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Community Health Centers


Building Eye Clinics at Health Centers

The College approached the first community health centers in Boston in 1972, starting eye clinics at the South End Community Health Center, the Dimock Center, and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center. Today, eye clinics in health centers are common in Massachusetts; 75% of community health centers in the Greater Boston area have eye clinics.

Combining Practice and Community Service

Since 1988, all first year students at New England College of Optometry participate in vision screenings in the greater Boston area to head start programs, public schools, housing authorities, community groups, etc. Screening is just the beginning of the spectrum of care. To help facilitate more comprehensive care for the community, as well as deepen the student experience, New England College of Optometry started the only two school-based eye clinics in Massachusetts, followed by a mobile eye clinic.

Taking Vision Screenings Directly into the Local Community

New England College of Optometry established the Mobile Clinic in 2010 to address the visual needs of at-risk children and adults, throughout the state of Massachusetts. The clinic provides eye exams, eyeglasses, case management, and low vision rehabilitation to children and adults throughout Massachusetts. The mobile clinic’s mission is to provide accessibility to eye care by working with partners in the local communities. By identifying and then correcting or maximizing vision, opportunities for learning, work, play, safety, and independence in daily tasks are optimized, and better emotional and physical health can result. Services are provided at early intervention programs, schools, after-school programs, child-centered care facilities, senior housing, assisted living facilities, councils on aging, and associations for the blind.

From October 2010 to June 2013, the NECO Mobile Clinic has:

  • Provided eye care services to 4624 patients at 141 different MA community sites 
  • Prescribed 2281 pairs of glasses 
  • Prescribed 454 low vision devices 
  • Prescribed 454 low vision devices
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