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Optometric Center of New York Awards “Eyes on New York” Honor to SUNY Optometry President

Dr. David A. Heath is best known for his work in educational program development, workforce analysis and international vision care.




(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — As he reaches 15 years in office, SUNY Optometry President Dr. David A. Heath will receive the 2022 Eyes on Leadership Award during the annual Eyes on New York Awards Celebration at The Edison Ballroom on April 14th. The award comes as the College celebrates fifty years of leading optometric education, vision research, and patient care. The annual gala, which for nearly two decades has been the signature event of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the affiliated foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry, will focus on celebrating the College’s 50th Anniversary. Proceeds from the evening will expand scholarship and grant support for optometry students.

Dr. David A. Heath will be honored for his leadership in the field of optometry and dedicated service to the college and the profession. Since June 2007, Dr. Heath has served as president of SUNY College of Optometry and holds the rank of professor. Dr. Heath is best known for his work in educational program development, workforce analysis, and international vision care. He has over 90 scholarly publications and/or presentations to his credit as well as years of service with the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, and other professional organizations.

​​“As the third president of SUNY Optometry, I am honored to be able to aid in the growth and progress of this evolving profession as we prepare the next generation of optometrists and vision researchers,” said Dr. David A. Heath. “For 50 years, the College has stood at the forefront of providing the highest level of eye care through innovation, life-changing research, and embracing the role of the optometrist in the broader healthcare landscape.”

Among other honors, Dr. Heath is a two-time recipient of the Jack Bennett Innovation in Education Award from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and in 2010, he was recognized by China’s Ministry of Foreign Expert Affairs with China’s highest honor for foreigners, the “China Friendship Award” for his work within the China’s medical education system to increase the quantity and quality of primary eye care providers.

“I want to congratulate Dr. Heath on this incredible and well-deserving honor,” said Optometric Center of New York Board President, Dr. Richard Soden. “His dedicated service to the College and the field of optometry have been invaluable. His steadfast leadership enables the College as well as profession to continue to grow and has been integral in navigating the pandemic. He truly exemplifies the high standards and compassion the OCNY Board of Trustees look for in their honorees.”

The Optometric Center of New York (OCNY) was founded in 1956 by pioneering optometrists and business leaders to address the void of professional education and patient care services after the closing of Columbia University’s optometry program. The initial volunteers and board members advocated for the opening of SUNY College of Optometry in 1971 at which time the OCNY became the philanthropic foundation supporting the activities and programs of SUNY College of Optometry.


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