PIKEVILLE — Roya Attar, O.D., assistant clinical professor and director of professional relations for the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO), recently presented a poster at the 2016 American Academy of Optometry (AAO) in Anaheim, Calif. Internationally recognized, the AAO meeting brings together some of the best and brightest optometrists from around the world to provide continuing education, present scientific posters, encourage leadership within the profession and discuss optometric education of the future.
Attar’s poster, “Optometric Healthcare in Rural Appalachia,” focuses on the need for eye care in rural Appalachia. The research points to the challenges in vision care in rural areas including poverty, lack of transportation, lack of education, inconsistent healthcare coverage and healthcare provider’s lack of desire to practice in rural and outreach regions. The National Rural Health Association asserts that limits in access to eye care services for Americans living in rural areas is due to a lack of optometrists. The poster also highlights positive effects on healthcare and access the university’s Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine has had on rural areas of Kentucky since its establishment and projects KYCO will have a similar positive effect on vision care in Appalachia.
Attar completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis in Tennessee dual majoring in biology and chemistry. She received her doctor of optometry degree from the University of Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated in the top tier of her class as part of the inaugural class wherein she received numerous awards and recognition for her academic, professional and service achievements. Prior to her appointment at KYCO, Attar was a practicing optometric physician serving patients in San Antonio. Attar also has an extensive background and experience in sales and marketing which serve her well in her role as director of professional relations for KYCO.
The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. The American Council for Optometric Education has granted the Kentucky College of Optometry the pre-accreditation classification of “Preliminary Approval.” The University of Pikeville is the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. Construction is nearing completion on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class for a total of 240. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country.