F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 22 December 2009
FR O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T
President's Letter 
President David A. HeathWith the ongoing challenges of the U.S. and New York State economies, a strategic collaboration among institutions and organizations is increasingly critical to the achievement of our goals.  Foundations and Federal granting agencies are interested more than ever in multi-institutional applications which demonstrate an enhanced impact as a result.  In this issue of FY EYE, this theme of collaboration is evident:
  • Led by Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, the State University of New York is engaging in a collaborative, state-wide strategic planning process to "establish system-wide strategic priorities that will advance our mission while stimulating New York's economic recovery and increasing SUNY's capacity to better serve all New Yorkers."; and
  • The SUNY Eye Institute, a new research initiative of the SUNY Academic Medical Centers and the College of Optometry to explore and pursue collaborative research opportunities has been established;
The ability of the SUNY College of Optometry to advance our mission and to better serve the people of New York will be enhanced through collaborative efforts such as those shared with you today.  Collaboration is a trend that will be an increasing part of our activities in the years ahead. 
David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
 M A I N   F E A T U R E
SUNY Chancellor's Strategic Planning Group Update  
Chancellor Zimpher's initiation of the process to develop and implement a SUNY-wide five year strategic plan for the University is underway.  The plan, which has four phases, began with the Chancellor's 64 campus tour.  Now in the second phase, the State-wide Conversations began in September and will run through February 2010.  Two-hundred people were selected from the nominees submitted by the SUNY campus presidents to participate in the conversations.  The Strategic Planning Group represents a cross section of the University campuses and their community which include administration, students, staff, faculty, alumni and community leaders.  Seven conversations are scheduled, each having a unique theme.  The first meeting concentrated on ensuring economic vitality and quality of life and the second was on the education pipeline.  Arts and culture is the topic of the upcoming third conversation.  The other topics include quality of place, diversity and globalization, energy and sustainability, and health affairs.
The format for these day long sessions includes a guest speaker, questions and answer periods, and break-out groups that develop and prioritize the themes and goals.  An open forum is held before the start of each conversation during which time anyone may attend and share their thoughts with the group.  Individuals wanting to contribute to the Strategic Planning process may go to http://www.suny.edu/strategicplan/schedule.cfm and click "Open Forum" for more information.  Opportunities to share your thoughts will also be available on line after a conversation meeting.  In addition, members of the "Group of 200" may be given questions to bring back to their home institutions to get feedback.
Dr. Cathy Pace Watson, who, along with President Heath, is a member of the "Group of 200", says that "beside the opportunity to participate in the development of a plan that will guide SUNY", the "conversations have enabled people from all SUNY campuses to meet each other and share the best of what their campus has to offer."
The upcoming third and fourth phases of the SUNY Strategic Plan are the Launch (February 2010 - June 2010) and the Implementation and Assessment (June 2010 - December 2010) phases, respectively.
H I G H L I G H T S 
SUNY Eye Institute Holds First Meeting at SUNY Optometry
Collaboration is how many scientific breakthroughs are made and successfully translated into applications that benefit society.  Our researchers at Optometry are involved in many collaborations around the US and the world, but, until recently, there hasn't been very much collaboration in vision research across the SUNY system itself.  This is changing.
 2009 SEI Attendees
The first group meeting of the newly established SUNY Eye Institute (SEI) - under the guidance of co-directors Robert Barlow (Upstate Medical Cesnter), Douglas Lazzaro (Downstate Medical Center) and David Troilo (Optometry) - took place at the College on November 21-23.  The three-day workshop brought together eye and vision researchers from Optometry and the ophthalmology departments of the four SUNY medical schools at Buffalo, Upstate, Downstate and Stony Brook.  The Presidents of the four Academic Health Centers and Optometry, together with the Research Foundation, recently allocated funds to seed the SEI initiative along with other collaborative research groups in several other areas of medical research.
 SEI Presentation    Introduction of SUNY Eye Institute
More than 40 basic and clinical scientists participated in the SEI workshop.  Representatives of each school gave overviews of the vision research interests at their campus.  The group worked on ways to pool resources and expertise, and began to develop collaborative research projects and grant proposals aimed at creating innovative approaches to eye and vision disorders.  The group also began to consider ways to develop a large multicenter core grant proposal to compete for NIH support (the five institutions hold more that 35 major NIH research grants).  Development of a multicenter doctoral and post-doctoral training was another priority being explored.
SEI Work Groups
Meeting Highlights
Dr. John Danias (Downstate) gave an opening talk on developing a collaborative to create and test gene therapies for glaucoma that are aimed at preventing retinal tissue loss and regenerating damaged retinal tissue.
Drs. Bill Brunken (Downstate), Barry Knox (Upstate), Qasim Zaidi (Optometry), Steve Fliesler (Buffalo) and Gary Matthews (Stony Brook) presented overviews of research at their respective institution that provide opportunities for collaborations with translational potential for several clinical applications.
The group took part in a "speed networking" exercise designed to help develop new research collaborations.
Dr. Leslie Hyman (Stony Brook) presented strategies for developing and carrying out large clinical research projects that access our enormous patient base (more than 300,000 patient visits per year across the SUNY system).
Working groups were formed to develop an NEI R24 proposal for a large inter-institutional study to develop potential gene-based therapies for glaucoma; to study inter-institutional graduate student training and an NIH T35 training grant; to develop core support modules for an NIH P30 support grant and to develop a web site and internet tools for electronic communication between institutions.
 SEI Interaction      
Schnurmacher Foundations Award Annual Scholarships
On Tuesday, November 17th, the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation and the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation awarded scholarships to SUNY State College of Optometry students at the annual Schnurmacher Scholarship Luncheon.  Attending were Fred Plotkin, Esq., Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, Mr. Ira Weinstein, Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, President David Heath, Dr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, Ms. Ann Warwick, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Mr. Vito Cavallaro, Director of Financial Aid.
Schnurmacher Recipients
The recipients, all from the Class of 2013, are: Jennifer Caprio, Rae Huang, Amy Jasani, Juliana Le, Kathleen Maloney, Alexandra Mandel, Trusha Patel, Prapti Shah, Lauren Smith, Irene Tran.
DI D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • That 96% of the graduating Class of 2009 passed all three parts of the National Board Examination in Optometry prior to graduation?  This compares to 91% nationally.

  • Vision research funding by the Federal government increased in FY 2009 by $230 million.  This included $175 million through an Arra appropriation, in addition to an increase in regulara funding of the National Eye Institute (NEI) and for vision research supported by the Department of Defense (DoD).  (NAEVR/AEVR Report, Fall 2009)

  • The Infant Vision Clinic (IVC) of the University Eye Center has seen a 62% increase in patient visits over the first five months of this fiscal year.  Thus far, there have been 640 visits.
Partners for Sight Foundation Renews Support for SUNY Homebound Program
The Readers' Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has awarded the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) a renewed $30,000 grant for its Queens and Manhattan Homebound projects.  This support is critical for the continuation of homebound eye and vision care to older adults in Queens, and to providing lamps, eyeglasses and low vision devices to Manhattan homebound patients.
The Homebound Program, begun by the SUNY State College of Optometry more than 25 years ago, sends optometrists into local neighborhoods in order to provide high quality patient care for people confined to their homes.
The renewed grant will offer access to essential services for people with impaired sight who are at risk for increased falls and fractures, depression, and difficulty identifying medications, which can lead to serious drug-related errors among other dangers.  Homebound populations particularly at risk include older adults, people with multiple disabilities and/or other health conditions (e.g., stroke, cancer, obesity, paralysis and dementia), which can make it challenging, if not impossible, to access available health services in the community.  A portion of the funds will be allocated toward the purchase of lamps to address issues in the home like proper lighting, and will also be used for eyeglasses and low vision devices.
"Proper eye care is essential for older adults with vision loss to live independently.  The Reader's Digest Partners for Sight Foundation's role in the enhancement and expansion of these critical homebound efforts have brought a high standard of care, as well as an improved quality of life to a seriously underserved population", said Richard Feinbloom, President of the OCNY Board of Trustees.
Partners for Sight is dedicated to increasing the self-reliance and dignity of blind and visually impaired persons.  They believe these individuals should have the tools and resources necessary to lead independent, productive lives.  Through its support of non-profit organizations that share this philosophy, they are making the world easier to navigate for thousands of people, every day.
The Optometric Center of New York is the allied and endowing foundation of the State University of New York, State College of Optometry, and is the primary source of private support for its patient care facility, the University Eye Center, providing grants for projects such as a homebound initiative, indigent care project and scholarship fund, among others.
Benzoni, J.A., Collier, J.D., McHugh, H., Rosenfield, M., Portello, J.K., "Does the dynamic cross cylinder test measure the accommodative response accurately?"  Optometry 2009; 80:630-634
Posters and Papers Presented at the 2009 American Academy of Optometry in Orlando, FL.
Jackson, K.M., CDR, Kaiser, G., Wong, L., Rabinowitz, D., Chiang, M.F.  "Comparing Speed of Provider Data Entry:  Electronic Versus Paper Methods". 
Madonna, R. J., Nehmad, L., Rutner, D., Morar, K.  "Investigating the Association of the Visual Field Index with Mean Deviation and Pattern Standard Deviation in Glaucoma Patients". 
Sherman, J., Boneta,  J.E., Patel, H ., Sanjeev, N.  "Detection of Early and Pre-Perimetric RNFL Defects W/OPTOMAP(r) P200C".
Modica, P.  "Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology". 
Rapp, J.  "Nutritional and Biochemical Implications in Systemic Disease". 
Bass, S, Sherman, J.  "Hi-Tech Diagnostic Procedures in the Management of Glaucoma and Retinal Disease Workshop". 
Fischer, M.L., O'Connell, W.  "Video and Adaptive Technology in Vision Rehabilitation:  2009 Update". 
Tran, G., Arditi, A., Chan-O'Connell, L.  "Contrast Sensitivity and Visual Acuity of Low Vision Patients Through Hybrid-Diffractive Lenses". 
Sherman, J.  "Detection and Diagnosis of Retinal Disease Invisible to Ophthalmoscopy". 
Parekh, N., Reinach, P. S.  "Triptolide Stimulates Corneal Epithelial Wound Healing Through Increases in Cell Migration". 
Dul, M. W., Swanson, W. H., Lin, E.  "Diffuse Loss of Sensitivity in the Central 10 Degrees of Patients with Glaucoma Using Two Forms of Macular Perimetry".
Bass, S. J.  "The Differential Diagnosis of Functional vs. Pathological Vision Loss". 
Soden, R., McGovern, M. J.  "Medical Coding and Documentation:  What Every Doctor Needs to Know!" 
Bass, S. J., Sherman, J., Burmy, S.  "Structural and Functional Loss in Two Cases of Posner-Schlossman Syndrome in the Absence of Cupping".
Kulp, M. T., Chung, I., Bartolone, A., Stone, W.  "Correction of Hyperopia in Children Study (CHICS) Pilot, Correction of Hyperopia in Children Study (CHICS) Group". 
Nolan, A. M., Sedgwick, H. A.  "Compression of Perceived Depth Under Monocular and Binocular Viewing Conditions".
Thiagarajan, P. Szymanowicz, D., Ciuffreda, K.J., Green, W., Ludlam, D., Kapoor, N.  "Vergence Dynamics in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Patients".
Ciuffreda, K. J., Green, W., Thiagarajan, P., Szymanowicz, D., Ludlam, D., Kapoor, N.  "Accommodation in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury".
Thiagarajan, P., Ciuffreda, K. J., Green, W., Szymanowicz, D., Ludlam, D.  "Accommodation to an Isolated Light Emitting Diode (LED) Target".
Ciuffreda, K. J.  "A Simnple Clinical Test Battery to Evaluate Hyperstimulation Syndromes". 
Rutner, D.  "Vision Therapy as a Modality to Treat Oculomotor Symptoms Associated with Top of the Basilar Syndrome".
Chu, C., Portello, J. K., Rosenfield, M., Benzoni, J., Collier, J.  "Computer Vision Syndrome:  Hard Copy versus Computer Viewing".
Rosenfield, M., Gurevich, R., Wickware, E., Lay, M.  "Computer Vision Syndrome:  Accomodataive and Vergence Facility".
Lay, M., Rosenfield, M.  "Monitor Color Temperature and Computer Vision Syndrome". 
Eng, J. P., Sedgwick, H. A.  "Perceiving Time-To-Contact Through a Low-Vision Telescope". 
Marinoff, R.  Heard, C. G., Damari, D.  "Referral Patterns in Low Vision:  A Survey of Mid-South Tri-State Eye Care Providers".
Portello, J. K., Rosenfield, M.  "Effect of Blink Rate on Computer Vision Syndrome". 
Rutner, D., Bostic, M.  "Familial Dysautonomia:  Ocular Findings and Management". 
Sherman, J., Bass, S. J., Boneta, J. E.  "Amblyogenic Factors in a Child with Monocular Acuity Reduction Doesn't Rule Out an Optic Nerve Tumor".
Mandadakis, N., Chetrit, S., Bass, S. J.  "A Lifetime of Decreased Acuity Without a Diagnosis.  Putting all the Clinical Signs Together:  Identifying Bardet-Biedl Syndrome".
Sherman, J., Head, K., Madonna, R. J., Bababekova, Y., Fernandez, I.  "SD OCT and Mf ERGS in Achromatopsia and Cone Dystrophy".
Madonna, R. J., Sherman, J., Benzoni, J., Bass, S. J.  "Spectral Domain OCT Imaging of Stargardt's Disease and Fundus Flavimaculataus"
Schuettenberg, S. P., Sultani, A., Madonna, R. J.  "Benign Choroidal Osteoma in a Health Male".
Boneta, J. E., Sherman, J., Nath, S., Bababekova, Y.  "SD OCT Documents a Wide Spectrum of Normal and Abnormal Findings".
Sherman, J., Karamchandani, G., Nath, S., Hossain, S., Bababekova, Y.  "Range of Acquired Retinoschisis as Documented with Optomap(r) P200c".
McLeod, H. M., Morar, K., Richter, S.  "A Rare Cause of Peripheral Neovascularization".
Sultani, A., Bass, S. J., Sherman, J., Lowe, T. A.  "Extensive Roth Spots in a "Healthy" Asymptomatic Male Leads to Discovery of Chronic Myelogenous Lelukemia".
*The College would like to remind everyone that all job openings are posted on the College website --http://www.sunyopt.edu/HR/jobs.shtml.
Copyright 2009, SUNY State College of Optometry, All rights reserved.
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