VOA Member Named Optometry School President http://www.thevoa.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/8e/e4/52/_BuchananCounty_1334077937.png
The Appalachian College of Optometry yesterday announced its founding President will be Dr. Brian Looney of Grundy, VA. Dr. Looney, a member of the VOA, earned his OD degree from UAB in 1996, completed a hospital residency at the Maryland Veterans Affairs Health System, and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 2000. Dr. Looney is in private practice in Grundy.
The Appalachian College of Optometry will be a private institution, joining the Appalachian College of Pharmacy and the Appalachian School of Law, all located in the Buchanan Information Park, Grundy, VA. The optometry school hopes to admit its first class of students in the fall of 2014.
The development of the school is largely the result of efforts of the Buchanan County Economic Development Authority, relying heavily on grants to address start up and continuing costs. It is hoped the school will provide an economic benefit of about $4 million annually to the County, once fully operational. County leaders expect the College will eventually provide 600 full time jobs. While initially the number may be lower, the College of Optometry plans for 48 students per year. Dr. Looney indicated patients at his his private practice locations will be transitioned to the College’s clinic for care to be provided by students.
Dr. Looney indicated his first responsibility as President of the Appalachian College of Optometry will be pursuit of provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.
The Appalachian College of Optometry’s founding members include the Buchanan County Administrator, three County supervisors, two pharmacists from their School of Pharmacy, and the President of the Southwest Virginia Community College.
(This information is based on a news article from the “Kingsport Times-News” and not provided by those affiliated with the College or Buchanan County.)