The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), an affiliate of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and VSP Global announced the recipients of this year’s Practice Excellence Scholarships. Congratulations to UHCO’s own Rami Aboumourad, OPT IV, and Kristen Watt, OPT IV. Nearly $200,000 will be distributed amongst top-performing fourth-year optometry students in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Two students from each school or college of optometry were selected by nomination of their individual institutions to receive the scholarship.
UHCO has become the first optometry school in the nation to use the Anatomage Table, a 3D anatomy table that uses digital cadavers to teach anatomy, solely for the optometry program. The world’s first virtual dissection table allows users to visualize anatomy as they would on a human cadaver.
Congratulations to all residents who were selected for 2018 American Academy of Optometry Resident Travel Fellowships. The UHCO recipients are: Diana Chen, OD, Allergan Resident Travel Fellowship; Jonathan Chen, OD, ’17; Marcus Noyes, OD, ’17; Kellen Riccobono, OD, ’17; Felicia Satrio, OD, ’17; Bryan Williams, OD, ’17; and Katherine Zhang, OD who all received the Cornea and Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies Resident Travel Fellowships from CooperVision.
David A. Berntsen, OD, ’02, PhD, FAAO, has been selected as the Golden-Golden Professor at UHCO. Dr. Berntsen is an Associate Professor at UHCO whose research interests include myopia, contact lenses, and aberrations of the eye. The professorship was endowed in 2010 by Dennis Golden, OD, ’77, and Dixon Golden, OD, ’77. Congratulations, Dr. Berntsen!
October 10, 2018
Message from the Dean
Based on our College’s current budget, I felt it was necessary to reduce future expenditures. In my view, simple increases in efficiencies and/or minor cost savings would not be sufficient to ensure that all our ongoing clinical services were sustainable. Consequently, despite the fact that our Cedar Springs Eye Clinic provides essential care for a large, underserved population and that the externship rotations through the Cedar Springs Clinic are very highly rated and desired by our students, I made the decision to close the Cedar Springs Clinic beginning the Fall 2019 semester….it was the most difficult decision that I have had to make as Dean. In particular, since we are currently interviewing candidates to take over the Deanship of our College, I thought that it was important to ensure that the new Dean would inherit a strong College and a balanced budget.
I am delighted to inform you that our College will not have to close the Cedar Springs Clinic in Dallas in 2019. Dr. Paula Short, our Provost, has put together a hiring package for the new Dean that includes an endowed chair and sufficient funding to ensure that the Cedar Springs can continue to operate at its current level.
I would like to express my gratitude to all our alumni and friends who, when learning that Cedar Springs would be closed, offered support for our College, our students, and especially the Cedar Springs Clinic. I would especially like to express my gratitude to our Cedar Springs’ faculty and staff for their patience and professionalism and I would like to apologize for the anguish that they experienced as a result of my earlier decision.
All the best….
Earl L. Smith III, O.D., Ph.D.
September 25, 2018
UH, Humana Partnership to Fund $1 Million Endowed Chair In Optometry
Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies, and the University of Houston announced today a long-term strategic partnership to train the health care leaders of tomorrow with a focus on advancing population health, improving health outcomes and expanding the use of value-based payment models. Together, the two organizations will create the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston, which will unite the university’s new College of Medicine, as well as the existing colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Optometry. A $15 million gift over 10 years from Humana will help defray start-up and operational costs for the College of Medicine, as well as fund endowed chairs for each of the five colleges.