SUNY College of Optometry Receives Lavelle Fund for the Blind Grant to Expand Low Vision Center in China

NEW YORK—The State University of New York College of Optometry has received a three-year, $421,160 grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind to expand the clinic at the Center of Excellence in Low Vision Rehabilitation at the Wenzhou Medical College in China.

Established in 2008 with an initial three-year Lavelle Fund grant, the low vision clinic will expand to include new patient populations in order to achieve full sustainability within three years. A new computer-based system of data collection and analysis will be implemented as part of the grant.

“Over the past three years, the Center of Excellence has broken new ground in China, developing educational programming and providing services for the benefit of the visually impaired community,” said SUNY president, David Heath, OD. “With the generous support of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, we look forward to continuing our efforts to develop a self-sustaining model for vision rehabilitation services in China.”

The project director, Michael Heiberger, OD, noted that the grant will fund a training program at the medical college for faculty and staff from other locations throughout China. “With this generous support, this model for the delivery of low and vision rehabilitative care can be replicated throughout China,” he said. “Rehabilitation has recently been made a priority in China’s central government, which bodes well for future support of low vision services.”