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New England College of Optometry and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences explore potential combination

New England College of Optometry and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, two local educational institutions with a health care focus, said that they are exploring a potential combination.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which is also known as MCPHS University, founded its School of Optometry on its Worcester campus on 2011. (According to its website MCPHS University also has campuses in Boston and Manchester, N.H.)

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New England College of Optometry’s campus is located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.

A combination with MCPHS University would create an opportunity to expand New England College of Optometry’s brand and expertise in optometry, said New England College of Optometry, or NECO.

As a result of the “natural synergies” between the two institutions, NECO and MCPHS University said they have entered into a letter of intent to explore a potential combination.

“The combination with NECO will give MCPHS University two separately accredited optometry schools and a presence in the field of optometry in the City of Boston,” Charles Monahan, president of MCPHS University, said in a statement.

In a statement of his own, Steven Manfredi, NECO’s board chair: “In the weeks ahead, we will work with MCPHS leadership to articulate the numerous benefits of becoming part of a larger organization. We anticipate that MCPHS University will be able to provide significant, ongoing support and investment in NECO’s programs, facilities, and equipment. In addition, we are confident that our focus on a high quality optometry educational experience will be affirmed and that there will be continuity for current students, faculty, and staff.”

NECO provides a four-year, post-baccalaureate professional curriculum to about 475 students.

MCPHS University has more than 6,000 students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in approximately fifty academic programs on three campuses, including optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, radiological science, public health, and pre-med.

MCPHS University’s Boston campus is in the Longwood Medical Area.

Chris Reidy can be reached at
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