Spotlight

Profiles In Vision

On October 26, 2016, New England College of Optometry welcomed over 250 friends, faculty, alumni, students, staff, and sponsors to celebrate Innovation, Leadership, and Access at our Profiles in Vision 2016 Gala Dinner. The signature fundraising event helps support the College’s patient care low vision rehabilitation programs and other outreach services.

Profiles In Vision

Profiles in Vision has become one of NECO’s marquee events for board members, senior leadership and faculty, current NECO supporters, corporate sponsors, supporters, committee members, health care industry leaders, Boston business community and health center representatives.  This year marked the fifth Profiles in Vision event and was held at one of Boston’s premier waterfront locations, the InterContinental Boston. 

100+ people gathered in reception area talking to each other in small groups

New England College of Optometry’s longstanding tradition of serving the community is built into our mission:  “Change the way people see the world through optometric education, discovery, and service.” The College is committed to providing leadership, innovation, and access to optometric care to the community. Care is delivered directly in our eye care centers and community health center as well as through our mobile vision clinic. Established in 2010, the mobile clinic travels throughout the state, delivering eye exams, eyeglasses, case management, and low vision rehabilitation services to children and adults directly on-site. 

Profiles In Vision 2016 focused on the high impact of low vision services. The evening celebrated the contributions that New England College of Optometry has made in improving access to eye care throughout the Commonwealth, particularly in the area of low vision rehabilitation. 

Janet LaBreck speaking at podium

This year, NECO honored Janet LaBreck, who was nominated as Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the United States Department of Education, by President Barack Obama. Prior to that appointment, LaBreck served as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, where she organized campaigns that increased access and opportunities for more than 30,000 legally blind Massachusetts residents. Connected to NECO since she was a patient as a child, Commissioner LaBreck is a champion of the College and its clinical outreach efforts.  She discussed the tremendous impact that low vision technologies and services can have, noting, “These tools and strategies are used on a day-to-day basis to move people from diagnosis to independent, productive, and, most importantly, contributors to the community.” 

Author Ben Mezrich speaking at podium.Boston resident and New York Times bestselling author, Ben Mezrich was also a special guest. He shared his experiences in how he came to write two of his bestselling books, “Bring Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T Students Who Took Vegas for Millions” and “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal”.

Six students, one male and five female, standing and posing for photo

President Clifford Scott highlighted the College’s reputation and its extraordinary contributions to the Greater Boston area in leadership, innovation and enhancing patient access.  He introduced Honorary Committee Co-Chairs John Connors, of Boathouse, Inc. and Jim Hunt, CEO of Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

President Scott stands with four supporters including John Connors, Janet LaBreck, and Jim Hunt.

John Connors highlighted NECO’s ongoing approach of integrating innovative optometric education with early and diverse clinical care. He also described how the College’s commitment to leadership and excellence is aligned with an advanced approach in preparing our students to be future leaders in health care and active contributors to their community.

Co-chair Jim Hunt standing with Josh Kraft.

Jim Hunt offered praise for the work that the College has done over the years in partnership with the Neighborhood Health Centers.  Since the 1970s, the College has had a strong relationship with community health centers, been providing comprehensive eye care, including specialty care, at community health centers in the greater Boston area. Today, these clinical affiliations and community partnerships have expanded to include specialty low vision and vision rehabilitation services at Perkins School for the Blind and the Carroll Center, and to residents throughout Massachusetts through the services of our mobile clinic.

Commissioner Paul Saner and Sandra SanerThe next Profiles In Vision will take place in April, 2018, and will provide another opportunity for NECO to celebrate our commitment to the Boston Community and beyond though our ongoing efforts to improve access to eye and vision care.