A Message From the President
The State University of New York State College of Optometry, founded in 1971 by legislative act, is dedicated to the education of optometrists, to the advancement of eye and vision care through research and graduate education and to the care of communities through the provision of comprehensive visual health services. The College is a Center of Excellence within the State University of New York (SUNY) system and is the only institution of its kind in New York State and the surrounding region. The College of Optometry attracts highly talented students with leadership potential, interested in optometry and in the health sciences, from across North America and abroad.
Doctors of Optometry, as primary eye care practitioners, provide approximately two-thirds of all eye care in the country and are prepared to meet the growing needs of the public. Optometry is an ever-changing and dynamic health care profession and, I assure you, provides our graduates with a breadth of career options and opportunities for lifelong growth and intellectual engagement.
The College’s academic, professional and research programs are characterized by innovation, defined by their impact and are supported by a faculty of high quality and dedication. As an urban campus, the College strongly embraces its public service mission of clinical care by providing routine, medical and specialized eye care services to tens of thousands of patients each year. The University Eye Center (UEC), the College’s patient care facility, sees nearly 75,000 patient visits each year. In addition to primary eyecare, the UEC is well known for its unique clinical services including traumatic brain injury, infant vision, pediatrics, visually-related learning disabilities, vision rehabilitation, ocular disease and special testing, vision therapy, specialty contact lenses and laser refractive surgery. Moreover, there is an extensive array of clinical satellites and extramural programs which further broaden the scope and diversity of the patient population, enhancing the clinical experience of our students and extending our reach to underserved populations. The University Eye Center is a unique resource for the New York metropolitan area and the nation.
A hallmark of the SUNY College of Optometry is its commitment to discovery and to leading the advancement of vision care through research. The College offers MS and PhD graduate degree programs and basic and clinical science research is conducted by members of our faculty and professional staff associated with the College’s Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research. There are numerous opportunities for students to be involved in scholarly activities during their time at the College.
The SUNY College of Optometry is located in the heart of New York City at 33 West 42nd Street, opposite the historic New York Public Library and beautiful Bryant Park. The College’s home is an 18-story facility, whose historical facade serves as a graceful reminder of the past and the entrance into a contemporary educational institution which affords students with professional, scientific and personal opportunity.
New York City, often referred to as the greatest city in the world, presents students with an unparalleled opportunity to grow intellectually and culturally given the range of resources found in the greater metropolitan area. The SUNY College of Optometry is one of the finest institutions of its kind in the nation. We welcome students of talent and promise, and invite you to visit and investigate further SUNY’s role in your future.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
2021 State of the College Address
2020 Annual Report
Dr. Heath’s bio