First year students present posters for Vision Health Care class and MS/OD, ASIP, and AODP students present posters on their research
On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, New England College of Optometry’s Annual celebration of student accomplishment, Visionaries Day , began with the annual public health poster presentations. Teams of first-year students collaborated to identify a public health issue, research facts, theorize, and draw conclusions about their research, the result of which was presented and communicated in poster format. These projects were the culmination of the student’s work in the Vision Health Care Course taught by Dr. Gary Chu, a course that also requires each student to complete a Public Health assessment of the vision care needs of a community.
Dr. Chu explains, “It is my hope that this project, via group discussions and communication with health care providers, patients, and community leaders, our students will begin to appreciate how they can impact the health of the public and to realize they are training not to be merely an optometrist but a health care provider and a public health practitioner.”
Many posters on display on Visionaries Day will be presented as abstracts to the American Academy of Optometry for presentation at the AAO’s Annual meeting. In the past, 24 of the 34 abstracts have been accepted for the event. This year’s posters included topics covering Establishing a Gold Standard for Dry Eye Diagnosis, Overlooked Tanning Regulations in Massachusetts, Telemedicine: Briding the Gap, and the Current Eye Care Systems in Correctional Facilities.
Each team presented their project to a panel of community health judges. This year, Ms. Lauren Cook, Director of Operations, Boston Boys and Girls Club and Dr. Diane Russo, Assistant Professor, New England College of Optometry. Dr. Russo commended all the participants, noting that the students were “fortunate to get such a great opportunity to research a topic and craft their findings in such a scholarly way. This will help prepare you for future scholarship and thinking about public health issues in new ways.” The judges presented awards to the following winning poster teams:
• First Place: Poster 18: The Prevalence of Ocular Health Myths Among Pharmacists
• Second Place: Poster 20: E-cigarettes: Blind to the Consequences?
• Third Place: Poster 26: Implications of Expansion Services on Vision Care: Analysis of Community Health Center Expansion Services and Opinions.
Dr. Chu explained, “Your training at NECO is not just about becoming an optometrist. It is also about becoming a health care provider and we are training you to become part of the conversation.” He urged students to notice public health issues throughout their careers, ask questions, and advocate for change through legislation.
In addition to the first year posters, student researchers in the MS/OD presented posters on their work with research faculty. Some members of the AODP (Advanced Optometric Degree Program) and ASIP (Advanced Standing International Program) also created posters detailing research they conducted before entering the NECO programs. Representatives from AODP and ASIP took the opportunity to judge the first year posters and chose several groups for awards.
View the posters online.
Read more about the posters in the Public Health Poster Presentation Day brochure.