F Y EYE - The Official Newsletter of SUNY State College of Optometry
SUNY State College of Optometry
Issue 4 January 2008
F R O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T

Roof View #1President's Letter

On December 17th, the New York State Commission on Higher Education (CHE) released its much anticipated preliminary report to the public.  The recommendations for the State University of New York are comprehensive, ambitious and, if enacted, could transform the University into one of the top public systems of higher education in the country.  The Commission's core recommendations would create new organizational alignments on the State level, enhance operating flexibility and dramatically increase New York's investment in higher education.  The complete report has been posted on the College's website (www.sunyopt.edu).
The CHE's recommendations aim to enhance the University's research capacity and impact; expand the number and quality of faculty; promote access and affordability for the people of New York State; and address deferred investment in our campus infrastructure.  The specific actions being recommended would clearly benefit the SUNY College of Optometry, support our prominent position in optometric education and increase our impact on vision care locally, nationally and internationally through patient care and research.
There has been positive support for the work of the Governor's Commission on Higher Education across all sectors.  However, the challenge of a faltering economy and the competing needs of other State agencies, indicates that increased funding for the future of SUNY is not secure.  I would encourage all members of the SUNY Optometry community to learn as much as possible about the CHE report and recommendations, and add your voices to advance the future of our University.  In addition to the report, the University has established a website, www.support.suny.org, to provide additional information regarding the SUNY budget priorities and mechanisms for support.
David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.

M A I N   F E A T U R E
Class of 2011 SUNY Faculty Awarded VSP Grant 
Dr. Diane Adamczyk and Dr. Rochelle Mozlin have been awarded a grant of $57,349 by Vision Service Plan (VSP) to develop "Optometric Centers of Excellence for Private Practice Specialty Education".  The mission of the program is to institute a clinical educational experience for 4th year optometry students in specialty private practice settings.  The program couples clinical educational opportunities with a practice management component and will also establish a formal program to develop the private practice doctor into a clinical educator.  VSP also made funding awards to five other optometry schools.
The SUNY's students have a longstanding history of participating in externship programs during their 4th year.  However, the majority of externship sites are in institutional settings such as the VA hospitals, community-based clinics, along with tertiary eye care centers and specialty service clinics.  This will not only bring private practices into the externship experience at SUNY, but will, respectfully, set a prototype for other optometry schools.  Moreover, it will develop a program to teach the private practitioner how to provide an educational setting for the student.
Pediatric and vision therapy specialty practices will begin the program.  Practices that are not currently providing clinical education to optometry students will be identified and a training program instituted to assist these practitioners in providing a structured, educational program embracing practice management concepts essential to running a successful private practice.  The process of identifying these practices will begin early this year.  Training programs are tentatively scheduled for October 2008.  It is Dr. Adamczyk's and Dr. Mozlin's intent to measure whether the incorporation of a formal practice management component into the externship curriculum will encourage more students to enter private practice upon graduation. 
Externships provide an important component to the students' clinical education.  The 2008-2009 academic year brings a few new sites added to the students' options.  The sites are Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired/Goodwill in Rochester, New York; Wenzhou Medical College, Eye Hospital in Wenzhou, China, and to additional sites in the Veterans' Administration System -- the Jamaica Plain Campus in Boston, Massachusetts and the Northwest Clinic of the Southern Arizona VA Hospital in Tucson, Arizona.  These sites not only reflect the variety of clinical educational opportunities available to our students, but they also reflect the strong presence of SUNY nationally and internationally.
  • D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • Applications for the class entering Fall 2008 are running 13.5% ahead of last year.  As of December 31st, there were 452 completed applications for 72 positions as compared to 398 in the prior year.  If this trend continues, we will end the year with more than 600 applications being submitted.
  • The University Optometric Center's Head Trauma Unit was the first and, remains, the only free-standing optometric head trauma unit in the country.  It offers the only optometry residency in this specialty, nationwide.
  • 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 have severe visual impairment that threatens to limit their mobility, independence and quality of life.  (American Foundation for the Blind, Aging and Vision Loss Fact Sheet)
F O C A L   P O I N T
Dr. Zaidi award
Dr. Qasim Zaidi Awarded Rank of Distinguished Professor
The rank of Distinguished Professor was awarded to Dr. Qasim Zaidi by the State University of New York.  The highest rank that can be bestowed to a SUNY faculty, it recognizes and rewards the scholarship and research of the finest and accomplished faculty members at SUNY and is conferred by the University's Board of Trustees.  Nominated by their peers, faculty who receive the Distinguished Professor designation have achieved national and/or international prominence; established a reputation in their field of expertise and consistently demonstrate extraordinary accomplishments throughout their career.  Dr. Zaidi was honored at a ceremony at SUNY Plaza in Albany, New York on December 6th.  He was presented with a medal signifying his title by Interim Chancellor John Clark and University Provost, Dr. Risa Palm. Congratulations to Dr. Zaidi on this high achievement.
Internal Control
The Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act, enacted by the State of New York in 1987 and made permanent on January 1, 1999, requires all State agencies to establish and maintain a structured system of internal controls and reviews with full documentation that is subject to external audit.  The State University of New York, College of Optometry is committed to this end.
The process of internal control ensures that anything that is meant to occur for efficient operation of the agency, will occur and that which isn't, doesn't.  Internal controls are used to also ensure that the operations within the institution work to accomplish a set mission.  Objectives of internal control are:
  1. the development and maintenance of reliable financial and managerial data;
  2. accurate presentation of this data in timely reports;
  3. safeguarding institutional assets against loss (by waste, abuse, mismanagement, errors and fraud);
  4. College programs and operations run effectively, efficiently and economically; and,
  5. the College is in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and guidelines of the University and the State.
A component of this program includes employee training as each employee has a responsibility for internal controls.  How?...  Through fulfilling the responsibilities established in their job description and meeting performance standards.  Additional policies relating to the employee's role in Internal Control can be found in the Public Officers Law, Policies of the SUNY Board of Trustees (copies are available from Personnel).
For more information on this program, or if you have questions/comments, please contact the Internal Control Act Committee, Room 937, Attention:  John Penn, Chair, or Mr. David Bowers, Campus Internal Control Officer.
Ms. Elaine Wells Receives Distinguished Member in AHIP
Ms. Elaine Wells, Library Director, was selected as a a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) of the Medical Library Association.  This is one of the highest honors that an individual can receive in the health information field.  The AHIP credential denotes the highest standard of professional competency and achievement in the field of health care information.  Congratulations to Ms. Wells on achieving this important recognition.
State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) Exceeds Goal
The College raised over $15,000 for the State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA).  Employee participation decreased a bit, but, the College exceeded the 2007 goal set by the New York City SEFA Committee.  The State Employees Federated Appeal was established as a venue to allow state employees to give donations to agencies within the State.  Run by State employees who sit on regional committees throughout the State, the SEFA Campaign is held annually from October through December within State agencies.  A booklet of charities participating in the SEFA Campaign is distributed along with pledge cards that allow employees to give through payroll deduction.  The Optometric Center of New York a SEFA participant.
Scholarly Works & Publications
The second edition of the "Encyclopedia of Elder Care" from Springer Publishing was recently released.  It contains chapters by Dr. Tanya Carter, Dr. Mitchell Dul and Dr. Richard Madonna.
M O R E   O N   U S

Ms. Guerda FilsPersonnel Notes

Welcome Ms. Guerda Fils to the Personnel Department.  Ms. Fils joined the College staff as Senior Personnel Associate on January 10th.  For the past seven years, she was Human Resources Manager at a major company in the New York area.  In addition to administering the College's benefits program, Guerda will assist Mr. Schading with employee relations.  Her office is Room 931 and she can be reached at 212-938-5883. 

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