College, has ever had in its decade-long history of doing the marquee fundraiser.
This year’s honorees, John Carrier, president and CEO of Essilor of America, and Jim Murphy, vice president and general manager of US Vision Care at Alcon Laboratories, elicited a particularly strong presence from the ophthalmic community which had descended on New York for the annual Vision Expo East, an international meeting and exposition.
The camaraderie was particularly evident during the gracious, yet humorous, introductions of each honoree by each event co-chair. When Marc Ferrara, CEO of the Information Services Division of Jobson introduced John Carrier, Ferrara noted Carrier’s love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle, he then joked that he must have a body-double who actually spends time at the Dallas headquarters of Essilor given his ability to accomplish so much in both his career and with his family. Meanwhile, co-chair David Plogmann, senior vice president at Luxottica Retail, offered teasing remarks about what a revelation it was for honoree Jim Murphy to get his first contact lens in high school. The playful banter had the gathered crowd chuckling but there was clearly a deep respect for both of these distinguished professionals.
Both honorees focused their remarks on the ophthalmic industry’s ultimately altruistic purpose. “We have so much more opportunity to help people,” Carrier said during his acceptance speech, noting that everyone in the room that evening plays some unique role to help achieve that goal.
Referring to a six-minute video—produced by OCNY and shown at the gala—highlighting some of the ways in which OCNY, SUNY College of Optometry and its University Eye Center (UEC) help the community, Jim Murphy said that “the video really speaks to why we are all here.”
Richard Feinbloom, the president of OCNY, offered his gratitude to his fellow trustees as well as members of the greater ophthalmic community. In addition, he thanked the faculty, staff and doctors at the College and the UEC for their work in educating vision health professionals and caring for the community.
Check out some of the photos from the night below:
SUNY Optometry To Participate in VisionWalk
Vision Walk 2013 will be held Saturday, April 20, in Central Park at 9 AM. The organizers of the SUNY Optometry team are looking to set a record for the largest team ever in VisionWalk's history. More than 288 people are needed to achieve this feat. Anyone interested in participating can click here to sign up and purchase a student-designed T-shirt to walk with the team.
If you have any questions, contact Dr. Susan P. Schuettenberg, Associate Clinical Professor at 212-938-4161.
FY Eye Newsletter
Check out FY Eye, the official newsletter of the SUNY College of Optometry:
A Visitor to New York City Finds Relief at the UEC
Dawn K. was visiting New York City for the weekend from the Midwest last January when she started to feel as if she’d gotten something in her eye. The sensation and irritation continued to get worse as the night wore on.
“I cannot tell you how many times I got up during the night trying to flush my eye out,” she said. “I woke up the next morning with my eye swollen, red and in pain.”
Dawn and the concierge at her Times Square hotel went to work that Saturday morning trying to find an eye doctor with an available appointment. At the height of flu season, Dawn was hesitant to go to the hospital emergency room and wait for hours. She was hoping to see a specialist.
“Then I remembered that when I was walking around the area I had seen the SUNY College of Optometry,” she said. “I called and they said that the clinic was open but fully booked.”
But when Dawn explained to the University Eye Center (UEC) employee on the other end of the phone that she was from out of town and was at a loss as to where to go or what to do about her worsening condition, the UEC was able to be accommodated with an appointment an hour later.
Dawn, like all patients at the UEC, was given the highest level of care. After receiving a thorough exam by one of the doctors she was diagnosed and received a prescription for her condition. She was even directed to the nearest pharmacy only a couple of blocks away. The UEC doctor also took the time to write a letter to Dawn’s own optometrists back home to explain her diagnosis and the treatment plan that was prescribed.
“The help, patience and consideration I was shown [at the UEC] must be commended,” Dawn said after she returned home from her trip to New York grateful for the prompt and professional care she received at the UEC.
A Culinary Vision
Calling all cooks! Please start collecting your favorite recipes for inclusion in the first SUNY Optometry Faculty/Staff cookbook, A Culinary Vision. Stay tuned for information about how you can submit recipes for this fund-raising effort in support of The Vision and the Promise Campaign. Contact Associate Director of Development, Pamela Lederman (email@example.com) for more information.
SUNY Professor Receives Support for Major Research Project
Alexandra Benavente-Perez, MCOptom, PhD is conducting a $1.6 million five-year research project, supported by funding from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVCI) to do experimental research on contact lens designs for myopia control. Dr. Benavente is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the College and an investigator in the Clinical Vision Research Center.
“We are very excited to be collaborating with SUNY on this project” said Dr Noel Brennan, Emerging Technologies Platform Lead for Myopia Control at JJVCI. “This research group is held in the highest esteem and we look forward to seeing this research contribute to our history of groundbreaking new products”.
SUNY's Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, David Troilo, who will oversee and consult on the project, adds, “SUNY Optometry is pleased to be partnering with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care on this important project. We are happy to be a part of JJVCI's concerted efforts to reduce myopia and control its progression around the world.”
SUNY Alum Named Dean of the Michigan College of Optometry
Dr. David Damari, (SUNY class of 1988), was recently been appointed dean of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University (MCO), effective on March 28. Damari had previously served as chair of the Department of Assessment and professor at Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in Memphis, TN. Since 1995, he has been a national consultant on visual disabilities. He is the former chair of the Department of Optometry at SCO where he received the President’s Special Recognition Award.
Prior to joining SCO, Damari worked in private practice in New York and served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at SUNY. He also completed a residency at SUNY in 1989.
“Dr.Damari has passion for the profession of optometry and a keen awareness of the changes that will occur in heathcare and healthcare education over the next few decades,” said Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at MCO.
To see the latest issue of FocalPoint, the SUNY Optometry Alumni Association newsletter, click here
March FY EYE - Recent Scholarly Publications
Bevacizumab “Loaded Polyurethane Subconjunctival Implants: Effects on Experimental Glaucoma Filtration Surgery,” J Ocul Pharmacol Ther: 2013 Feb 7.
Richdale K, Bailey MD, Sinnott LT, Kao CY, Zadnik K, Bullimore MA. “The Effect of Phenylephrine on the Ciliary Muscle and Accommodation,” Optometry and Vision Science: 89(10)1507-1511.
Richdale K, Sinnott, LT, Bullimore MA, Wassenaar PA, Schmalbrock P, Kao CY, Patz S, Mutti D, Glasser A, Zadnik K. “Quantification of Age-Related and per Diopter Accommodative Changes of the Lens and Ciliary Muscle in the Emmetropic Human Eye,” Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science: 54(2)1095-1105.
Rocha EM, Paula JS, Reinach PS. “Punctal occlusion in Sjögren's syndrome needs clarification,” Nature Reviews Rheumatology: 2012 Dec, 8(12):752.
Yang Y, Yang H, Wang Z, Okada Y, Saika S, Reinach PS. “Dependence of corneal epithelial homeostasis on transient receptor potential function,” The Ocular Surface: 2013 Jan: 11(1):8-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2012.09.001. Epub 2012 Sep 10.
Yang Y, Yang H, Wang Z, Mergler S, Wolosin JM, Reinach PS."Functional TRPV1 expression in human corneal fibroblasts," Exp Eye Res. 2013Feb, 107:121-9.
Yang Y, Yang H, Wang Z, Varadaraj K, Kumari SS, Mergler S, Okada Y, Saika S, Kingsley PJ, Marnett LJ, Reinach PS, "Cannabinoid receptor 1 suppresses transient receptor potential vanilloid 1-induced inflammatory responses to corneal injury.” Cellular Signalling: 2013 Feb;25(2):501-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2012.10.015. Epub 2012 Nov 8.
SUNY Student Develops Blind Art Project for UEC Patients
Shaista Vally, (SUNY class of 2015), was recently awarded a grant from the Optometric Center of New York to fund a proposed blind art program. The program will consist of four free art workshops, focused on touch and texture, for visually impaired adults. Sighted volunteers will be paired with each participant to act as artist assistants and aide in tasks that require vision, but the assistants will not impose on the creative process.
Vally hopes to make art accessible to the visually impaired community by teaching them how to express themselves and communicate with others through tactile media. While she attended the University of California at Berkeley as an undergraduate student Vally worked as a teaching assistant for a course called, “Art, Medicine, and Disability” which inspired her and provided her with the opportunity to research and design a unique art program for the visually impaired. Vally then piloted the curriculum at the Hatlen Center for the Blind in California.
Following her success at Hatlen, Vally was eager to implement a similar class at SUNY. The workshops are expected to take place on Saturdays this June and participants will be able to register for the program beginning in April.
An accomplished artist herself, Vally’s work is currently on display at SUNY’s Harold Kohn Vision Science Library as well as at Park Slope Eye in Brooklyn. Vally will also be giving a lecture on her artwork, as well as her involvement in the visually impaired community, and her new blind art program on March 22, 2013 at noon in Room 206 at the College.
For more information r volunteer, please contact Shaista Vally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNY Optometry’s next Open House will be held on Thursday, May 30th
SUNY Optometry's next Open House will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (registration begins at 9 a.m.). Please RSVP to Admissions@sunyopt.edu with your name and email address and your number of guests. There is a limit of 2 guests per person.
SUNY Optometry Signs Agreement with Empire State to Develop Unique OD/Graduate Business Program
In a first-of-its-kind agreement, the SUNY College of Optometry and SUNY Empire State College, a statewide Institution that focuses on nontraditional teaching and learning, have signed an agreement to jointly develop and deliver an advanced graduate certificate in optometry business management. The 18-credit, six-course certificate will be fully applicable to the MBA program offered through SUNY Empire State College’s School for Graduate Studies.
Development of this new joint program is a response to an increased interest from optometry students in recent years for an advanced business education that will complement their clinical training and help them prepare for the demands of managing organizations or working with corporations and government agencies on health care-related issues.
While dozens of medical, dental and other professional clinical educational institutions in the United States have introduced joint clinical/business education programs over the last decade, this partnership between SUNY College of Optometry and SUNY Empire State College would create the first such joint program to be offered by a school of optometry in the United States.
“While it’s clear that there is a growing demand from incoming students for a business education that will complement the clinical education that they receive here, the timeliness of such a program is even more fortuitous given the acceleration of healthcare reform on the horizon and what that will mean in terms of the practical application of optometry,” said Dr. David A. Heath, president of SUNY College of Optometry.
“Working together to promote high-quality graduate education creates connections among the two college’s faculty, greater access and opportunity for students and sets out a path for possible future collaboration,” said Meg Benke, acting president of SUNY Empire State College. “Development of a new joint graduate certificate, fully applicable to an MBA, is an example of sharing resources and it’s what SUNY “systemness” is really all about.”
SUNY College of Optometry, which offers one of the most competitive optometric education programs in the country, currently graduates approximately 75 ODs each year and this new joint program represents the continued commitment of the college to the career development of its graduates. Recently the college established the Career Development Center specifically designed to help students and graduates achieve their career goals.
SUNY Empire State College’s School for Graduate Studies offers nine graduate certificates, six of which are applicable to the college’s MBA program. This joint program would be the seventh. Four of the six courses would be delivered to College of Optometry students online by Empire State College and two will be from SUNY Optometry's OD curriculum. SUNY Empire State College’s non-centralized, statewide campus system and its commitment to online instruction, helped to make it an excellent fit for a partnership with SUNY Optometry’s busy students.
"The new certificate program will leverage the strengths of both institutions and makes effective use of the existing SUNY resources," said Tai Arnold, acting dean of SUNY Empire State College's School for Graduate Studies. "I commend the College of Optometry's leadership and Empire State College's graduate business faculty for creative collaboration that will meet the needs of SUNY Optometry students and alumni."
“The teaching models at Empire State provide our students with a lot of flexibility,” said Dr. David Troilo, the SUNY College of Optometry’s vice president and dean for academic affairs, who played a key role in establishing the agreement between the two institutions. “For students like ours with clinical training that involves such rigorous time demands we needed to partner with an institution that could offer the learning options that Empire has available.”
Once the certificate program has been developed, it will be submitted to the SUNY Board of Trustees and, if approved, the program then will be reviewed by the state Department of Education.
SUNY Alum Receives Prestigious Award
Dr. Jillia Bird, (SUNY Optometry, Class of 1989) is this year's recipient of the World Council of Optometry's (WCO) International Optometrist Award which will be announced next month at the WCO Annual Congress in Malaga, Spain. The International Optometrist Award recognizes doctors who make outstanding contributions to the development of optometry worldwide as well as within their own communities.
With a thriving practice in her native Antigua, Dr. Bird is extremely active in the Caribbean's glaucoma awareness movement. Earlier this year Dr. Bird was named president of the World Glaucoma Patient Association. She is also a member of the board of trustees for the Glaucoma Foundation in New York, as well as the Caribbean Coordinator for the World Glaucoma Week Committee.
“I want to tell the nation and the Caribbean at large that glaucoma is our problem, glaucoma is a silent disorder that people do not realize they suffer from until very late in the disease,” Dr Bird told the Antigua Observer in an article recently published by the newspaper.
Clinical Vision Research Center Celebrates its Opening
Surrounded by key administrators and faculty members from both the College and the University Eye Center, as well as trustees from the Optometric Center of New York foundation, the Clinical Vision Research Center (CVRC) officially opened its vibrant new facility on the evening of February 13, 2013.
“Nowhere do the missions of our institution—education, research and patient care—come together so clearly than at the CVRC,” said David Troilo, SUNY Optometry’s vice president and dean for academic affairs, during the event. The CVRC’s mission is to provide a dynamic, patient-based research environment where advanced treatments can be rapidly tested and applied to enhance patient care. The Center will partner with industry, government and foundations to help fund the research that it carries out and will help shape future practice. The Center’s core research team will be responsible for securing, initiating and overseeing clinical research within the College and making certain that studies are implemented and executed according to current research guidelines. The CVRC will also take a lead role in mentoring faculty, students and staff who are interested in conducting clinical research.
SUNY Optometry president David Heath noted that the presence of the CVRC will help to raise the profile of research being conducted at the College. “Research is a priority of this institution—part of our mission,” he said. “And I have no doubt that the early successes that we’ve had in this area will become greater successes in the future thanks to the CVRC.”
Kathryn Richdale, who was officially named the Founding Director of the Clinical Vision Research Center, offered her sincere gratitude to the entire College community for their strong support in helping to make the CVRC possible.
“It is clear to me,” Richdale said, “that clinical research is a priority here at SUNY.”
Meanwhile, Sara Meeder, the clinical research manager who will handle the day-to-day operations of the CVRC, introduced a unique aspect of the new space: a revolving art exhibit.
“The purpose of the exhibit is to help get the community involved with our research,” Meeder said. The initial exhibit, which will run through June, is by Arlene Gale Milgram, a painter and mixed-media artists from Trenton, NJ. In her exhibit, Milgram has included pieces that were created prior to and after cataract surgery. Meeder noted that all artists exhibited at the CVRC will have had direct experience with eye and vision-related issues.
The CVRC, which is located on the eighth floor of the SUNY College of Optometry building, in the heart of the University Eye Center, has hit the ground running. The Center is already hard at work on several studies, including contact lens and amblyopia research for children and adults.
For more information about the CVRC and its current studies visit: http://www.sunyopt.edu/cvrc
Faculty & Staff Campaign reaches 44 percent!
As of the end of 2012, the Faculty/Staff Campaign has reached 44 percent participation, with a total of $59,123.33 contributed by the members of the faculty and staff at the SUNY College of Optometry. Thanks to everyone who helped us reach this significant milestone. This number includes 11 faculty and staff who support the campaign through payroll deduction. If you are a member of the faculty and staff and wish to contribute to this valuable and important campaign, please feel free to contact Ann Warwick’s office at ext. 5600 to ask about this increasingly popular way to give. Stay tuned for interesting projects and ways to give in 2013.
Thank you to our donors!
Scholarly Publications - December/January
Nolan, Ann, Delshad, Rebecca, Sedgwick, Harold, A. "Compression of Perceived Depth as a Function of Viewing Conditions." Optometry and Vision Science, December 2012, 89, 12: 1757-67.
Lin, Zhong, Vasudevan, Balamurali, Liang, Yuan Bo, Zhang, Yi Cao, Qiao, Li Ya, Rong, Shi Song, Li, Si Zhen, Wang, Ning Li, Ciuffreda, Kenneth, J. "Baseline Characteristics of Nearwork-Induced Transient Myopia." Optometry and Vision Science, December 2012, 89, 12: 1725-33.
Soroka, M. and Heath, DA. "Planning for the Supply of Optometrists." Optometry, Vol 83(6) 263-277, June 2012
(SUNY authors are underlined)
SUNY students and faculty make a difference in Rwanda
Fourth year OD student Julia Canestraro recently returned from a Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) volunteer trip to a refugee camp in Rwanda along with fellow student Quy Nguyen and SUNY alum and faculty member Dr. Andre Stanberry. Read Julia’s first-person account of the trip below:
As our plane landed onto African soil, I was overcome by a sense of excitement and uncertainty. This was my first time in Rwanda and I hadn’t the slightest idea as to what I should expect. My uncertainties were soon alleviated as we were greeted by a group of volunteers smiling and waving at us, holding a SVOSH-ARC sign. At our welcome meeting, we were informed that we were going to be involved in a groundbreaking venture! This was the first time that any VOSH-related organization would be entering a refugee camp and our new partnership with the ARC (American Refugee Committee) made this a possibility. The ARC is responsible for providing shelter and sanitation, among other essentials, to refugees around the globe and they were equally excited to be partnering with VOSH for this trip.
The next day, we headed one hour north of Kigali to the Gihembe refugee camp located in the mountainous terrain of Rwanda. We pulled into the camp and saw thousands of clay homes topped with metal roofs, which house approximately 13,000 refugees. Children began to chase our van, screaming and waving with excitement. Everyone turned to watch us enter as they had been expecting us for weeks. We started the clinic right away and with 6 other eye care professionals and 20 volunteers, we were able to see approximately 3,850 patients in six days of hard work. We met and worked alongside many wonderful people, all of whom who had been affected by the genocide in Rwanda and the current conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We brought thousands of pairs of glasses and over $150,000 worth of medications to distribute to the community. We were even able to fund surgical procedures for 30 patients who were at risk for losing their sight. Working alongside my peer, Quy Nguyen and our mentor Dr. Andre Stanberry, I learned a tremendous amount and it is an experience that every optometrist should have the opportunity to partake in. The week was physically and emotionally draining but I would do it one hundred times over if it meant making a difference in the lives of thousands.
UEC becomes even more accessible
As a result of a three-year effort from a collection of people within the SUNY community, the New York City government as well as the tireless work of long-time UEC patient and advocate Luda Demikhovskaya (pictured), the University Eye Center is now more accessible for its patients with mobility issues.
Three years ago a traffic light and crosswalk were installed on 42nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, between Bryant Park and the UEC. However, individuals in wheelchairs, or with mobility issues, often had difficulty gaining access to the UEC at this location due to the fact that there was no curb ramp on the north side of the street. Demikhovskaya, in her role as board member of Disability in Action, an organization that has worked on behalf of people with disabilities in New York City for more than four decades, went to work. After contacting a range of individuals from city government and SUNY, Demikhovskaya was able to draw attention to the issue and get it resolved.
“Many New York City residents and visitors with mobility and vision disabilities will now be able to cross the street safely,” said Demikhovskaya. “Without the help of the SUNY community, this project would not have gone so smoothly.”
SUNY student earns prestigious AAO fellowship
Fourth year OD student Joanne Malek recently earned one of fewer than 200 Student Fellowships from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). This new fellowship program, now in its second year, was established by the AAO as a way of provide motivated optometry students with the opportunity to fully experience the organization’s annual meeting and all of the benefits that it offers to gain knowledge and insight through lectures, workshops, posters and networking.
To achieve this fellowship, Joanne attended a variety of continuing education, scientific talks and poster, plenary sessions, section/SIG symposiums and even the business meeting. Joanne also presented results from her research on stereo acuity, conducted in Dr. Ben Backus's lab, at the AAO meeting.
For more information on the AAO Student Fellowship please click here.
In addition, at the AAO annual meeting last October, two SUNY professors, Dr. Rebecca Marinoff and Dr. Hadassa Rutman, became fellows of the Academy.
For a complete list of SUNY presentations at the 2012 annual Academy meeting please click here.
Endowed Scholarship Established for Dr. Harold A. Solan
Thanks to the generosity of the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Harold A. Solan, a new endowed scholarship has been established in his memory at the SUNY College of Optometry.
With gifts exceeding $25,000—including a large gift from the family of Dr. Solan—the inaugural Harold A. Solan Memorial Scholarship will be awarded by the Optometric Center of New York, the foundation of the SUNY College of Optometry, to a third-year student at the College next fall. The scholarship will focus on students who have a financial need and demonstrate proficiency and compassion in working with children, as well as a strong desire to practice pediatric optometry after graduation.
Dr. Solan, who passed away last summer at the age of 90, was “a giant in optometry,” according to his long-time friend and fellow Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at SUNY, Dr. Irwin Suchoff. “His research brought functional/development vision to the level it is today.”
During Dr. Solan’s long and productive career he helped to identify functional vision as an important but generally unrecognized factor in academic performance and encouraged vision therapy as an effective means of correcting such functional vision problems.
Joining the SUNY College of Optometry faculty in the 1980s, Dr. Solan was the director of the College’s Learning Disabilities Unit for 11 years beginning in 1981. He formally joined SUNY’s research program in 1988, allowing him to turn his attention nearly full time to studying developmental vision and spreading the word about vision therapy to both eye care practitioners and educators. Dr. Solan continued to conduct research and education programs on developmental vision until well after his official retirement.
Dr. Solan was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2003. The SUNY College of Optometry named him a Distinguished Service Professor in 1994. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and College of Optometrists in Vision Development as well a life member of the American Optometric Association.
“My father devoted much of his life studying the relationship between the eye and brain in order to help children overcome difficulties in learning,” his son Lawrence Solan said in a statement about the new scholarship. “Our family is proud to initiate this scholarship as a way of providing some assistance to optometric students who show a similar commitment.”
For more information, or to make a contribution to the Solan Memorial Scholarship fund, contact Ann Warwick, Executive Director of the Optometric Center of New York at 212.938.5600 or email@example.com
SUNY College of Optometry Career Symposium Emphasizes Emerging Trends
Despite a severe snowstorm that struck the region, more than 150 optometry students, residents, alumni, faculty and others gathered at the SUNY College of Optometry on Sunday, February 10, for the 2nd Annual Career Symposium: Emerging Trends and Practices in Optometry.
The sessions and talks at the day-long symposium, which was organized by the College’s Career Development Center, focused sharply on the theme of new developments within the optometric industry. Attendees were urged to advocate for their profession and engage in greater collaboration with their colleagues across the healthcare spectrum as a way to help ensure a prominent future for the profession. This idea was reinforced strongly by the symposium’s keynote speaker, Dr. Melvin Shipp (pictured at left), Dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry and the Immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the first optometrist to head the preeminent organization for public health professionals in the country.
“Optometrists are part of a healthcare team,” Dr. Shipp said in his speech, but “unfortunately, as a young profession, optometry is not well understood.” He then implored the audience to take it upon themselves to educate and inform members of the broader healthcare community by advocating for optometry and demonstrating the value that optometrists provide for their communities.
SUNY College of Optometry President, Dr. David Heath noted during his opening remarks that optometrist can no longer afford to think solely about optometry. Instead optometrists must integrate their work into the broader healthcare system.
Meanwhile, SUNY’s Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Jeffrey Philpott stressed the importance of community in his remarks at the symposium. “As you move through this day,” he told attendees that morning, “I would like you to be very mindful of the intersection that exists between your individual career and your professional community.”
The symposium’s sessions were divided into three distinct areas of focus: research and technology, practice and career development and policy. From the implications of the Affordable Care Act and sorting out the maze of professional and regulatory organizations, to providing important knowledge about establishing and promoting a practice through social media and creating a fresh CV, each session was filled with practical information that that attendees could use to help establish, and continue to develop, their careers now and into the future.
“As a First Year student it was a great opportunity to learn about different modes of practice and different things that I might want to think about as I go through my years here,” said Sandhya Ramsook. “It was a very useful experience.”
Dr. Diane Russo, a 2010 graduate of SUNY and one of the presenters at this year’s symposium, also found the experience useful for her own career development. “There was a lot of relevant information today for me and my career,” she said.
“The annual symposium is our way of demonstrating how committed we are to helping our students and alumni be successful in their careers,” said Francisco Lucio, J.D., SUNY Optometry’s Director of Career Development and Minority Enrichment who spearheaded the organization of Sunday’s Symposium.
Top Students Awarded Merit Scholarships
Thanks to the generous support of two foundations that have a longstanding relationship with the College, ten exceptionally talented First Year OD students received scholarships at a luncheon presentation in the president’s suite on Tuesday, November 27.
For many years the two philanthropic organizations—the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation and the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation—have provided financial assistance to a variety of organizations that focus on enhancing and improving the lives of people throughout the United States. The College has been a long-time recipient of their generosity, part of which is used to provide $1,500 merit scholarships to 10 high-achieving students from each OD class. The luncheon was designed to specifically recognize the First Year students and acknowledge their outstanding accomplishments. “These two foundations have been a regular source of support for the College for a long time,” said Ann Warwick, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Optometric Center. “We’ve had a fruitful partnership that has really benefited our students for many years.”
Noting that the group of eight female and two male students had arrived at the College from a wide variety of geographical locations, Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, Vice President for Student Affairs, recognized that it was this geographical diversity that helps to make SUNY a standout institution. “We are a collection of the best and the brightest students from everywhere,” he said.
College president Dr. David Heath remarked that that grants and scholarships like the ones offered by the Schnurmacher foundations, at least in part, help to make SUNY graduates some of the least indebted among their peers at optometry schools across the nation.
“Our hope is that in twenty years or so, when you’re all very successful in your careers, that you’ll remember back to your days as an optometry student and repay the favor with your own valuable support to the next generation of students,” Heath said.
In addition to their ongoing grant support to students, the Schnurmacher foundations have also assisted in facilitating research efforts at the College. Nearly three decades ago they helped to establish the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research which engages in a wide variety of projects including coordinating a colloquium series and supporting a range of innovative vision science research projects. Dr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, reminded the scholarship recipients about the legacy that the Schnurmacher’s have with the institute and invited them all to attend the colloquia and the other events it regularly offers.
With their scholarships in hand, Philpott urged these exceptional students to build on their success at the College and work hard to become future leaders in optometry and the vision sciences. “By doing this,” he said, “you will become the best representatives of SUNY that we could ever hope for.”
SUNY Presentations at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry
This year the College had a broad number of faculty, residents and students participate in the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry. Last month's issue highlighted those students and the title of their presentations who received travel fellowships to attend the Academy. Below is a listing of faculty who participated through papers, presentations and/or posters:
Rapp, J. "Nutritional and Biochemical Implications in Systemic Disease"
Wagner, H. and Richdale, K. "Age-Related Differences in Behavior, Environmental Factors and General Health Status of Contact Lens Wearers".
Richdale, K. "Development of a Contact Lens Risk Assessment Survey."
Bass, S.J., Wong, A. and Sherman, J. "The Dissociation Between the Ganglion Cell Complex/Analysis and Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Hereditary Retinal Disease".
Nehmad, L. and Appel, J. "Evaluation of a New Clinical Education Training Program for 3rd Year Optometry Students".
Vasudevan, B. and Ciuffreda, K. "Nearwork-induced Transient Myopia (NITM) among School Children and Parental Refractive Error".
Rosenfield, M. and Saa, G. "Reading from an I-Pod versus Hardcopy Text".
Ciuffreda, K., Gould, J., Yadav, N. and Thiagarajan, P. "Retinal Defocus and Eye-Hand Reaction Time in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury".
Chung, I. "A Model of Inter-Institutional Collaboration using Technology for Schools and Colleges of Optometry".
Swanson, W. and Dul, M. "Baseline Data from a Multi-Center Longitudinal Glaucoma Study".
Epshtein, D., Nath, S., Yusup, E. and Sherman, J. "VEP and Objective Pupillary Testing Correlates".
Stiles, N. and Dul, M. "Differences in Non-neural Component of Superior Temporal and Inferior Temporal Sectors of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer".
Lee, Y., Woi, V., and Libassi, D. "Pediataric APHAKIC Contact Lens Fitting for Lowe Syndrome".
Kochurova, O., Portello, J. and Rosenfield, M. "Is the 3X Rule Appropriate for Computer Users?"
Dul, M. "Optimizing Contrast Sensitivity Perimetry for Clinical Use: Reducing Age".
MacIver, S., Slotnick, S., Bass, S.J. and Sherman, J. "Clinical Utility of Panoramic Autoflourescence in Patients with Reduced VA".
Appel, J. "Mumps Induced Corneal Endothelitis: Public Health Issue?"
Kahen-Kashi, S., Kwong, K. and Canellos, H. "Chromosome 18P Deletion Syndrome: A Case of Blepharo, Facial and Laryngeal Spasm".
Madonna, R. "Diagnosis Patterns and Prevalence of Diabetic Macular Edema: Results from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Exam".
MacIver, S. and Sherman, J. "Quantification of Areas of Hyperflourescence in Ultra-Wide Field AutoFlourescence Images in Normal and Diseased Eyes".
Pikus, O. and Canellos, H. "Neurodegenerative Disease: Cause for Chronic Red Eye".
Lam, A., Troilo, D. and Richdale, K. "Ocular Dimensions of Adults with Different Refractive States".
Epshtein, D. and Sherman, J. "Exploring Correlates in Fundus Auto Flourescence and SD-OCT".
Sherman, J., Nath, S., Yusup, E. and Epshtein, D. "Comprehensive Posterior Segment Imaging in a Case of Neurofibromatous with Multi-Spectral and Ultra-Widefield Imaging".
Malek, J. "Stereoacuity Learning in Children and Adults".
Heath, D. "Evolution of Competency: Post-Licensure Assessment (Symposium)".
2012 Annual Envision New York Held
The 11th Annual Envision New York program, which returned to the College as its venue, was held October 20 - 22, 2012. Sponsored by the Office of Continuing Professional Education, the program offered a broad array of courses that included more than 40 CE hours. Many notable faculty and invited speakers were featured, including Dr. Melton and Dr. Thomas who were on a symposium entitled "The State of Therapeutics in Eye Care" led by the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry and a New York State Low Vision Certification course. For the first time, on-line registration was available. 457 doctors representing 22 states, Bermuda and Puerto Rico attended Envision.
Upcoming CE programs include:
- Annual SUNY Orals Day on January 27, 2013 at the College;
- the Annual Glaucoma Symposium on February 10, 2013 at the LaGuardia Marriott, and,
- the Annual Residents' Program. March 7-8, 2013 at the College.
SUNY Optometry Administration Attend 100th Anniversary of China Affiliate
November 17, 2012 marked the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Wenzhou Medical College in Wenzhou, China. President Heath and Dr. Heiberger, Director of International Programs, represented SUNY Optometry at the event, entitled "2012 International Cooperation Forum".
The Wenzhou Medical College takes great pride on its affiliations with institutions outside of China. The event also celebrated 20 years of affiliation with the New England College of Optometry and the fifth year of its affiliation with the SUNY College of Optometry.
During the past five years, SUNY and Wenzhou Medical College have achieved successful funding of two major projects. A three-year grant for the establishment of a Center of Excellence in Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation at Wenzhou Medical College was received from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind in 2009 and a second three-year grant to enhance low vision services at Wenzhou, as well as to disseminate to other locations in China educatiaon in the provision of low vision and vision rehabilitative services. SUNY Optometry also has been receiving funding for the past three years for a Confucius Institute at the College in New York City with Wenzhou Medical College being the partner institution in China. Confucius institutes are funded worldwide by the Chinese government to promote Chinese language and culture.
The celebratory event included speakers from the China Ministry of Health, Wenzhou Medical College, Burapha and Chiang Mai Universities in Thailand, as well as, from institutions in France, Sweden and the US. President Heath moderated a panel discussion on the first day of the conference and also delivered a major presentation entitled, "Innovation Through Collaboration: The Wenzhou Medical College and the State University of New York College of Optometry". Dr. Heiberger also gave a presentation entitled "Educational and Cultural Aspects of An International Affiliation".
The Vision and the Promise Campaign Needs Your Support!
If you have not already done so, please consider making a year-end gift to support The Vision and the Promise Campaign. You can direct how your donation will be used. Funds can be unrestricted, which means they are used where there is the greatest need, or you can restrict your donation to a particular program area. Please feel free to contact Ann Warwick's office at 212-938-5600 with any questions.
Special thanks to recent donors:
- The Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation: $30,000 in scholarship support, plus $10,000 for Canadian scholarship match;
- The Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation: $30,000 in scholarship support, plus $10,000 for Canadian scholarship match;
- The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation: $10,000 in unrestricted support;
- The Hugoton Foundation: $5,000 for equipment - in memory of Wallace Gilroy, and
- Ms. Nadine Lee: $500 in unrestricted support.
SUNY Faculty and Son Does Mission in Peru
Dr. Paul Galstian, an Assistant Clinical Professor at the College and an Associate Doctor at Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, and his teenage son, Andrew, recently returned from a Medical Mission in Peru. The mission was organized and run by Stony Brook Medical School. Dr. Galstian and Andrew were joined by 18 medical students, a pediatrician and an internist. The group examined patients throughout the Sacred Valley of Peru in orphanages and classrooms at elevations as high at 18,000 feet above sea level. A Long Island ophthalmologist performed 36 cataract surgeries the week before. Dr. Galstian performed the post-operative visits, as well as many other exams while supervising medical students. Andrew helped his father in the eye clinic with fitting children with hundreds of shoes donated by Tom's Shoes. The trip was a rewarding experience to help poor people and to see a beautiful country in a ways that few tourists have the opportunity. The group is looking for two optometrists for next July's  Mission. Further information on this mission can be found at www.apromisetoperu.com.
Letter from the President
The Thanksgiving holiday takes on a new meaning this year. In the past month, the New York metropolitan area was transformed by damages associated with Hurricane Sandy and the "nor'easter" that followed shortly thereafter. With record tide surges and wide-spread damages, the economic cost could exceed $50B while the impact on the lives of thousands of New Yorkers is incalculable. Fortunately, most in our College community only experienced extended power outages; but several remain dislocated as a result of flooding. During, and after, the storm the campus served as a resource and refuge to several members of our community.
While our campus was closed for several days by order of the Governor, the facility fared well, but our communication system was out for nearly two weeks compromising our ability to serve our patients. The University Eye Center has since reached out to our patients, offering support and assistance in ensuring their eye care needs are met. Many of our students and our faculty have since volunteered their time working with the ophthalmic industry using mobile vans to provide eye care to those in areas affected by the storm.
I am proud of our community as everyone came together during this challenging time to lend support to one another and to those impacted by Sandy. But, while the devastation has been great, we should give thanks that all members of our community are safe and secure.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
A message to our loyal patients
SUNY Optometry’s Class of 2016 Does ‘Dialog in the Dark”
In October, the Class of 2016 attended "Dialog in the Dark" as part of their first year Integrative Seminar Class. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Lighthouse International at the South Street Seaport. The event provides first hand experience of navigating blindly through New York. As their web page states, it is "An unforgettable experience, the Dialog in the Dark exhibition bring you face-to-face with New York City landmarks -- in complete darkness...you'll discover a new way to "see" New York by its unique sounds and smells, textures and temperatures. And here's the twist - your guide is visually impaired."
Each student was taught to use a cane and was guided trhough a mock up of Central Park, Fairway Market, the New York City subway, and, Times Square. At the end of the hour-long tour, the participants were able to see their visually impaired tour guide and ask questions about their visual impairment, what life is like for them, how they navigate the world, etc. Each student was asked to write a reflection on their experience. Here are just a few quotes:
"The experience gave me an incredible appreciation for the sense of sight and how the other senses take over when vision is lost. The experience was unforgettable and I have the utmost admiration for all those who go about their everyday lives without being able to see."
"I walked away realizing how important communciation is to being a good clinician."
"The experience really increased my appreciation for vision. I also recognize how important it is to preserve the vision of my patients. The guide provided some insight into how current technology has progressed to aid the blind. It sparked some ideas in me on possible improvements."
Unfortunately, the Dialog in the Dark exhibit experienced storm damage from Hurricane Sandy and is currently closed. There are plans to reopen. This is the second year that SUNY Optometry's students participated in the event. The Class of 2015 participated last year. It's become a tradition for the first year class to attend as it teaches many important lessions to the future optometrists.
Major League Baseball and SUNY University Eye Center Partners at the East Coast Pro Showcase
Dr. Arnold Sherman, Director of the Sports Vision Center and Mr. Tim Osbourne of the Major League Scouting Bureau, arranged and scheduled a vision screening for 154 of the best high school baseball players on the East coast of the US. The showcase was attended by over 300 scouts from all major league teams. In recent years, the showcase produced many current baseball stars including Josh Hamilton, Justin Verlander, David Wright, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and the current American League batting leader, Mike Trout.
The screening team consisted of SUNY students Clint Sugnet, Mikilyn D'Angelo, Kathleen Maloney, Lamees Alshawkani, Chelsea Ashlaw, Charles Bong and faculty members Dr. Bob Byne, Dr. Brian Rodriguez and Dr. Arnold Sherman. Tests included visual acuity, eye health, oculomotor, fusion and stereopsis as well as dynamic abilities; focus speed from far to near, convergence in batting stance, eye hand coordination, proaction and reaction speed and accuracy, and speed and span of perception. According to Dr. Sherman, all the players had binocular visual acuity of 20/20 or better; most were superior with 20/15 or better without any eye disease. Approximately 15% of the players wore contact lenses.
The dynamic tests were more productive in differentiating players vision skills; 19 players scored low on these tests. A detailed analysis of the data and the relationship to baseball performance will be forthcoming. The East Coast Pro Showcase was held at Alliance Bank Stadium, Syracuse, New York, August 2-3, 2012.
College in Process of Developing a New Strategic Plan
The College's most recent five-year strategic plan, A Shared Vision, was launched in 2008. The successful implementation of this plan has allowed the College to make substantial strides in key areas, including education, patient care, research and community service. These accomplishments are documented in the State of the College reports which can be viewed at: http://www.sunyopt.edu/about/state_of_the_college_reports and also in Factbook at http://www.sunyopt.edu/offices/institutional_research/factbook.
Building on these successes, the College has embarked on development of its next five-year strategic plan. The process, coordinated by the Institutional Research Planning Committee (IRPC), will be an inclusive and broad-based effort that involves all segments of the College community. Dr. Steven Schwartz, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, chairs the committee.
The new strategic plan will be a road map that describes how the College will allocate its resources and efforts over the next five years. Its implementation will be carefully monitored to ensure that the College meets the goals and objectives that are developed.
Monday evening, October 22, 2012
A meeting for greater New York vision scientists
SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street
New York NY 10036
6:00-6:30 Arrival and refreshments (3rd floor reception area)
6:30-8:00 Talks (2nd floor)
JONATHAN DEMB, Yale University
Synaptic mechanisms for visual computation in retinal circuitry
JITENDRA MALIK, UC Berkeley
Shape estimation, lightness/color constancy and illumination from a single image of an object
8-9 Light supper, drink, and conversation (3rd floor reception area)
Directions to SUNY College of Optometry
The entrance to SUNY is at 33 W 42nd street, midway between 5th and 6th avenues, opposite Bryant Park.
B or D train to 42nd street and exit at Bryant Park
4, 5 or 6 train to 42nd street and exit at Grand Central Station
1 or 2 train to 42nd street and exit at Times Square
You will need to present a photo ID to obtain a visitor pass at the entrance to the college.
Join the VisioNYC mailing list.
11th Annual Envision New York update
Early registration for SUNY College of Optometry's 11th Annual Envision New York conference will end on Wednesday, October 10th at 5:00pm. Any registrations received after October 10th after 5:00pm are subjected to a $50 late fee. To see the conference brochure and register on-line click on the following link:
Traditional paper or fax registration is also still available. The registration sheet can be found within the brochure.
Partners for Sight Foundation Renews Support for SUNY Homebound Program
The Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has awarded the Optometric Center of New York, SUNY College of Optometry’s campus-related foundation, a renewed $30,000 grant for its Homebound Projects. This support is critical for the continuation of homebound eye and vision care to residents of the borough of Queens, and to providing lamps, eyeglasses and low vision devices to Manhattan homebound patients. This is the fifth grant from the Foundation.
Vision loss puts individuals at increased risk for a variety of dangers including falls, fractures, depression, and mistakenly taking the wrong medications, all of which can result in earlier admission into nursing homes and increased costs to the health care system. The Homebound Program offers much-improved quality of life for patients, enabling them to perform the tasks of daily living while remaining safer at home. The renewed grant will offer access to essential services for homebound populations particularly at risk, including older adults, people with multiple disabilities and/or other health conditions (e.g., stroke, cancer, obesity, paralysis and dementia), which can make it challenging, if not impossible, to access available health services in the community. A portion of the funds will be allocated toward the purchase of lamps to address issues in the home like proper lighting, and will also be used for eyeglasses and low vision devices.
“We are delighted to renew our partnership with the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation. The Foundation’s continued generosity will enable us to provide essential patient care in local communities,” said Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President Clinical Affairs, and Executive Director of the University Eye Center at SUNY Optometry.
Kathryn Richdale Appointed To Dr. Alden N. Haffner Innovation Chair
Kathryn Richdale, OD, PhD, has been appointed to the Dr. Alden N. Haffner Innovation Chair at the State University of New York College of Optometry. The Haffner Chair is a partially endowed position named for Dr. Alden N. Haffner, the founding President of the College. The Chair has been generously endowed by Richard Feinbloom, President of the Optometric Center of New York, the College’s foundation; along with generous donors as part of a challenge grant. This is the College’s first endowed chair.
The “Innovation Chair” provides supplemental support to attract talented and promising young faculty to the College in tenure-track positions. The Chair is held for a maximum of five years or until tenure is earned, whichever occurs first.
“Endowed chairs are established to recognize and retain outstanding faculty who have distinguished themselves through their research and scholarly activity. We are delighted that Dr. Richdale is appointed to the first Dr. Alden N. Haffner Innovation Chair”, said Dr. David A. Heath, College President.
Dr. Richdale is an Assistant Professor and the Interim Director of SUNY Optometry’s Clinical Vision Research Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame, and OD and PhD from The Ohio State University. Dr. Richdale completed an Advance Practice Fellowship in Cornea and Contact Lenses at The Ohio State University.
She joined SUNY Optometry in 2011. Dr. Richdale’s primary research interests are presbyopia and contact lenses. She is the Principal Investigator for a NIH/NEI K23 grant for the project: In Vivo Evaluation of Presbyopia.
“I am honored to receive this award and would like to thank the OCNY Board and Mr. Feinbloom for their support. As a young faculty member, this award is invaluable, as it ensures dedicated time to continue my interests in clinical research. As the first Innovation Chair, I will work hard to represent SUNY Optometry’s goals for excellence in service, teaching and research,” said Dr. Richdale.
SUNY Optometry Welcomes the Class of 2-16
On august 16th and 17th, SUNY Optometry welcomed the Class of 2016 to the College's professional (OD) program and to New York City. The Class has an enrollment of 88 students consisting of 65 female and 23 male students. The average undergraduate GPA is 3.53 with the average total science OAT score being 346.
President Heath began the two-day orientation program with a warm welcome to the students and congratulations on their entrance to SUNY Optometry and to the profession of optometry. He noted ..."You are entering a profession that is challenging, satisfying and dynamic. By the time you graduate in four years, the profession will have changed and grown in remarkable ways." Dr. Philpott, Vice President for Student Affairs, reassured them that they ahd come to a welcoming organization and explained that ..."Each one of you has been carefully selected by our Admissions Committee and [thus] we fully expect each one of you to be successful.....and in the profession of optometry".
Suny College Of Optometry Receives Grant To Expand Clinic In China
The SUNY College of Optometry recently received a three-year $421,160 grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind to expand the clinic at the Center of Excellence in Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation at the Wenzhou Medical College in China.
Established in 2008 with an initial three- year Lavelle Fund grant , the low vision clinic will expand to include new patient populations so that it will achieve full sustainability within three years. As part of the grant, a new computer-based system of data collection and analysis will be implemented.
“Over the past three years, the Center of Excellence has broken new ground in China, developing educational programming and providing services for the benefit of the visually impaired community. With the generous support of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, we look forward to continuing our efforts to develop a self-sustaining model for vision rehabilitation services in China,” said Dr. David Heath, College President.
Dr. Michael Heiberger, project director, noted that the grant will fund a training program at the medical college for faculty and staff from other locations throughout China.
“With this generous support, this model for the delivery of low and vision rehabilitative care can be replicated throughout China. Rehabilitation has recently been made a priority of China’s central government which bodes well for future support of low vision services,” he said.