Big man on campus takes you to Midwestern University

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

For many in Arizona, Midwestern University sounds like a college in a different state. However, Midwestern, which specializes in health care education, is located in Glendale. In our Big Man on Campus series, we featured two different programs, with the emphasis on health care for both humans and animals.

Did you know Midwestern has the only veterinary school in the state of Arizona? 

Dr. Ken Sullins, a professor of equine surgery explains the importance. "So we have two purposes --  one is to teach our students and provide exposures to them, but also to serve the people of Arizona."

[WATCH: Midwestern offers the only veterinary program in Arizona]

In order to teach their students properly, the school is offering to help Arizona's livestock producers and horse owners.

"We would like to have a high-quality case load, so students can work their way through them and work their way through a case logically and get that exposure," Sullins says.

Sullins and his team at Midwestern demonstrate some of the work they do within the university in the event a horse experiences an upper airway problem, which is not uncommon. They use a dynamic endoscope to diagnose the problem.

"They have a lot of airway problems, either functional or infectious, that can be treated but sometimes have to be diagnosed with the horse at work."

They are hoping horse and cattle owners within Arizona will come to them to help with their animal problems, helping both the owners and students.

[WATCH: Midwestern University offers unique course]

Across campus in the Arizona College of Optometry, where they are trying to improve a different sort of beast. We're talking "the beast" within the athlete.

Dr. Matthew Roe explains how they can get an athlete to the next level using Sports Vision Therapy.

"We can take a child in high school or middle school and then we can work with them to get them to a high school level," Roe said. "Then we can try and get them to the college level, whether Division 2, D3 or D1. And then from there, we can make a decision whether we can get them on to the professional level."

Sports Vision Therapy helps develop and improve hand-eye coordination, visual reaction time and peripheral awareness. It's especially helpful to baseball players who might be having a hard time locating the ball.

"When you have a fly ball come at you or a line drive, it can come at any direction. So with this, it allows you to really expand your visual system to have peripheral awareness and help you realize you have to jump up here as fast as you can," Roe explained.

[WATCH: Midwestern offers sports vision training used by pros]

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald credits vision therapy with making a difference in his life and his career. A plaque that hangs in the optometry school reads, "I was fortunate that my vision problems were caught early in life. Learning related vision problems can have a serious impact on a child's education. Don't wait to take action." 

Although Fitzgerald is not a patient at Midwestern, he's right about the importance of vision. It's not to be underestimated.

Midwestern University hopes to help other athletes get to the next level, possibly living out their dreams.

"Here at this institution, we hope to do a lot of research to help get us even more advanced in the field and becoming one of the proponents and leaders in sports vision," Roe said.

[MAP: Midwestern University, Glendale]

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