Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $2 Million in NYSUNY 2020 Awards for SUNY Optometry


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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $2 million in NYSUNY 2020 awards for SUNY College of Optometry. The awards will fund an expanded clinical care facility and a virtual reality simulation laboratory to provide state-of-the-art clinical education for high quality patient care. SUNY College of Optometry graduates 60 percent of all optometrists in New York State, and the funding will help meet the increasing demand for highly trained eye care professionals.

“We must ensure that health care professionals have the best skills and training for a stronger, healthier New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will equip SUNY Optometry with state-of-the-art facilities with cutting-edge technology to support exceptional patient care and meet the needs of New Yorkers.”

“The SUNY College of Optometry is a leader in education, research and patient care, evidenced by the thousands of optometrists who got their start here,” says Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “By strategically expanding and modernizing its clinical Care facility and adding a virtual reality simulation lab, New York State is assured to be a leader in optometry for years to come.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “SUNY Optometry is truly a center of excellence in this specialized field of medicine, and these improvement will only lift its national reputation for academic excellence. Congratulations to President Heath and the entire SUNY Optometry campus on receiving these awards, which are certain to provide students with a clinically-rich education in state-of-the-art facilities.”

SUNY Optometry President David A. Heath said, “Taken together, these two projects will support our increase in enrollment while enhancing our educational, patient care, and research programs. They will ultimately advance eye care for the evolving needs of the citizens of New York State. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for supporting our students, faculty, patients and staff with these NYSUNY 2020 awards.”

The new and expanded facilities at SUNY Optometry will promote care coordination, applied learning, inter-professional education and holistic care.

Expanded Clinical Care Facility – $1.5 million
An expanded clinical care facility will provide a template for the future integration of contemporary health professions education at the college with the emergent health care delivery system. While increasing capacity to accommodate the College’s enrollment management plan, the project will also provide a state-of-the art educational environment that incorporates clinical research and evidence-based practice to train future eye care professionals for New York State.

Virtual Reality Simulation Lab – $367,000
A new virtual reality simulation laboratory will include 14 pre-clinical training simulators that use an integrated, augmented reality technology to provide a three-dimensional experience for ocular examinations. The development of the simulation laboratory and the use of virtual reality technology serves as an effective bridge, preparing students for the applied learning experience of the patient care setting. The laboratory will efficiently enhance their technical abilities, knowledge and critical thinking skills.

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