NECO Center for Eye Care hosts ribbon cutting ceremony

Close view of phoropter.

New England College of Optometry (NECO) hosted the formal opening of the NECO Center for Eye Care with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on September 18.

Members of the College, Board of Trustees, corporate partners, Boston health care community, MA Commission for the Blind, and local community gathered to help celebrate the grand opening of a 11,000 sq. ft. clinic and optical boutique at 930 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston. The NECO Center for Eye Care Commonwealth is part of New England College of Optometry’s new Clinical Campus, integrating an academic vision center, specialty clinic, and optical center. These will be joined next year by a student clinical training facility at the same location.

NECO President Clifford Scott, OD, MPH explains, “We are working to create synergy at our clinical campus by allowing all our clinical learning takes place in one location. Here, we are able merge group discussions about patients, preclinical training in a clinical training facility, clinical research, specialty care, primary eye care, and eyeglass and contact lens dispensing.”

Visitors at the ceremony toured the advanced facility, including its 12 exam lanes and state-of-the-art optometric technology. The upscale optical center features over 1000 frames, and offers a wide selection of contemporary styles. The range of conventional and high-tech lenses meet the visual needs of all patients, ranging from specialty sports vision protective lenses to low vision aids for the visually impaired.

As an academic vision center, well-respected clinical faculty work with students, utilizing the latest instrumentation to provide comprehensive patient services, including primary eye care, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, pediatric eye care, and advanced cornea and contact lens services. President Scott notes, “The new technology helps us provide the best training for the doctors of the next generation by making sure they are skilled in every technique possible and understand insurance and health care policies in the context of standards of care in the next decade.”

Corporate partners National Vision and Essilor were on hand to mark the opening. Both companies made significant capital contributions to developing and equipping this unique eyecare clinic. Howard Purcell, OD ’84, Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group at Essilor praised the new facilities and noted, “As you promote and grow the profession and expand your scope of practice, it all comes down to education. This incredible facility, where the future of our profession will be able to learn and grow, is truly amazing.”

Donald Smith, OD, Director of Professional Relations for National Vision, also appreciated the new facilities and noted the work National Vision has done to help corporate retail groups and private groups work together to provide quality care to patients.

The ceremony also included the dedication of the Janet LaBreck Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation. After serving as Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), she was appointed Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for the US Department of Education by President Obama. The newly established full-service vision rehabilitation clinic honors her legacy and offers enhanced quality of life for individuals with advanced eye and vision problems. Students and corporate representatives helped display and demonstrate many low vision devices available for patients at the event. Also on display was a 3D topographical touch version of the painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware” with embedded audio description on loan from designer John Olson at 3D Photoworks.