SUNY College of Optometry expands pediatric eye care

ByMartha R. Camara

Apr 6, 2022

NEW YORK — The SUNY College of Optometry has expanded its Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care.

The more than $3 million facility covers 5,000 square feet and can now accommodate 10,000 visits per year, according to a press release announcing the recent groundbreaking ceremony. It is named after the late Barbara Saltzman, former chair of the New York Optometric Center Board of Trustees.

“Barbara was a generous and passionate advocate for eye and vision care, including the work we do at the University Eye Center,” said SUNY College of Optometry President Dr. David A. Heath. “The recently expanded Pediatric Eye Care Center is an embodiment of his dedication to improving the patient experience. Through generous donations and the support of legislators like Senator Brad Hoylman, we will be able to ensure that every visiting family continues to receive unparalleled care and support.

In 2016, the SUNY College of Optometry received a $1.5 million grant from New York State to expand its pediatric clinical care facilities at its University Eye Center. An additional $100,000 grant was made possible through the support of New York State Senator Brad Hoylman and several other donors supporting the Our Vision for Children campaign. Funds raised were used to purchase equipment, diagnostic technology and furniture.

Donors who have helped bring the Pediatric Eye Care Center to life include:

  • Barbara Saltzman, Former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY)
  • The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the first private international philanthropic foundation
  • Goldman-Cohen family, in tribute to the late Dr. Sandra Cohen
  • CooperVision, world leader in contact lenses and myopia management
  • Richard Feinbloom, Owner of Designs for Vision and OCNY Board Member
  • Allene Reuss Memorial Trust, a private foundation focused on helping, preventing, and curing vision problems

“The Barbara Saltzman Center for Pediatric Eye Care will provide innovative and much-needed eye care to children and families in our community. I am proud to have been able to allocate funds to help complete the center and am honored to welcome him to my district,” Hoylman said. “The University Eye Center has played an invaluable role in our community by providing access to eye care for all New Yorkers. Their support of important research at the SUNY College of Optometry, along with extensive outreach and outreach programs, have made the University Eye Center the remarkable community eye care institution it is today.

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SUNY Optometry will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 14.