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Dr. Tony Cavallerano Appointed Executive Director of Clinical Training and Patient Care

New England College of Optometry announces new role for Dr. Cavallerano to oversee and grow clinical network

New England College of Optometry, NECO, has announced the recent appointment of Tony Cavallerano, OD, as the Executive Director of Clinical Training and Patient Care. In this newly developed position, he will work with NECO faculty and staff to provide oversight for standards of clinical care, compliance, outcome assessments, clinical faculty development and oversight of the student clinical training experience.

In announcing the appointment, New England College of Optometry President Clifford Scott stated, “Dr. Cavallerano is highly respected in the profession and his years of experience in patient care, clinical and classroom teaching, and networked technological innovation add a powerful dimension to our integrated and interdisciplinary education programs.”

In this position, Dr. Cavallerano will work collaboratively with College leadership, faculty, and staff to further build, direct and maintain our extensive clinical system through New England Eye, the patient care and clinical education affiliate of the College. He will oversee the recruitment of outstanding clinical faculty at NECO and provide training opportunities to the clinical faculty through enrichment and mentorship programs, curriculum development, and innovative strategies. He will also work to develop individualized learning and training opportunities for students and residents and a clinical care-based Continuing Education program. He looks forward to creating clinical research opportunities and developing new programs and approaches for clinical training.

“We are looking forward to having Tony bring his rich leadership experience in education, training, patient care and research to our clinical training and patient care programs,” said Barry Fisch, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at the College.

Throughout his career, Dr. Cavallerano has served the College and the community in a variety of capacities, including teaching, clinic administration, and continuing education. After graduating from NECO with his OD degree, Dr. Cavallerano worked at the medical department at MIT as director of the eye service. From 1993-1998, he served as the clinical dean at the College, overseeing both the operations of New England Eye as well as clinical training. He then moved to the Joslin Diabetes Center to participate in the development of a TeleRetinal imaging program designed to improve access to eye care by screening for diabetic retinopathy. He eventually continued this research at the VA, where prior to accepting this position at NECO, he engaged in research, and patient care in Boston VA Healthcare system. At the VA, Dr. Cavallerano served as the director of the Office of Telehealth Store and Forward Training Center, a national position that exposed him to all aspects of telehealth and telemedicine.

Dr. Cavallerano is keenly interested in developing and implementing Interprofessional Education (IPE) programs for students, residents and faculty. He has been working on a pilot program at a health center in Chelsea, Massachusetts that allows optometrists and students to share insights into the collaborative care of the patient. The program involves working with fellow practitioners from other disciplines, including dentistry, medicine, and pharmacy. He plans to grow these IPE experiences for students and practitioners throughout NECO’s owned and operated clinics at New England Eye Commonwealth and Roslindale, as well as developing such practices at our network of clinical affiliates.

Dr. Cavallerano brings extensive experience to this position and is especially interested in innovative solutions. “Technology has revolutionized the way we practice and how we train and educate our students. Students need to be exposed to new diagnostic equipment and to embrace these technologies. They must learn how to employ new technology in the care of patients as these devices become part of the standard of care. As more practitioners gain access this technology, it is critical for students to be aware of and utilized current technology so that they don’t miss a diagnosis.”

In his new position, Dr. Cavallerano will be based at New England Eye Commonwealth, one of New England College of Optometry’s owned and operated clinics. He intends to visit NECO’s affiliates to promote growth and maintain our strong clinical network, which has been the cornerstone of clinical training and patient care experience for students and residents.