If you’re a member of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation, you received a copy of the Volume 1 Compendium of Dr. Ciuffreda’s publications on Visual Rehabilitation. Aside from being a wonderful tribute and memento, at some point you’ll want to read the papers cover …
… to cover.
When you look at the title of the first paper, and see Neuro-Optometry: An Evolving Specialty Clinic, the first thought that pops into your head is that this is a good contemporary subject and then you quickly realize that the paper was written for the Academy journal nearly 40 years ago! Safe to say that Dr. Ciuffreda was at the cutting edge of neuro-optometry back then.
In 1977 as I was embarking on a Residency, one of my mentors was Dr. Larry Gray – a brilliant clinician who started a Neuro Eye Service heavily influenced by his experiences at Bascom Palmer with Dr. J. Lawton Smith. Dr. Ciuffreda was heavily influenced by another brilliant Larry – his Ph.D. mentor and first author on the 1977 paper, Dr Larry Stark, who spearheaded the Neuro-Optometry Clinic at Berkeley while Dr. Ciuffreda was a graduate student there beginning in 1974.
From these stark beginnings, Dr. Ciuffreda ultimately ascended to the vanguard of neuro-optometric rehabilitation. His interest in this emerging field was piqued by Dr. Irwin Suchoff at the SUNY College of Optometry, and the rest of the papers in this volume reflect a significant collaboration with Dr. Suchoff as well as with Dr. Neera Kapoor , the incomparable Diana Ludlam, several key graduate students and other SUNY colleagues.
Volume 1 rests atop the lectern in my study because I cherish the hand-written note that Dr. Ciuffreda penned to me on its inside cover. But that’s merely a bonus. The true value of this volume is that it lives up to the last sentence of its preface in which he writes: “Lastly, I hope you enjoy my papers and find them helpful and inspirational, and furthermore that you try these ideas on your next brain injury patient.”
Mission accomplished, Dr. Ciuffreda, and looking forward to Volume 2.