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Issue 44
June 2012
M E S S A G E - 
Letter from the President

President David HeathOn June 29, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.  This long awaited decision moves the health care reform forward albeit with challenges ahead remaining.  Even if scaled back in the future, an expansion of coverage is highly likely and will result in a significant increase in the demand for preventive and primary care health services.


A survey of single-specialty practices, published in the April 29th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found that in 81 percent of practices surveyed, the physicians served as primary care physicians for only 10 percent or fewer of their patients.  It is well understood that the vast majority of medical school graduates are electing to pursue higher paid sub-specialties rather than serve in primary care roles.  While many call for an increased production pf primary care physicians, it is far more likely that primary care services will be provided by non-MD/DO providers, including nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists and, indeed, optometrists, among others, in the future.


Optometry, which already provides over 60 percent of eye care, nationally, is well positioned to meet the increased demand for eye care services that will result from the expansion of coverage and an aging population, and SUNY Optometry is well positioned to meet those needs for New York.   

David Heath, O.D., Ed.M.   
 - M A I N   F E A T U R E -

New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA) Pledges for Support of the Development of the new Career Development Center (CDC) 


The New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA) has pledged

Dr. Heath, Dr.  Landry, Dr. Fisher, Mr. Dorman, Dr/ Chung
Type caption text here.

$50,000 over the next five years to support programming at the new Career Development Center (CDC) of the SUNY College of Optometry.  The CDC, which began operations this past February, provides innovative programs and services for SUNY's students, residents and alumni to assist in career explorations and deliberations.  The CDC's goal is to ensure that 90% of alumni are in positions of choice within five years after graduation.



*This is a correction to the newsletter sent on July 9th.  The NYSOA should have been listed as the New York State Optometric Association.


Read More!   



- D I D   Y O U   K N O W ? - 
  • In the last issue, we erroneously stated that the Class of 2012 had a stellar performance on Part I of the National Board Examination with a first-time pass rate of 99%.  It was actually the Class of 2013.  Congratulations to the Class of 2013!          


- C A M P A I G N   U P D A T E S - 
Vision and the Promise Campaign
An Enduring Way to Honor a Loved One

Endowing a scholarship is a wonderful way to ensure that qualified SUNY Optometry students with financial need and academic merit will be able to complete their education.  It is also a wonderful way to honor or remember a loved one.

Dr. Richard Soden, Vice President for Clinical Affairs, has generously provided a $25,000 endowed scholarship in memory of his aunt and uncle, Samuel and Mary Gurkin.  

- H I G H L I G H T S -

Transitions Optical, Inc. Awards Healthy Sight Grant for Homebound Program   


A $5,000 Healthy Sight Grant has been awarded to SUNY Optometry's Homebound Program by Transitions Optical, Inc.  The grant will offer access to essential services for people with impaired sight who are a 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 makes it challenging, if not impossible, to access available health services in the community.  



The Wallace Fox Foundation Awards Grant 

The Wallace Fox Foundation has awarded the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) a $5,000 grant for general operating support.  This is the first grant received from the Wallace Fox Foundation by OCNY.   


Read More! 



The Arthur and Phyllis Milton Foundation Renews Support for SUNY Manhattan Homebound Program 


The Arthur and Phyllis Milton Foundation 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 of Manhattan in the comin year.  This the third grant from the Foundation.





Department of Defense (DoD) Grant awarded to Dr. Kenneth J. Ciuffreda


Dr. Kenneth J. Ciuffreda and his team has been awarded a one-year contract by the US Army to research reading problems in both civilians and returning troops with traumatic brain injury.  Reading problems are the most common complaint.  Improved eye movement control and reading ability will assist these individuals in returning to the work and school environments as productive members of society.  The title of the project is "Treatment of TBI-Induced Oculomotor Dysfunctions and Associated Reading Problems".  Members of his team include Dr. Jose-Capo Aponte, Dr. Neera Kapoor, Ms. Preethi Thiagarajan and Ms. Diana Ludlam.  The award is a continuation of earlier funded work in this area by the Army.



Dr. David A. Heath Elected President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry  


Dr. David A. Heath, President of the SUNY College of President David HeathOptometry, was sworn in as the President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) at the Association's Annual Meeting, June 27, 2012.  ASCO represents all the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico and maintains the central application base for students applying to optometry schools.  The term is for one year.  The College will host the Association's Spring meeting in March 2013.  


Mr. Quy Nguyen is a Winner of the 2012 Hoya Vision Care Grant and Scholarship Program 



Mr. Quy NguyenMr. Quy Nguyen is one of several winners of the 2012 Hoya Vision Care Grant and Scholarship Program.  The grant is $1,000 and as a winner, put him in the running for a $6,000 scholarship.  Quy submitted an ePoster that will be reviewed by Hoya's ECP Judges Panel who will select one overall winner for the Scholarship.


This award is accompanied by an invitation for Mr. Nguyen to join Hoya at the Annual American Optometric Association Congress that will be held in Chicago, IL at the end of June.  Quy was recognized for his achievement at an awards luncheon on Friday, June 29th, where Hoya announced the scholarship winner.  



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

SUNY Chief of Rehabilitation Service to be Distinguished Visiting Research Professor at University of Florida 


Dr. Neera Kapoor, Chief of the Rehabilitation Service in theDr. Neera Kapoor University Eye Center, has been invited to be the Distinguished Visiting Research Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville, during the period of July 11 - 13, 2012.  the purpose of the Distinguished Visiting Research Professor Program (DVRP) is to bring an exceptional senior scholar who can contribute to and enrich the department's research and intellectual endeavors.  Dr. Kapoor will give two lectures -- one directed towards emergency medicine residents and the second is a Grand Rounds where faculty from several departments attend.    


Dr. Barry Tannen Selected as a "Top Doc" in Practice Management by Vision Monday/Review of Optometric Business


The June 18, 2012 issue of Vision Monday Dr. Barry Tannen is one of several optometrists across the country featured as a "Top Doc" by the Vision Monday/Review of Optometric Business magazine.  Dr. Tannen is an Associate Clinical Professor at in the UEC, and President of Eyecare Professionals, PC, a private group practice in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, where he practices.  "Top Doc"s are optometrists who have developed and maintained a successful practice while facing the daily challenges that goes with maintaining a practice.  Each of the optometrists featured has taken a "discerning look at the market in which they compete and has taken steps to differentiate and grow their practice" and, in doing so, continue to put their patients' interests first.  The magazine staff, along with a professional advisory panel composed of various experts in the areas of practice management and optometric consulting, submits nominations of practitioners they consider noteworthy in the fields of marketing, digital media, business management, optical dispensing, the patient experience, etc.  These nominees are then reviewed by the editorial teams of Vision Monday and Review of Optometric Business to determine the final selections.  


University Eye Center (UEC) To Launch New Electronic Health Record System         


The University Eye Center has been using an electronic health record system for many years and will be updating it with a new and more advanced system that is not only capable of better serving its patients, educating students and assisting faculty, but also allows for a "patient management system".

The VersaSuite Integrated Health Care solutions system was found to be the best suited for the UEC operations and is being designed to meet the needs of the UEC. A few advantages of the new system are:
  • Greater reliance on electronic data input and the need for less paper (helps make the UEC more GREEN);
  • Improved quality of care for patients by enabling providers to have greater and immediate access to relevant clinical information at the time of patient encounter; 

- R E S E A R C H -
Scholarly Achievements


Dist. Professor Qasim ZaidiDr. Qasim Zaidi has been invited to serve as a member of the Mechanisms of Sensory, Perceptual and Cognitive Study Section, Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  This invitation is based upon his demonstrated competence and achievement in the scientific discipline of his research through the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals along with other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. His appointment term is July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2018.  


Dr. Kenneth J. Ciuffreda, Distinguished Teaching Professor, has been elected to a three-year term on the Advisory Board of NORA (Neuro0Optometric Rehabilitation Association).  NORA is an interdisciplinary group that primarily consists of optometrist but also vision therapists, occupational therapists, and others whose mission is to advance clinical research and vision care to individuals with brain injury, neurological diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders.  


Dr. Kenneth J. Ciuffreda, Distinguished Teaching Professor, will present a two-hour lecture to the San Diego Optometric Society on June 22, 2012.  The talk, entitled "Conceptual Model of Optometric Care in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury", provides an overview of the 4-tiers of vision care necessary to evaluate and treat TBI individuals for both the optometric specialist and non specialist in vision rehabilitation.  


The following graduate students have each received the Minnie Flaura Turner Memorial Fund Award for Visual Rehabilitation.  The award includes $2500 to pursue the research interests of the individual:


Wang, Yushi (Advisor:  Dr. Jose Manuel-Alonso)

Project Title:  "Functional Orgnaization of Topographic Maps in Visual Cortex"


Thiagarajan, Preethi (Advisor:  Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda)

Project Title:  "Oculomotor Rehabilitation in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Binocular Vision Anomalies"



Publications, Posters and Presentations      


In a list of the top 20 papers downloaded worldwide from the international journal "Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics"  in 2011, 4 of the publications listed were authored by members of the SUNY faculty.  The 4 papers are:


Rosenfield, M. Computer vision syndrome:  A review of ocular causes and potential treatments.  Ophthal Physiol Opt 2011;31:502-515.


Chu, C, Rosenfield, M, Portello, J.K., Benzoni, J.A., Collier, J.D.  Computer vision syndrome:  hard copy versus computer viewing.  Ophthal Physiol Opt 2011; 31:29-32.


Ciuffreda, K.J., Vasudevan B.  Nearwork-induced transient myopia (NITM) and permanent myopia - is there a link?  Ophthal Physiol Opt 2008; 28:103-114.


Thiagarajan P., Ciuffreda, K.J., Ludlam, D.P.   Vergence dysfunction in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI): a review. Ophthal Physiol Opt 2011; 31:456-468. 



- P E R S O N N E L -

Congratulations to the following members of the faculty who have been notified by Dr. Heath that upon the recommendation of the Committee on Professional Qualifications (CPQ) and the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. David Troilo, they have been promoted:

Dr. Diane Adamczyk to Professor
Dr. Julia Appel to Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Myoong (Esther) Han to Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Richard Madonna to Professor


Ms. Inu Lo joined the staff as Assistant Facilities ProgramMs. Inu Lo Coordinator.  She is working with and assisting Mr. Sudeep Lamichhane in the conducting of the numerous capital projects in the building.  Inu has four years of experience as a civil engineer with the construction management firm URS and has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.  She is LEED AP (energy-efficient building design and construction) and has worked on a LEED silver-rated project.  We welcome Ms. Lo to the college community.


Ms. Karen SampsonMs Karen Sampson retired June 29, 2012.  Ms. Sampson was on staff in the Contact Lens Unit of the University Eye Center since 1985.  On behalf of the staff, faculty and students, we wish her good health and best wishes as she moves on to the next chapter of her life.

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of ourDr. Harold Solan dear colleague, friend and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Harold Solan.  Dr. Solan was a member of the faculty in the University Eye Center's (UEC) who specialized in vision therapy and orthoptics.  He received his Doctor of Optometry degree from Columbia University in 1949 and was a consultant with the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) from 1958 - 1965.  In 1981, he became the Director of the Learning Disabilities Unit (LDU) of the UEC, a position he held for 10 years.  He was awarded the appointment of Distinguished Service Professor in 1994 by the SUNY Board of Trustees.  Dr. Solan authored over 100 publications, received numerous fellowships and awards, as well as gave over 100 lectures and presentations.

On behalf of the College community, President Heath conveys his deepest condolences to the Solan family.  Dr. Solan was a dedicated and loyal employee of the SUNY College of Optometry and truly will be missed.


*The College would like to remind everyone that all job openings are posted on the College website --