The holiday season is the time of year when we often think about giving. So, with this in mind, I think it is particularly important to recognize the valuable work that our institution does within our community and the lives that we touch throughout the year.
For many years the University Eye Center has dedicated itself, not just to providing the best possible patient care to those who visit the clinic, but also to providing incomparable and, quite often, crucial care to those who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to walk through our doors. In fact, over the course of the last few years, our institution has conducted nearly one thousand homebound visits to patients who were immobile or otherwise unable to come to us. The value of this service to those patients cannot be overstated. In many cases they would simply have to go without what amounts to life-changing eye and vision care.
As many of you know, we also recently established a significant relationship between the College and the Bowery Mission, an institution that has been helping homeless and hungry New Yorkers get back on their feet for well over a century. Twice each month students from the College are providing invaluable, free care to those in need at the Bowery Mission and, in the process, vastly improving many lives.
Beyond these activities, we also provide an array of other free services, including dozens of vision screenings, educational and informational sessions, support groups and more during the course of the year that hundreds of people from across our region benefit from.
Of course, many of these philanthropic activities would not even be possible without the support of our friends, and the hard work that the Optometric Center of New York does all year long in order to galvanize that support. But these activities are also a part of our institutional DNA. One of our core values is to provide service to diverse communities, and part of our mission is to enhance public health through education and service to our communities.
While these activities do constitute a real and valuable service to our community, they also make up an integral part of who we are as an institution and that is something that I am very proud to recognize.
Finally, I also want to take this opportunity to wish each of you the very best for the holiday season and a very happy and healthy New Year.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM