College of Optometry President Honored in Beijing
Dr. David A. Heath, President of the SUNY College of Optometry, was one of 50 foreign experts from 16 countries honored for their outstanding contributions to China's development at the annual Friendship Award ceremony in Beijing, Sept. 30, 2010. Created in 1991, the Friendship Award is the highest honor given to foreign experts by China.
Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang presented Dr. Heath with the award in the Great Hall of the People. In congratulating the recipients, Zhang said "China's modernization and fight against financial crisis have been helped by foreign experts' wisdom."
Dr. Heath was recognized for nearly 20 years of work with the Wenzhou Medical College, along with other medical universities, to expand access to eye care in China. Dr. Heath efforts in China have produced new models of medical education for eye care; national standards in the discipline of optometry; the first international, doctoral-level, joint-degree program in modern China, and, most recently, an emerging model of eye care for serving the visually disabled in the new Center of Excellence in Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation in Wenzhou.