December 17, 2019

  The Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care Will Provide Unparalleled Vision Care to Children & Families

Naming recognizes Gift in Excess of $1Million from Barbara Saltzman who currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the Optometric Center of New York

Barbara Saltzman, Dawn Rigney, Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez
Barbara Saltzman, Dawn Rigney, Liduvina Martinez-Gonzalez

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 17, 2019) — The State University of New York College of Optometry today announced it has received a generous gift of $1.28 million from Ms. Barbara Saltzman, who currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the College’s related foundation. The gift will support key priorities for both the OCNY and the College which include completing the construction and equipping of the college’s new state-of-the-art pediatric eye care center and the establishment of a new endowed student scholarship fund. In recognition of her generosity and commitment to supporting vision care, SUNY Optometry will name the center the Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care.

“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,” said Barbara Saltzman, President of the Board of Trustees of the Optometric Center of New York. “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.”

“The College is eternally grateful to Ms. Saltzman for her years of commitment to this institution. This gift provides tremendous support for our mission of providing the highest-quality care possible for every single patient, particularly our pediatric patients who are often among the most vulnerable in society, while helping the college train the next generation of eye doctors and clinicians,” said SUNY Optometry President David Heath, OD, EdM.

The College of Optometry broke ground on the Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care in April of 2019. The Center, located in mid-town Manhattan on the College’s campus, will be a 5,000 square foot facility dedicated to accommodating the growing need for both basic and advanced pediatric eye care within the University Eye Center. The new facility will feature eight state-of-the art examination rooms, a sensory room (the “chill room”), consultation space, pediatric optical dispensing, and a centrally located area (the “Collaboration Zone”) for multiple disciplines to engage in collaborative practice, assuring optimal patient outcomes.

In addition to supporting the pediatric center, Ms. Saltzman’s gift will establish the Barbara Saltzman Scholarship Fund which will be awarded annually to high-achieving optometry students at the College.

Ms. Saltzman helped guide the College’s capital funding campaign for the pediatric eye care facility as well as the overall fundraising priorities for OCNY in her role as President of the Board of Trustees. According to the College’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Dawn Rigney who also serves as Executive Director for the Optometric Center of New York, “Ms. Saltzman’s leadership and passion for the support of vision-related causes is remarkable, and her generosity will empower us to not only provide the very best care to patients, but to do so in a facility designed to accommodate the needs of every child and enhance the training of our doctors.”

The new center is anticipated to open in 2020 with a dedication planned for early spring.


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 65 affiliated clinical training sites as well as an on-site clinic, the University Eye Center.  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

About the Optometric Center of New York

Founded in 1956, the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) currently serves as the college related, tax-exempt foundation for SUNY College of Optometry and its affiliated patient care clinic, the University Eye Center. OCNY stands as an example of what partnership among visionary community leaders, education, and businesses can accomplish. Since its inception the OCNY has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to supporting vision care for underserved populations; educating the next generation of optometrists including providing merit and need-based scholarships to students; and advancing research into the complex human visual system. To make a donation visit or to learn more contact or 212-938-5600.

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2019

Organization Contact: Dawn Rigney,, 212-938-5600

PR Agency Contact: Abdul Sada, 631-827-5055