SUNY College of Optometry Dedicates State-of-the-Art Center for Pediatric Eye Care

Leading Optometry Providers and Researchers Expand Clinical Space Allowing for Up to 10,000 Pediatric Visits Annually 

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New York, New York – Today, one of the nation’s leading providers of eye care and vision research celebrated the dedication of the recently expanded Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care, named for the late Barbara Saltzman, former president of the Optometric Center of New York Board of Trustees. The $3+ million state-of-the-art, clinical care facility covers 5,000 sq. ft., increases capacity to see up to 10,000 visits annually, utilizes evidence-based practice to provide high quality eye care to our pediatric patients and trains future eye care professionals. 

“Barbara was a generous and passionate advocate for eye and vision care including the work we do in the University Eye Center,” said SUNY College of Optometry President, Dr. David A. Heath. “The newly expanded Center for Pediatric Eye Care is an embodiment of her dedication to enhancing the patient experience. Through generous donations and the support of legislators like Senator Brad Hoylman, we’ll be able to ensure every family who visits continues to be met with unparalleled care and support.”  

“The Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care will provide innovative and much-needed vision care to children and families in our community. I am proud to have been able to allocate funding to help complete the center and am honored to welcome it to my district,” shared New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “The University Eye Center has played an invaluable role in our community by giving all New Yorkers access to vision care. Their support for important research at the SUNY College of Optometry, along with extensive neighborhood programming and outreach, have made the University Eye Center the remarkable institution of community eye care that it is today.” 

In 2016, SUNY College of Optometry received a $1.5M grant from the State of New York to expand its pediatric clinical care facilities in its University Eye Center.  An additional $100,000 grant was realized through the support of Senator Hoylman with several other donors providing support through the  Our Vision for Children campaign. Funds raised were used to purchase new equipment, innovative diagnostic technology, and modern furnishings to create a welcoming environment for young patients and their families. 

Barbara Saltzman devoted her entire career to the healthcare industry. She had a passion for vision-related causes and served on several nonprofit boards, including the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the affiliated foundation for SUNY College of Optometry. Barbara joined the OCNY in 2009 and became president of the board in 2015. 

“Sight is one of our most precious senses and I am thrilled to be able to support the OCNY and the College as they grow their pediatric care area and continue to help their youngest patients see better,” the late Barbara Saltzman noted in 2019. “The new pediatric center is designed from top to bottom to enhance the patient experience and enable every family who comes here to access the same unmatched level of care that we have come to expect from the University Eye Center.” 

Donors who helped bring the innovative Pediatric Eye Care Center to life include:

  • Barbara Saltzman, former Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) Board of Trustees President
  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, leading private international philanthropic foundation
  • Goldman-Cohen Family, recognizing the late Dr. Sandra Cohen
  • CooperVision, global leader in contact lenses and myopia management
  • Richard Feinbloom, owner of Designs for Vision and member of the OCNY Board of Trustees
  • Allene Reuss Memorial Trust, a private foundation focused on aiding, preventing, and curing vision problems

A leader in optometric education and research worldwide, SUNY Optometry will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 14th, 2022.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4th, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT:  Dawn Rigney | communications@sunyopt.edu | 212-938-5600

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About SUNY Optometry

Founded in 1971 and located in New York City, the State University of New York College of Optometry is a leader in education, research, and patient care, offering the Doctor of Optometry degree as well as MS and PhD degrees in vision science. The College conducts a robust program of basic, translational, and clinical research and has over 65 affiliated clinical training sites as well as an on-site clinic, the University Eye Center. The Optometric Center of New York serves as the College’s affiliated philanthropic foundation securing resources to support the mission of the College. SUNY Optometry is regionally accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools; its four-year professional degree program and residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association. All classrooms, research facilities and the University Eye Center, which is one of the largest optometric outpatient facilities in the nation, are located on 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan. To learn more about SUNY Optometry, visit www.sunyopt.edu.