Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced nearly $2 million in NYSUNY 2020 awards for SUNY College of Optometry. The awards will fund an expanded clinical care facility and a virtual reality simulation laboratory to provide state-of-the-art clinical education for high quality patient care.
“We must ensure that health care professionals have the best skills and training for a stronger, healthier New York,” Cuomo said. “This funding will equip SUNY Optometry with state-of-the-art facilities with cutting-edge technology to support exceptional patient care and meet the needs of New Yorkers.”
SUNY College of Optometry graduates 60 percent of all optometrists in New York State, and the funding will help meet the increasing demand for highly trained eye care professionals.
“The SUNY College of Optometry is a leader in education, research and patient care, evidenced by the thousands of optometrists who got their start here,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “By strategically expanding and modernizing its clinical care facility and adding a virtual reality simulation lab, New York State is assured to be a leader in optometry for years to come.”
The new and expanded facilities at SUNY Optometry will promote care coordination, applied learning, interprofessional education and holistic care.
“Taken together, these two projects will support our 30 percent increase in enrollment while enhancing our educational, patient care and research programs,” said SUNY Optometry President David A. Heath. “They will ultimately advance eye care for the evolving needs of the citizens of New York State.”
An expanded clinical care facility will provide a template for the future integration of contemporary health professions education at the college with the emergent health care delivery system. While increasing capacity to accommodate a 30 percent increase in enrollment, the project will also provide a state-of-the art educational environment that incorporates clinical research and evidence-based practice to train future eye care professionals for New York State.
Virtual Reality Simulation Lab: $367,000
A new virtual reality simulation laboratory will include 14 pre-clinical training simulators that use an integrated, augmented reality technology to provide a three-dimensional experience for ocular examinations. The development of the simulation laboratory and the use of virtual reality technology serves as an effective bridge, preparing students for the applied learning experience of the patient care setting. The laboratory will efficiently enhance their technical abilities, knowledge and critical thinking skills.
SUNY College of Optometry is located at 33 W 42nd St. in Manhattan. Visit www.sunyopt.edu to learn more.