Message from the President

Clifford Scott, OD '68, MPH

This will be my last annual report before retiring as President of NECO.  It has been a challenging and gratifying nine-year run.  By most measures, the College is in good shape. The student body is appropriately sized to provide well-rounded clinical learning experiences.  The knowledge and passion of our students energizes me every day.   Our finances are solid and form the basis for implementing a well-crafted strategic plan that will keep us at the cutting edge of optometric education for the foreseeable future.  And we are on target to filling the incoming class of 2022 with a new generation of well-qualified, ambitious optometrists.

Advances in health care have always been driven by the technologies of the day.  At no previous time in history has it been more important for optometry to adapt to and adopt emerging technical advances applicable to eye care.  Betterfastermore convenient and lower cost have become the watchwords of the optometric world in which we live.  Consider how Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple have changed how we shop, learn, socialize, and are entertained.  Health care is following the same path – easier access to care and information, shared electronic information among multiple providers, and an expanded range of available services make the future so much better for health care consumers.

There is every reason to expect that our profession will be an integral part of health teams, sharing information with our patient’s other providers, participating in remote consultations (which may use wearable technology), and employing artificial intelligence algorithms to to help us analyze findings, precisely diagnose conditions, and develop individualized treatment strategies based on the patient’s genetic profile. It is no longer a question of whether optometric practice will incorporate technology and the advantages it provides, but when. The principal focus we need to maintain is the human connection – the doctor-patient relationship that lies at the core of our educational commitment to our graduates.

I am excited about the prospects for the future and am jealous of the opportunities that NECO’s next president will have in helping to determine the future of eye care.

Message from the Chair, Board of Trustees

Peter (Pano) Yeracaris, MD, MPH

I have to start by recognizing the incredible leadership and positive impact that Dr. Clifford Scott has provided during his nine years as NECO President. He truly guided the College through very challenging times. We are much stronger under his leadership and the hard work of NECO's excellent faculty and staff. President Scott will be missed for his vision, energy, and unfailing commitment to the College. Although our new president will bring new energy and vision to shepherd the College into the next era, there is only one “Scotty.”

2017 was another successful year at the college, highlighted by the opening of our flagship, state-of-the-art New England College of Optometry Center for Eye Care at Commonwealth Avenue. This new clinic will help consolidate our Commonwealth facilities into a unified clinical campus, bringing together pre-clinical training, specialty services, and clinical research and allowing us to teach and deploy many new technologies that will bridge into the future. Current NECO leadership, as well as faculty and staff, have embraced these new technologies and new educational paradigms and are integrating them into the curriculum.

Our clinical education system remains a tremendous institutional strength and the envy of other optometry schools. Our partnerships are unparalleled and unite NECO with many of Boston’s prominent health care providers, community health centers across the state, the Veterans Health Administration, hospitals and clinics, and eye care practices, large and small. Through these collaborations, NECO provides the highest quality of training and clinical experience for its students and also enables us to meet the critical public health mission of the college.

We also continue to develop strong international partnerships which help propel NECO into the use of new educational technologies and help improve eye care for vast numbers of people around the world. These opportunities will continue to be an important aspect of NECO’s future.

Many challenges remain, as is true for any institution or organization. However, we have become stronger over the last several years. We have developed more flexibility to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to a small, nimble, independent institution presents as we continue our commitment to develop the next generation of patient services and prepare the professionals who will deliver them. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I salute the students, faculty, staff and leadership of NECO for a job well done!

Board of Trustees

New England College of Optometry

Board of Trustees

Pano Yeracaris, MD, MPH, Board Chair
Clifford A. Scott, OD '68, MPH, President
Myron Allukian, Jr., DDS, MPH
Cornelius Chapman, Esq.
Joan M. Exford, OD, DOS
Ronald R. Ferrucci, OD '74
Kristen K. Griebel, OD '97
Richard M. Heller, Esq.
Dorothy Lea Hitchmoth, OD '96
Andrew W. Hoar
Stephen N. Kirnon, MBA, EdD
Colin L. Leitch, M. Div
Kelly M. MacDonald, OD '01
Robert F. Meenan, MD, MPH, MBA
Rachel E. Negris, OD '84
Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, Dipl.
Joel B. Rosen, MBA
Robert Ryan, CPA, CGMA
Richard N. Small, CPA
Joseph P. Zolner, EdD

Emeritus Members

Joseph J.F. Bickford, OD '65
Lester M. Brackley, OD '68
Francis L. DiMella, A.I.A.
G. Burtt Holmes, OD '52
Charles F. Mullen, OD '69
Adelbert O. Parrott, OD '34 *
Norman C. Spector, JD
Paul Bradley Taylor, OD '55 *


Lester M. Brackley, OD '68
David J. Caban, OD '77
Michael J. Cohn, OD '77
Howard M. Coleman, OD '57
Matthew E. Elgart, OD '66
Elmer Freeman, BS, MSW
Philip E. Friedman, OD '62
Fernando Hidalgo Santa Cruz, OD ’87
Celia Anne Hinrichs, OD '79
Robert H. Honnors, OD '63
Barbara D. Kamens
Farooq A. Khan, OD '02
Cynthia P. Macdonald, JD
Jonathan Marcus, CFP®
David Miller, MD
Robert S. Miller, CFE, CPA
Joseph F. Molinari, OD '74, M.Ed.
George R. Montminy, OD '69
Gerard P. Phelan
David A.V. Reynolds, DrPH, LHD
John A. Stefanini, JD
Irwin B. Suchoff, OD '59, DOS
Thomas F. Terry, OD '75

* Deceased

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