F Y EYE - The Official Newsletter of SUNY State College of Optometry
SUNY State College of Optometry
Issue 5 February 2008
F R O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T

President's Letter

Going Global
Universe SphereA common measure of a university is its reach and impact beyond campus walls.  And, indeed, the SUNY College of Optometry is moving well beyond those walls to embrace its global role.
In this newsletter, we  have the privilege of announcing two affiliation agreements signed with medical universities in China.  The significance of these agreements is less evident in the immediate benefit of the educational opportunity created for our students, but rather is found in the declaration that we, as a community, are committed to assuming a leadership role in the advancement of eye and vision care worldwide.
The College has had a presence on the world stage previously with educational programs in Mexico and China, and our researchers collaborate regularly with peers in Germany, England, Spain and China.  These are noteworthy as unique and commendable efforts reflecting the evolving nature of education and research.  Yet responding to the world around us and to opportunities presented from abroad is quite different from embracing a global mission with clarity and purpose.
The SUNY College of Optometry's impact locally, regionally and nationally is well established and we are fortunate to have the programmatic foundation which will allow us to share in the benefits of purposeful participation in the global community.  These agreements are but a first step in the College's strategy for going global.
David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
M A I N   F E A T U R E
Affiliation Agreements Signed With Chinese Medical Schools
Signing Ceremony at Wenzhou Medical CollegeThis past January, SUNY Optometry's President, Dr. David A. Heath and SUNY Optometry's Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Dean, Dr. Michael Heiberger, visited China and signed affiliation agreements with two of China's most prestigious medical institutions:  The Wenzhou Medical College and the Zhejiang University.
Wenzhou Medical College is based in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province and is known for its school of optometry and ophthalmology.  Established in 1987, it was the first department in China committed to optometry and vision science research.  In 1993, China's central government established the National Optometry Research Center at Wenzhou Medical College and it is now widely recognized as a national leader in optometry, vision care and research.  Under the terms of the agreement, SUNY and Wenzhou Medical College will pursue collaborative education programs and cooperative research, along with faculty and student exchange.  A delegation from Wenzhou is expected to visit the College in April.  Beginning this June, fourth-year SUNY Optometry students will begin to participate in 10-week clinical internships at Wenzhou's Eye Hospital.  The Eye Hospital cares for approximately 1,000 outpatients per day.
Signing Ceremony at the Zhejiang Univeirsty: L to R: Dr. Jianhong Lou, Executive Vice Dean, Zhejiang Univeristy School of Medicine, Dr.  Suzhan Zhang, President-2nd Affiliated Hospital,  Dr. David Heath - President SUNY Optometry, Dr. Michael Heiberger, Interim Vice-President for Academic Affairs SUNY OptometryAs of the Fall of 2009, the Affiliated Second Hospital of the School of Medicine of Zhejiang University, also in Zhejiang Province, will also host SUNY fourth-year student interns.  The Affiliated Second Hospital was established in 1869, with governmental oversight assumed in 1952.  With over 1.3 million patient visits per year, the hospital and medical college are nationally renowned for it patient care and research efforts.
President Heath has worked with medical universities in China since 1994 and notes "...SUNY College of Optometry holds a leadership position in optometry, nationally.  The extension of our program internationally is a natural step and, one very much in line with the aspirations of the SUNY System.  These affiliation agreements provide exciting opportunities for faculty and student exchanges, as well as for collaborative research." 
F O C A L   P O I N T
SUNY Optometry Unveiled
SUNY Optometry UnveiledThe College's historic facade, covered since June 2006, is beginning to shed its veil and assume a higher architectural profile in the Bryant Park community.  Built in 1912, the $5.9M project has restored the integrity of the building's limestone and marble exterior, while improving the energy efficiency of the facility with new windows.  The repairs required the replacement of some of the building's limestone with the largest of the stones weighing more than two tons.  Given the unique character and design of the building, each stone needed to be custom cut to specification.
SUNY To Revise Professional Degree Curriculum
Beginning with the entering class in the Fall 2008, the College will implement a revised professional program curriculum leading to the O.D. degree.  It will feature a semester system instead of a quarter system and will run on seven curricular tracks that extend throughout the four years.  These tracks are:  Systemic/Ocular Health; Clinical Examination; Refractive Conditions and Skills; Visual/Perceptual Sensorimotor; Public/Community Health, and, Clinical and Integrative Seminar.  Greater emphasis will be on integrating clinical knowledge and skills with basic science information.
DI D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • For the past ten years, 8% of incoming students at the SUNY College of Optometry have been foreign.
  • In the People's Republic of China there are approximately 25,000 eye doctors for 1.325 billion people or 1 per 53,000.  In the United States, the ratio is closer to 1 per 6,000.  (O.D. and M.D.)
  • Approximately 153 million people suffer from visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism).  Virtually all these people could restore normal vision with eyeglasses or contact lenses.  (World Health Organization)
  • The Commission on Higher Education recommended that SUNY increase its focus on internationalizing curricula, expanding international partnerships for faculty, and increasing internship and study abroad opportunities for students.
Dr. Peter Reinach Appointed Visiting Professor
Dr. Peter Reinach has been appointed Visiting Professor of Ophthalmology at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China for three years.  The appointment includes research money for his project at Xiamen.
SUNY Gala To Honor Elias and Gangolli
The Optometric Center of New York, the College's Foundation, will honor Richard Elias, President of Transitions Optical and Julian Gangolli, President of North America Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Inc., at its annual "Eyes On New York" Gala on Friday, April 11.  R. Michael Daley, President of Essilor of America and Ed Greene, President of Vision Council of America, will serve as corporate co-chairs.  The event will be held in the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center during Vision Expo East and will feature a cocktail reception, dinner, awards presentation and entertainment by one of the most popular big bands in New York City -- "NY City Swing".  For more information on this event, contact Ms. Ann Warwick, Vice President for Advancement at 212-938-5600.
New York Glaucoma Symposium
On Sunday, January 20, 2008, the SUNY Office of Continuing Professional Education held its annual New York Glaucoma Symposium at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel.  This year, 148 optometrists attended the six hour program which was an 18% increase over last year's attendance.  The presenter's were Dr. Murray Fingeret, a member of SUNY's faculty, Dr. Howard Barnebey, an ophthalmologist from Seattle and Dr. Jeffrey Liebmann, an ophthalmologist from Long Island.  A major sponsor of this event is Alcon.
Scholarly Works & Publications 
Shimin Li, Ph.D., Robert Sack, Ph.D., Trinka Vijmasi, B.S., Sonal Sathe, M.S., Ann Beaton, Ph.D., David Quigley, M.S., Marianne Gallup, B.A. and Nancy A McNamara, O.D., Ph.D.  "Antibody Protein Array Analysis of the Tear Film Cytokines" Grant awarded by NIH, National Eye Institute, Dr. Nancy McNamara corresponding author.
Alonso, J.M., C.I. Yeh and C.R. Stoelzel (2008).  "Visual Stimuli Modulate Precise Synchronous Firing Within The Thalamus" (special issue in honor of Mircea Steriade).  Thalamus and Related Systems (published online by Cambridge University Press, January 2008).
Tran G., Sedgwick, H.A.  "Spatial Compression Produced By A Stationary Low-vision Telescope".  Optom. Vis. Sci., January 2008, 85(1).
Dul, M.W.  "Glaucoma", in the Encyclopedia of Elder Care, 2nd ed., Capezuit, E.A., Siegler, E.L., Mezey, M.D. eds, Springer Publishing, 2008.
Reinach, P.S., Capo-Aponte, J.E., Mergler, S., Pokorny, K.S.  "Roles of Corneal Epithelial Transport Mechanisms in Mediating Responses to Cytokines and Osmotic Stress".  Ocular Transporters:  In Ophthalmic Diseases and Drug Delivery Tombran-Tink, J. and Barnstable, C.J., eds.  Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, in press.
M O R E   O N   U S

Personnel Notes 

Ms. Jennifer Tormo, Assistant to the PresidentWelcome to Ms. Jennifer Tormo who joined the staff of the President's Office as Assistant to the President on Tuesday, February 19th.  Jennifer fills the position left vacant by Ms. Joyce Stelmack upon her retirement this past December.  Over the past four years, Jennifer has worked as an administrative and executive assistant at various companies in the New York City area.  She can be reached at 212-938-5650.

Ms. Keisha Goldsmith has also joined the staff of SUNY College of Optometry.  Keisha, an LPN, is a member of the nursing staff of the University Optometric Center (UOC), the College's clinic.  She has a varied background in everything from hospital work to prison health services.  Ms. Goldsmith is on site on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in Ocular Disease and the Lasik Center located on the 6th floor.
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