President’s Message: SUNY Optometry Affirms Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

June 2, 2020


June 4, 2020

A Message From President David A. Heath, OD, EdM

SUNY College of Optometry

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic wave, we are now faced with new challenges in the wake of the tragic and unjust killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and the ensuing social unrest.  Indeed, this is only the latest example in a long history of systemic racism against the African American community in the United States.  Feelings of outrage, grief, and disillusionment are understandable and should serve as a catalyst for not only reflection but also a joining of hands across all walks of life to address social divide, disparities, and unrest that inflicts our city and country.

We are committed to being part of the solution by building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community of care that reflects our vast and growing population.

In the context of the health crisis, recent events highlight the inequities that continue to plague America based on socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity. As a community of educators and caregivers serving one of the most diverse cities in the world, the SUNY College of Optometry is dedicated to the health and well-being of all people. From students to faculty and staff, each day we affirm our commitment to social justice and the amelioration of health disparities among people of color and the economically disadvantaged.

The latest incidents in America highlighting systemic racism and inequities may leave us feeling as though we are faced with a choice between despair and action. As health providers, educators, and scholars, we must take positive action to advance social justice by using our collective potential, expertise, and healing hands to eliminate health disparities across all walks of life.  The SUNY College of Optometry is a place where the safety and well-being of our students, staff and patients come first—and all are welcome.

David A. Heath, OD, EdM
SUNY College of Optometry