TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Through its cooperation with the Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry, the Cherokee Nation was honored Jan. 14 by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for dedication to providing health care for its citizens.
Attending the presentation was Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, NSU President Steve Turner and Dr. Doug Penisten, dean of NSUOCO.
"We were excited to present this ASCO resolution to the Nation," Penisten said. "We are proud to have this relationship which permits us to provide an outstanding level of eye and vision care to the Cherokee people."
The resolution reads "that the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and its member institutions commend the Cherokee Nation for its commitment to providing quality health care to it people through a collaboration with an optometric teaching institute, the Oklahoma College of Optometry."
Faculty, residents and students of NSUOCO provide eye and vision care for Cherokee citizens at the tribe's nine medical facilities, and ASCO unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the Nation's efforts.
Penisten said the NSUOCO community handles more than 50,000 patient visits a year through regular appointments, missions abroad and clinical agreements such as that with the Cherokee Nation. He added that the resolution commending the Nation was "unprecedented."
"The salient point is that ASCO recognizes this system, set up between the Nation and OCO, is a model for the delivery of health care while coordinating optometric education, all while setting a phenomenal standard of excellence," he said.
ASCO is a non-profit education association founded in 1941 which represents the interests of optometric education. Its membership includes all 23 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. ASCO's mission is "to serve the public through the continued advancement and promotion of all aspects of academic optometry."
For more information about the NSU Oklahoma College of Optometry call 918-444-4000.
Published: 2/4/2013 2:36:48 PM