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Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009

IU Optometry students looking to benefit from new video-conferencing center

Feb. 24, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Optometry and The Vision Care Institute LLC have announced a partnership designed to extend distance learning, live programming and professional-level training opportunities for optometry students with the opening of a satellite learning center at IU's new Atwater Eye Care Center.

"We are grateful to the Vision Care Institute and Johnson and Johnson for their support and partnership in establishing this extraordinary facility at the IU School of Optometry," said Dr. Sarita Soni, interim dean at the IU School of Optometry. "The students and the faculty look forward to using the latest technology to communicate broadly with optometrists, vision scientists and others all around the world."

Atwater Eye Care Center

Atwater Eye Care Center, pictured above, will be home to a new video-conferencing center co-hosted with IU by The Vision Care Institute of Jacksonville, Fla.

Print-Quality Photo

The Vision Care Institute is partnering with leading optometry schools and colleges throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to develop the satellite learning centers, and IU is the sixth school to participate in the program.

"The satellite learning centers provide a direct link between the main campus of The Vision Care Institute in Jacksonville, Fla., and the IU School of Optometry, enhancing students' experiences with even more information and skills useful for their careers," said The Vision Care Institute program director, Dr. Walt West. "Educational programming at the satellite centers includes distance learning programs for first- through fourth-year optometry students using video-conferencing technologies from the Jacksonville headquarters."


Founded in 1951, the Indiana University School of Optometry offers academic and research programs at IU's Bloomington campus, while at the same time recognizing a growing presence in Indianapolis with expanding clinical and research programs in cooperation with health sciences programs, including the School of Medicine, on the urban campus at Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI).

The Bloomington facility is a five-story building on the south edge of campus housing classrooms, teaching laboratories, clinics, library, administrative offices, the Borish Center for Ophthalmic Research, and vision science laboratories. In addition to the Atwater Eye Care Center, the school operates the Community Eye Care Center in Bloomington, while the Indianapolis Eye Care Center serves as a primary eye care center for the Indianapolis community as well as a referral and clinical research center on the IUPUI campus.


The Vision Care Institute™ LLC a Johnson & Johnson company, is an innovative professional resource for optometry students and recent graduates. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., the state-of-the-art facility gives participants a rare opportunity to experience the latest in vision diagnostic and treatment technologies through hands-on instruction, including training on contact lens fitting and prescribing.

Working in tandem with leading optometry schools and colleges since its launch in March 2004, The Vision Care Institute has hosted more than 2,500 students from all 19 of the schools and colleges of optometry throughout North America. Sister facilities of The Vision Care Institute in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Czech Republic offer eye care specialists around the world an opportunity to learn of new developments in the field under the leadership of top contact lens specialists. For more information, please visit The Vision Care Institute™ is a trademark of The Vision Care Institute™ LLC.

For more information about the new partnership please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896, or