F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 24 February  2010
- A  M E S S A G E  F R O M   T H E   P R E S I D E N T -
President's Letter
We at times, receive letters that tell us when we do something wrong or that criticize a policy and/or procedure that is not liked.  The tone of these letters, more often than not, let us know we need to take a second look at the operations within the organization.  However, we also receive those letters of commendation and it is always heartwarming to learn that the effort to provide the best professional service possible is not only successful, but also appreciated.
With this, I thought that instead of my usual "President's Letter", I would share with you a portion of a letter that I recently received from a school counselor at a NYC Public School in Queens:
"Dear Dr. Heath:
I have sung the praises of your organization for decades, ever since the mother of a boy with very limited vision told me of the wonderful work UEC did with her son.  I thought it might be good to let you know what your organization means to us in the schools.
As a school Counselor, I urge the parents I work with to bring their children to UEC.  Your clinicians have diagnosed problems that have gone unrecognized by neighborhood and even other major eye care organizations.  The reports your professionals provide are informative and clearly let me know how the school can help the child.  UEC has saved children from inappropriate special education placements and hurtful accusations of laziness and worse.  Many of our families have come to New York to find medical help for the children.  UEC is my recommendation for eye care......
Thanks for your time and for your outstanding facility.
David A. Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
 - H I G H L I G H T S -
NEI T35 Training Grant Awarded to Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda*
Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda was awarded a grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the amount of $228,400 for "Short-term Training Students in Health Professional Schools".  The program, a 10-week summner research training program for 1st and 2nd year optometry students from all optometry schools, will receive approximately $45,000 each of the five years.  It is a five-year grant and eight slots are allocated for each year.  Students, including SUNY students, must apply through an application process.  Eleven faculty are listed on the grant as mentors for the trainees and all are members of SUNY's graduate program with active research programs.  These faculty members are:  Dr. Jose Alonso, Dr. Ben Backus, Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda, Dr. Mitchell Dul, Dr. Philip Kruger, Dr. Barry Lee, Dr. Peter Reinach, Dr. Midituru Srinivas, Dr. Harold Sedgwick, Dr. David Troilo and Dr. Qasim Zaidi.
*This is the correction to the article that appeared in the January 2010 newsletter
D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • One hundred percent of the Class of 2010 passed Part II of the National Board Examination on their first attempt.  (Passage of all three parts are required for licensure).

  • The College of Optometry is affiliated with 14 Veterans's Administration Medical Centers.

  • Nationally, there are some 420 full-time VA optometrists, 150 part-time, and 149 optometry residents providing eye care and vision rehabilitation services to veterans.

  • VA optometry services provide care to over 950,000 veterans annually with nearly two-thirds of all vets receiving their annual eye care from VA optometrists.
- M I L E S T O N E S -
SUNY Optometry Student Council Votes to Re-establish Gold Key Club 
The Student Council voted at its recent meeting to re-establish the Gold Key Club at SUNY State College of Optometry.  This will be a chapter of the Gold Key International that is headquartered at the Southern College of Optometry.  The Club will honor students going into their last year who have shown leadership and contributed significantly to their "community" (college, neighborhood and/or beyond) while a student at SUNY.  Members of the 4th Year Gold Key will select up to 7 or 8 members of the 3rd Year class based on application and resume of leadership.  Members will encourage the student body to be involved as leaders and in community service while at SUNY.  The Club will begin identifying its first members with the Class of 2011. 
Annual EYE-Ball to be held March 25 
The annual, semi-formal, EYE-BALL, will take place on Thursday, March 25th at the Doubletree Hotel on Times Square.  Sponsored by the Student Council, the event allows for social interaction among students, staff and faculty.  The time is 7:30 PM to 12 midnight.  Sorry to say, but tickets are sold out.
State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) Raises over $12,000
Although the 2009-2010 SEFA Campaign got off to a very late start this year, the results were very good.  The College's SEFA campaign was held in January 2010 and the total raised was $12,628.  Eighteen percent of the monies collected was designated to the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the College Foundation.  Unfortunately, because of the late start, participation from faculty and staff was down.  However, the total raised reflects the caring attitude of our faculty and staff for the less fortunate and they are truly commended for their contributions.
SUNY College of Optometry Hosts  New York State Internal Control Association Downstate Chapter  
The New York State Internal Control Association Downstate Chapter met at the College on Wednesday, January 27th.  The topic was "Building a Better Internal Control Program" and the guest speaker was Mr. David Hancox from the State Comptroller's Office.   A powerpoint presentation was given indicating how areas within the workplace are determined low to high risk areas as well as how to monitor all areas for internal control.  Approximately 50 attendees were at the meeting representing State agencies from the 5 boroughs of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties.  Members of the Internal Control Committee of the SUNY State College of Optometry were present at this meeting.
- U N I V E R S I T Y   E Y E   C E N T E R -
Each year, new laws and regulations regarding the privacy of healthcare records are put in place.  The University Eye Center (UEC) is required to comply with all of these rules.  The Federal Trade Commission's Red Flag rule, existing HIPPA laws, and the new Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act require that covered entities like the UEC abide by the following:
  1. Protecting patient information with technical, administrative and physical safeguards. (HIPPA)
  2. Notifying patients within 60 days of any breach involving unsecure personal health information (PHI) which may pose a significant risk of financial, reputational or other harm. (HITECH Act)
  3. Informing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of any breaches with PHI. (HITECH Act)
  4. Establishing an identity theft prevention program with policies to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft. (Red Flags Rule)
The UEC is implementing several new policies and procedures to protect all PHI.  This plan includes procedures for what to do before, during and after a security incident as well as preventive procedures.  Protecting your personal health information and preventing identity theft will be priorities at the UEC.  The UEC has a strong commitment to the provision of quality care and service delivery.  Protecting you PHI is just one way the UEC demonstrates our commitment to you. 
- R E S E A R C H -
Invited Talks & Publications 
Dr. Terry Scheid w/Poster PresentationDr. Tery Scheid (SUNY), Dr. Kristen Fry (SUNY Alum) and Dr. Clark Chang (Salus) presented a poster at the Global Specialty Contact Lens Symposium held January 28-31 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The title of their poster was "Contact Lens Prescribing Considerations following Corneal Collagen Cross-linking". 
Kruger, P. Letter to the Editor, J. Optometry, 2009:2, p. 162-164.
Dr. Mark Rosenfield has been appointed Chair of the Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatrics research diplomate program at the American Academy of Optometry.  The mission of the Binocular Vision, Perception, and Pediatric Optometry section is to "foster and conduct clinical, educational and research activities in binocualr vision, visual information processing and pediatric optometry".  Its goals are:
  • "Develop, recommend, and present continuing education courses, workshops, and demonstrations to enhance patient care skills of optometrists interested in binocular vision, visual information processing and pediatric optometry.
  • Develop and present Section symposiums that present recent advances in visual science research and clinical care information in binocular vision, visual information processing and pediatric optometry.
  • Set the highest standard of clinical coompetency and knowledge for optometerists interested in binocular vision, visual information processing and, pediatric optometry via the Clinical Diplomate Program.
  • Develop a large body of Clinical and Research diplomates to further the clinical, educational, and research activities and goals of the Section.
  • Serve as a source of public information and public awareness on new clinical developments and research in the area of binocular vision, visual information processing and pediatric optometry."*(from:  http://www.aaopt.org/section/bv/goals/index.asp)
- P E R S O N N E L -
Dr. Robert McPeekDr. Robert McPeek has joined the faculty as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.  Dr. McPeek is a widely recognized visual neurophysiologist who studies the neurophysiological control of eye movements and visual attention.  His work is both experimental and has clinical applications particularly with regard to vision rehabilitation in patients with certain types of brain trauma.  His research compliments the research currently being done at the College in visual neurophysiology, eye movements and perception.
Dr. McPeek received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University, magna cum laude, in the field of Computational Neuroscience in 1991, and received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1997, also from Harvard, under the tutelage of Dr. Ken Nakayama.  Since then, he has held a research scientist position at the Smith-Kettlewell Vision Research Institute in San Francisco.  In addition, hs has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2004 to study the cortical and subcortical control of visual attention and will continue this work at SUNY.
He is married to Dr. Natalka Freeland who has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Yale University.
We welcome Dr. McPeek and his family to the SUNY Optometry community.
The College and the Office of Business Affairs is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Roger D. Cruttenden in the capacity of Associate Director.  Mr. Cruttenden brings to SUNY State College of Optometry a wealth of experience in the procurement area, especially within SUNY.   He comes to us from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn (Downstate Medical Center) where he was a procurement administrator for the past five years.  Prior to Downstate, Roger was employed for seven years at SUNY Upstate Medical Center as a Purchase Associate and was with Upstate for a total of 18 years.  He was the Director of the University-wide SUNY Purchasing Association and currently serves on that organization's Board of Directors.  Besides the duties of the recently vacated position of Purchase Associate, his duties will also encompass compliance issues; extensive data systems involvement and policy development within the Business Affairs Office.  Mr. Cruttenden's official start date is March 4, 2010.  Join us in welcoming him to the SUNY Optometry community.
*The College would like to remind everyone that all job openings are posted on the College website --http://www.sunyopt.edu/HR/jobs.shtml.
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