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Patient Care Center Grand Opening and Continuing Education Event a Success

The Patient Care Center has been open to the public since mid-September and recently celebrated the Grand Opening ceremony on Friday, November 4 and also a continuing education program on November 5, 2016.

The Grand Opening ceremony included keynote speakers, Dean Larry Davis, Laurie Thompson (’16), Barbara Brown (’88), and Chancellor Thomas George.   The event attracted many present and former UMSL administrators, including former Chancellor Blanche Touhill. Several political leaders attended to celebrate the grand opening. Dr. Thompson and her husband, Chris, traveled from their home in Colorado, specifically for this occasion. Thompson was an instrumental student leader whose efforts were important in gaining student approval to fund the project. 

Following the grand opening event on Saturday, the college hosted a five-hour specialty contact lens symposium with lectures on gas permeable and presbyopic lenses from UMSL faculty members, Ed Bennett, Julie DeKinder, and Vinita Henry. 

Dr. Muriel Schornack, one of the premier specialty contact lens practitioners in the United States, was the keynote speaker in the afternoon, providing lectures on scleral lens applications.
She is on the faculty at Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis and is past-president of the Scleral Lens Education Society. 

At the Patient Care Center Grand Opening (left to right): Director of Clinic Operations Vinita Henry (’85), Chris Thompson, Laurie Thompson (’16), Barbara Brown (’88), and Dean Larry Davis

Dean Larry Davis addressing the attendees at the Grand Opening

Laurie Thompson (’16) addressing the attendees at the Grand Opening

Barbara Brown (’88) also giving her comments at the Grand Opening ceremony

State Representative Clem Smith with College of Optometry ambassadors Jackie Hinderks, Quinn Gallen, and Luke Armstrong

Former Chancellor Blanche Touhill with Ed Bennett and Vinita Henry

Dean Larry Davis with Chancellor Tom George and former Chancellor Blanche Touhill

Keynote speaker Dr. Muriel Schornack lecturing on scleral lenses to interested practitioners and students

Dr. Schornack with Dr.  Ed Bennett and Katie Loock ('17) at the Patient Care Center

Tonia Batts (’11) returned for the continuing education event and is pictured next to her award-winning photos taken when she was on a VOSH trip as a student. 


  1. Happy to read the pleasing article and clicks of your successful program. Have seen many venues but I think Los Angeles venues event venues was the best ones till now. Have attended two functions over here and both were amazing. Had a great experience of enough space and luxury facilities availability.


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