New England Eye, the clinical affiliate of the New England College of Optometry, has serviced patients with its unique mobile vision clinic, On-Sight, for the past four years in MA. New England Eye On-Sight is a fully equipped 38 ft optometry clinic with a licensed specialist pediatric and low vision eye doctors on board that comes curbside to schools, pre-schools, and children’s centers. The pediatric clinic operates every Tuesday and Wednesday, year round. All children, but especially those who have currently or previously failed their school vision screening, have the opportunity to be given a comprehensive eye exam by pediatric eye doctors, under the child’s family health insurance. The goals of the pediatric clinic are to catch eye disorders while they are still treatable, and to enable each child to have the corrected vision necessary to find success and fully participate in school and sports.
The mobile clinic also offers a low vision clinic. The fully-equipped, wheelchair accessible optometry clinic with a licensed eye doctor specializing in low vision optometric care will travel to any location in MA. New England Eye On-Sight will provide comprehensive eye exams and/or low vision evaluations by specialty low vision eye-doctors at elderly housing complexes, adult day care facilities, senior centers or community centers. Follow-up referral assistance for further treatment and services can be provided by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.
Through the New England Eye On-Sight mobile vision clinic, students and faculty at New England College of Optometry have had the chance to conduct vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, and low vision evaluations throughout the community.
The pediatric mobile eye van is a wonderful experience. As a student not only do you improve your clinical skills by working with a high volume of kids but you also learn how to think on your feet in a modified environment. However, the greatest reward is knowing that you are providing eye care, which can equate to a better chance of success in school, to a population that may not otherwise receive care. The mobile eye van is a great idea and hopefully one that will be replicated in other areas. It’s an experience I’d recommend to any student.
-Jamy Borbridge, OD ‘12