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June 24, 2008

Partners for Sight Foundation Supports SUNY Homebound Program

The Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has awarded the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) a $25,000 grant in support of expansion of the Homebound Program into Queens this summer.  The initiative will provide much-needed vision care to underserved patients throughout the borough in the coming year.  This is a first-time grant from the Foundation.

The Homebound Program, begun by the SUNY College of Optometry more than 25 years ago, sends optometrists into local neighborhoods in order to provide high quality patient care for people confined to their homes.  Most recently, homebound services have been provided solely in Manhattan.

The new grant will offer access to essential services for people with impaired sight who are at risk for increased falls and fractures, depression, and difficulty identifying medications, which can lead to serious drug-related errors among other dangers.  Homebound populations particularly at risk include 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.

"Our goal is to promote independent and productive living for people with impaired sight.  Addressing the vision care needs of the homebound population will help improve quality of life, and provide a safer home environment," said Susan Olivo, Vice President and General Manager of the Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation.

"We are delighted that our new alliancewith the Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation will enable us to further extend essential patient care services into local communities," said Richard Feinbloom, President of the OCNY.

Partners for Sight is dedicated to increasing the self-reliance and dignity of blind and visually impaired persons. We believe these individuals should have the tools and resources necessary to lead independent, productive lives. Through our support of non-profit organizations that share this philosophy, we're making the world easier to navigate for thousands of people, every day.

The Optometric Center of New York is the allied and endowing foundation of the State University of New York, State College of Optometry, and is the primary source of private support for its patient care facility, the University Optometric Center, providing grants for projects such as a Homebound initiative, Indigent Care Project and Scholarship Fund, among others.