F Y Eye - The Official Newsletter of the College
Issue 39November/December  2011
- P R E S I D E N T ' S   M E S S A G E - 
President's Letter

Season's GreetingsWith the holiday  season upon us, it affords us an opportunity to reflect upon and to celebrate the College of Optometry's service to the New York community and beyond.  While FY EYE often highlights the notable accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students, we frequently overlook the day-to-day acts of charity that are embedded in our programs and in our values as health care providers.

Whether it is providing free vision screenings to the children of New York, supporting the indigent through charitable service, or providing for the elderly who are homebound with in-home care, the service commitment of our College community happens year round.  Our faculty and our students volunteer in support of the Special Olympics, while student organizations such as SVOSH (Student Volunteers in Service to Humanity) or the FCO (Fellowship of Christian Optometrists) undertake international missions to provide eye care in developing countries such as Nicaragua and Peru.  At the University Eye Center, no patient is denied care and we strive continually to enhance the quality of life for thousands of our patients annually.

Visual health is a wonderful gift to which our community dedicates itself year round.

David Heath, O.D., Ed.M.
 - M A I N   F E A T U R E -
University Eye Center (UEC) -Reaching Out to Meet the Visual Needs of the Underserved

As 2011 comes to a close, it is important to remember that there are many people of all ages who cannot find appropriate eye care for either themselves or their families.  This includes the very young, the homeless, the homebound and the elderly.  As part of the SUNY College of Optometry's strategic plan, the University Eye Center (UEC) is expanding its commitment to bring both vision and medical eye care to residents in the New York area who would not otherwise have access to it.  Child's Eye Exam

As part of the UEC, several specialized programs have been developed or expanded to help serve patients who require assistance.  These include our Indigent Patient Program, the Homebound Program and Community Screenings.  Each of these programs target specific populations requiring assistance.  This past year, we examined and treated over 200 patients in our homebound program.  On a weekly basis, two of our staff optometrists travel to patients' homes in the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens to examine their eyes.  The program is partially supported by the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the Reader's Digest Foundation and the SUNY College of Optometry.

In addition, the number of financial assistance requests the UEC receives continues to grow each year.  Thanks to the generous support of the College's Foundation (OCNY), the UEC is able to partially honor every one of these requests.  Over 500 patients annually receive assistance for all types of eye care through this program, including routine eye care, eye glasses, low vision services, vision rehabilitation services, as well as the treatment of eye disease such as diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Moreover, the UEC staff optometrists, students and residents, have participated in 55 screenings within the community with over 3,000 participants screened.

The University Eye Center is fully committed to serving its community through the programs that it offers and the recipients of these programs continue to express their gratitude for its availability.  The UEC looks forward to expanding these services in 2012.


D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?
  • Eighty-nine percent of households in America give to charity with gifts averaging $1,620 or 3.2% of income each year.  (http://www.networkforgood.org/donate/calculator     
  • Charitable giving in the United States in 2010 is estimated to be $290.89B (http/www.nptrends.com)
  • Thirty-five percent of all giving in the U.S. is directed towards religious organizations.  Education ranks second at 14% and health care comes in fifth at 8%.  (http/www.nptrends.com)                          


C A M P A I G N   U P D A T E S
Vision and the Promise Campaign
Making the Most of Your Charitable Contributions in 2011

As you organize your year-end tax planning, it is hoped that you will consider a gift to The Vision & the Promise: Campaign for the SUNY College of Optometry.  Your year-end gift can both reduce your income taxes (if you itemize), while providing meaningful support for the College.  You are strongly urged to discuss your tax planning with your accountant or tax advisor who can explain the most advantageous scenarios for your particular financial situation.  If you decide to make a year-end gift, please note that all year-end gifts must be postmarked by December 31 in order to qualify as a donation for 2011.  Gifts may be made in a variety of ways:  cash, stocks, assets, real estate and through estate planning.  It is also possible to make a donation online -- visit http://www.sunyopt.edu/ and click on "Giving".  The Office of Institutional Advancement would like to thank you for considering a gift to the Campaign.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please feel free to contact Ms. Ann Warwick, Vice President for Institutional Advancement or Ms. Pamela Lederman, Associate Director of Development at (212) 938-5600.


- H I G H L I G H T S -
4th SUNY Campus Showcase Held in New York City


SUNY NYC Regional Campus ShowcaseOn Friday, December 9th, the 4th SUNY Regional Campus Showcase was held in New York City at the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology (better known as FIT).  SUNY's New York City Regional Showcase featured the campuses of Downstate Medical Center, Empire State College SUNY Maritime, FIT, the SUNY Global Center (including the Levin Institute) and SUNY College of Optometry





Chancellor Zimpher greeting SUNY Optometry staff


 Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher



Each campus highlighted programs that are vibrant and current with regard to serving the New York City and its diverse community.  Visitors to the exposition were exposed to fashions ready-made and sketched designs by students; display of water crafts currently used in training students; information on programs in medicine, optometry, public health, nursing; clinical vision care, research and international programs.

SUNY Retinal Imaging Demonstration President Joyce Brown 



Each campuses was represented by their president.  President Joyce Brown (FIT) welcomed everyone to the showcase.  Chancellor Nancy Zimpher gave opening remarks after which she introduced Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Chair of the New York State Assemby Committee on Higher Education, who brought greetings from the New York State Legislature and expressed praise and gratitude for the work that is being done by SUNY throughout the State.     

 Chancellor Zimpher and President Heath

Presidents LaRosa, Carpenter, Heath; Chancellor Zimpher, Assemblymember Glick; Presidents Brown, Davis 




Phyllis Milton Renews Support for SUNY Manhattan Homebound Program


Phyllis Milton has awarded the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) a $5,000 grant in support of the Manhattan Homebound Program.  The initiative will provide much-needed vision care to underserved patients throughout the borough in the coming year.  This is the second grant from Mrs. Milton who is the President of the Arthur and Phyllis Milton Foundation.


For those who are homebound with serious multiple health problems, difficult choices must often be made about the nature and frequency of care received, and may even determine if a vision problem is addressed at all.  Vision issues may be viewed as less critical than other health conditions, putting people at increased risk for impaired sight, or, even blindness from eye conditions that may be fully preventable or treatable.  The Manhattan Homebound Program offers critical services to homebound elders, regardless of their ability to pay.


"Proper eye care is essential for older adults with vision loss to live independently.  Mrs. Milton's generosity will help us bring a high standard of care, as well as an improved quality of life to a seriously underserved population," said Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Executive Director of SUNY Optometry's University Eye Center.



Foundation Hosts Trusts and Estates Attorneys


On November 3, the Trusts and Estates Committee of the Optometric Center of New York Attendees at Lamb's Club Event(OCNY) hosted a reception and dinner for 50 of New York's most prominent attorneys at the Lambs Club in New York City.  The work of the Foundation and the College was described by Dr. David Heath and the video from the Vision and the Promise Campaign was shown.  Mr. Michael Mariani, Sr. Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Fiduciary Trust Company International and a member of the committee, welcomed the group and spoke about the mission of the Foundation.  Each of the five tables had members of the College's faculty and administration to talk about their roles at the institution.  They included:  Dr. David Troilo, Dr. Richard Madonna, Dr. Neera Kapoor, Dr. Daniella Rutner, Ms. Ann Warwick and Ms. Barbara Saltzman, OCNY Trustee.   



Donors Thanked at Christie's Event


SUNY Optometry Donors at Christie'sMore than 50 donors and OCNY Trustees were recognized for their generosity at a reception held October 21st at Christie's auction house.  Guests were given an exclusive look and tour of a new exhibit of Prints and Multiples before they went to auction.  These included works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  "This was a unique way to thank the many people who have generously supported the first phase of our Vision and Promise Campaign", said Ms. Ann Warwick, Executive Director.



Chinese Culture Optometric Student Association Hosts Food Festival


Entrees & DessertThe Chinese Culture Optometric Student Association hosted the first annual Food Festival on Monday, October 24, 2011.  Held in Alumni Commons of the College, the Food Festival celebrated Chinese culture and presented the newly established Chinese Culture Optometric Student Association (CCOSA).  The CCOSA is sponsored by the Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry.  The Association promotes interest in Chinese language and culture with a special emphasis on healthcare.  Advisors for the organization include Michael Heiberger, O.D., M.A., and Lili Tu, Ph.D.


The Food Festival featured a presentation about the new studentCCOSA Food Festival Attendees organization, authentic Chinese cuisine, traditional and modern Chinese music as well as a raffle.  The menu included egg tarts, mooncake, dumplings, tofu and string beans, scallion pancakes and other delicious Chinese fare.  The attendees included many students, faculty, staff and College officials.





CCOSA Festival OrganizersThe Association sends a special thanks to Ms. Emmeline Jang '14 and Mr. Jim Yates for taking pictures during this event.    




 - H I S T O R Y   O F  T H E  C O L L E G E :  T h e  F i r s t  4 0  Y e a r s  -


The Raymond J. Greenwald Rehabilitation Center       

In July 1994, Dr. Irwin B. Suchoff founded the Head Trauma Vision Rehabilitation Unit to assist victims of traumatic brain injury who also developed vision disorders.  The unit was renamed the Raymond J. Greenwald Rehabilitation Center (RJGRC), the Center serves the greater New York area as a wheelchair accessible clinical care and clinical research unit within the University Eye Center (UEC).  It continues to provide primary eye care and vision rehabilitation to enhance visually-related activities of daily living (ADL) such as, reading, computer use, writing, driving, walking and cleaning for individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) which is a secondary result of trauma, stroke, tumors, aneurysms, vestibular dysfunction and other post-surgical complications.

The RJGRC receives referrals from health care professionals at rehabilitation hospitals, centers and private practices within the greater metropolitan New York area.  It treats individuals with ABI whose vision signs and symptoms may have not been previously diagnosed; reports functional vision symptoms which may or may not slow down the rehabilitative progress and impair the ability to perform ADLs.  Using a team approach, an evaluation at the Center involves initial clinical intake performed by a social worker to aide the optometrist in addressing patient needs; meeting with the optometrist after the social work intake to undergo a comprehensive review of the patient's vision problem and associated medical history along with a series of diagnostic tests; referrals to other specialty practices within the UEC for additional evaluation and treatment, as needed.  Two to three additional visits is necessary to complete the testing and to form a diagnosis and treatment plan with prognosis.  The information from the social work report, the referring professional's report and the optometric examination will assist in the determination of how the patient is processing information; prepare individualized treatment plan and recommend periodic re-evaluations to monitor progress with the treatment plan and communication with the referring professional in order to assure the most favorable outcome.

Dr. Neera KapoorThe Raymond J Greenwald Rehabilitation Center is currently under the directorship of Dr. Neera Kapoor and has maintained its leadership in the area of optometric care with state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative measures and the education of optometry students and residents through clinical rotations, as well as a residency program dedicated to Vision Rehabilitation (ABI) /Primary Eye Care.  It also maintains an inter-disciplinary faculty who work together in clinical research endeavors, continuing professional education on vision rehabilitation and clinical care to best serve its patients.


*Many thanks to Dr. Neera Kapoor for her contribution to this article.   



SUNY Office of Continuing Professional Education Plans for 2012   


"2012 is shaping up to be an innovative, fresh and exciting year for the Office of Continuing Professional Education", says Stacy Weiss, Associate Director.  The Office will begin the year by reprising two of their annual Sunday programs:  The New York Glaucoma Symposium will be held at the LaGuardia Marriott on January 22, 2012 and, SUNY's Day on Oral Pharmaceuticals will be held the following Sunday, January 29th, at the College.


The month of March marks the return of the Major Residents Presentations.  It will be held on March 7 and 8, 2012.  The program will cover an array of topics that will be of interest to every optometrist.  The Office is pleased to announce the inaugural "Breakfast and Learn" program designed at the request of the optometric community and will provide four hours of continuing education on Sunday mornings as well as allow the attendee an opportunity to use the morning to learn.  The first course, presented by Richard J. Madonna, OD and Richard Soden, OD, will be held at the College on April 15, 2012.


This past October marked the 10th anniversary of the Envision New York conference.  This year's conference was held at the Millennium Broadway Hotel due to construction marking the first phase of the College's multi-phase renovation plan.  Envision New York was home to more than 30 continuing education courses delivered over the course of three days.  Aside from cutting edge continuing education, Envision attendees had the opportunity to enjoy a cocktail reception and alumni reunion held for the first time at Pera Mediterranean Brasserie.  Next year's 11th Annual Envision New York is scheduled for October 20-22, 2012.



SUNY is Awarded 2011 Essilor Optical Technology GMs. Nancy Kirschrant 

The SUNY College of Optometry was awarded one of three $20,000 2011 Essilor Optical Technology Grants from the American Optometric Foundation for the project "Sports Vision:  Raising Awareness for the Patient and the Optometry Student".  Ms. Nancy Kirsch submitted the grant request to support a special project to promote the use of safety eyewear and sports vision for athletes of all ages.



Dr. Thomas Wong Receives Awards from Alma Mater and the Maryland Optometric Association 

Dr. Tom WongGeorgetown University awarded its William Gaston Alumni Award to Dr. Thomas Wong, Chief of Adult and Pediatric Primary Care in the University Eye Center (UEC).  The award recognizes outstanding service by graduate and undergraduate alumni who have exhibited leadership across many activities such as regional clubs, class programs and/or participation in other school activities.  A maximum of five awards are presented each year.  Named for the first student to enroll in Georgetown College, William Gaston obtained Georgetown's charter as an educational institution while a member of the United States Congress.  He later served as Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  Dr. Wong will receive the award on February 3, 2012 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  Congratulations to Dr. Wong from the faculty, staff and students at the SUNY College of Optometry.
Dr. Wong receives award from Dr. Burns

On Sunday, December 4, 2011, Dr. Wong was presented the Maryland Optometric Association's (MOA) Melvin Waxman Award during the association's annual awards luncheon which was held at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.  This honor was bestowed upon Dr. Wong in recognition of his long-term sustained, dedicated and loyal service to the optometric profession and to the Maryland Optometric Association.  The event was part of the 2011 Fall Convention that features continuing education forum and board certification preparation.

Dr. Bruce Rosenthal Honored by Lighthouse International 
Dr. Bruce Rosenthal, Adjunct Professor and former faculty member of the SUNY College of Optometry, was the co-recipient of the Henry A. Grunwald Award by Lighthouse International.  Held at a luncheon at the Metropolitan Club on November 30, 2011, Dr. Rosenthal received the award, along with Ms. Anita Volz Wien, for his continuous work in public service. 
The award is named in honor of the late Henry A. Grunwald who was the US Ambassador to Austria, Editor-in-Chief of Time, Inc., and noted author of Twilight:  Losing Sight, Gaining Insight which is the personal account of his experience with the onset of macular degeneration.  Emcee Liz Smith presented the awards.

- U N I V E R S I T Y   E Y E   C E N T E R -

Falls are Preventable!   


Each year, one in every three adults, age 65 and older, falls.  Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas and can increase the risk of early death.  Every 17 seconds an older adult is treated in the Emergency Department for a fall-related injury, and, every 29 minutes an older adult dies from a fall.  Fortunately, there are steps that everyone can take to stay healthy and reduce the risk of falls.

Most falls happen in the home.  Risks like tripping hazards, certain types of medications, poor eyesight, muscle weakness or any combination of these can lead to falls.  Understanding risks for falls can help seniors take stpes to stay safe.

How big is the problem?
  • In 2008, over 19,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
  • In 2009, 2.2 million non-fatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 581,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
  • In 2000, direct medical costs of falls totalled a little over $19 billion -- $179 million for fatal falls and $19 billion for non-fatal fall injuries.  This equals $28.2 billion in 2010 dollars.  
What outcomes are linked to falls?
  • Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, such as lacerations, hip fractures or head traumas.  These injuries can make it hard to get around ro live independently and increase the risk of early death.  Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).  In 2000, TBI accounted for 46% of fatal falls among older adults.
  • Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.  The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelis, upper arm and hand.
  • Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling.  This fear may cause them to limit their activities leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness which, in turn, increased their actual risk of falling.   
Fall injuries:
  • The chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age.  In 2009, the rate of fall injuries for adults 85 and older was almost four times that afor adults 65 to 74.3.
  • People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
  • Women are more likely than men to be injured in a fall.  In 2009, women were 58% more likely than men to suffer a non-fatal fall injury.  Men, on the other hand, are more likely to die from a fall.   
How can older adults prevent falls?  Older adults can remain independent and reduce their chances of falling.  They can:
  • Exercise regularly.  It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and, that they get more challenging over tieme.  Tai Chi programs are especially good.
  • As their doctor, or pharmacist, to review their medications -- both precription and over-the-counter -- to identify medications that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor, at least once a year, and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision.  consider getting apair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the lavatory; adding stair railings and improving the lighting in their homes. 

Joseph Stamm, O.D., F.A.A.O., Appointed Chief of Advanced Care/Ocular Disease

The appointment of Dr. Joseph Stamm as the new Chief of Advance Care/Ocular Disease inDr. Joseph Stamm the University Eye Center (UEC), was announced by Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs.  The patient care delivery system has been reorganized to better serve its patients and to anticipate changes with health care reform.  As Chief of Advanced Care/Ocular Disease, Dr. Stamm will provide the leadership needed to achieve these changes within this service.  His appointment completes the reorganization of the UEC clinical services into three distinct areas:  adult and pediatric primary eye care; advanced care/ocular disease; and, vision rehabilitation.

Dr. Stamm received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1978 from Harpur College at SUNY Binghamton and his Doctor of Optometry degree from SUNY College of Optometry in 1982.  He spent 19 years in private practice with a specialty in contact lens care in Rochester, NY and joined the faculty of the University of Rochester Medical Center where, for the past 10 years, he staffed the Department of Ophthalmology's refractive surgical center.  While there, Dr. Stamm was actively involved in the education of the University's medical students, ophthalmology residents and corneal fellows.

A Past-President of the New York State Optometric Association, Dr. Stamm is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.  In 2007, he became the first Clinical Refractive Technologies Diplomate in the Academy's Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies.  He currently serves on the Section's Leadership Committee.  Dr. Stamm has lectured extensively on anterior segment topics and serves a a reviewer for several refereed journals in the profession.

Dr. Soden said "...this new organization reflects the important role that all clinical services will assume at SUNY and within existing and future health care models".  He expects the Advanced Care/Ocular Disease service to continue to expand under Dr. Stamm's leadership thus enabling the UEC to meet the needs of the patients it serves.

We join Dr. Soden and our UEC colleagues in welcoming Dr. Stamm to the College community.

Diabetes Awareness! 

Dr. Bass supervising students screeningNovember was National Diabetes Awareness Month.  The Ocular Disease & Special Testing Service held its second annual Diabetic Eye Screening & Presentation on November 3rd to screen patients for diabetic retinopathy and to educate them on the effects diabetes has on vision.  The screening was well-attended with 30 patients attending.  Dr. Jordan Skyer gave a presentation on "The ABC's of Nutrition and Your Eyes"; Nurse Brian Martin spoke of the "Facts About Diabetes" and Dr. Richard Madonna addressed "Diabetes & Your Eyes, Get the Facts!".  A positive feedback on the screening and presentations was received from the attendees.


- R E S E A R C H -

Li X, Han X, Llano J, Bole M, Zhou X, Swan K, Anandaiah A, Nelson B, Patel NR, Reinach PS, Koziel H, Tachado SD [ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22025552 ]Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Inhibition in Macrophages of Asymptomatic HIV+ Persons Reverses the Decrease in TLR-4-Mediated TNF-Release through Prolongation of MAPK Pathway Activation. J Immunol. 2011;187(11):6052-8.  

Mergler S, Valtink M, Taetz K, Sahlmüller M, Fels G, Reinach PS, Engelmann K, Pleyer U. Characterization of transient receptor potential vanilloid channel 4 (TRPV4) in human corneal endothelial cells. Exp Eye Res. 2011;93(5):710-9.

Wang Z, Bildin, VN , Yang H , Capó-Aponte  JE , Yang Y , Reinach  PS .  Dependence  of  corneal epithelial  cell  proliferation on modulation of interactions between ERK1/2 and NKCC1  Cell Physiol and Biochem;2011: 28:703-14.

Wang Z, Yang  Y, Capo-Aponte JE, Tachado SD, Wolosin JM, Reinach PS . NF-kappaB  feedback  control of JNK1  activation modulates TRPV1-Induced Increases in IL-6 and IL-8 release by corneal epithelial cells. Molecular Vision 2011; 17:3137-3146. 

Scholarly Accomplishments


At the past meeting of the American Academy of Optometry, three members of the faculty of the SUNY College of Optometry completed their requirements for fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry.  They are:


Dr. Myounghee (Esther) Han  - FAAO



The following SUNY faculty and past residents completed their requirements for fellowship in COVD:


 Dr. Steven Ritter 

 Dr. Audra Steiner 



 Dr. Leanna Dudley
 Dr. Lynn Lowell
 Dr. Maura Massucci
 Dr. Angela Peddle
 Dr. Kim Walker
 Dr. Rosalie Lee-Hopkins 
Dr. Barry Tannen

Dr. Barry Tannen was appointed to the Board of Directors for the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.





Dr. Andrea ThauDr. Andrea Thau was cited in the November 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping section on "good health" with regard to lasik surgery. 










- P E R S O N N E L -

Mr. Johnny GuillameThe College welcomes two new security officers to the Department of University Police.  Officers Johnny Guillaume and Muftau Agoro joined the college community on December 1, 2011.  They both
Mr. Muftau Agorobring prior security experience from the corporate, government and transportation arenas.  Their combined experience will further strengthen the College's security force.  Please join us in welcoming Mr. Guillaume and Mr. Agoro to SUNY!          

*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 2011, SUNY College of Optometry, All rights reserved.
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