January 2016

Last month, SUNY Optometry signed an agreement with Gouverneur Health, one of the largest public hospitals in New York City, to help manage its growing eye care service. This new agreement builds on our ongoing relationship with New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), a partnership that plays an important role in both our educational and patient care missions at the College.

At institutions like Gouverneur, as well as at Woodhull Medical Center and East New York Diagnostic and Treatment Center—two HHC institutions that SUNY Optometry has worked with for years—our externs not only care for the thousands of diverse patients served by their eye care clinics each year, they also have the opportunity to gain valuable experience practicing in a broad, interprofessional setting—a key ingredient for success in the modern health care world.  

As a result of health care reforms that reward efficiency and outcomes, patient care is experiencing an unprecedented paradigm shift. Older models of care are giving way to more inclusive, interconnected, team-based approaches and, as a result, it is imperative that we train our future doctors for success in these new environments. Working in concert with other practitioners is how health care will be delivered going forward and we are committed to preparing our students for that reality.

Beyond this critical educational component, however, our partnership with these hospitals also gives us the opportunity to provide care for even more people in our city. From East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, to the Lower Eastside in Manhattan, we’re proud of the fact that we serve so many communities in our nation’s largest city, many of which are underserved.

As we develop and cultivate more of these important clinical partnerships—both in New York City and beyond—we strengthen the education that we provide for our students and increase the number of people that we care for in our communities. These are achievements to be proud of and we will continue working hard to build on their success in the future.


David A. Heath, OD, EdM

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