Serving Local Communities
Community service is at the core of our educational philosophy. Through participation in vision screenings and clinical work throughout a student’s experience, their education is both meaningful and impactful. The work students do makes a difference.
New England College of Optometry continues this tradition of community service today through its partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, via the expansion of its network of community health centers, and with our pediatric school health screening program, designed to assess children's vision directly in their schools. The partnership with the Boys and Girls club brings screenings and glasses directly into the local community.
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 provided eye exams, eyeglasses, case management, and low vision rehabilitation to children and adults throughout Massachusetts. The mobile clinic’s mission was 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 2010-2017, the Mobile Eye Clinic extended its reach throughout Massachusetts by providing optometric care to over 11,000 patients in more than 75 towns. The van has helped forge many relationships with diverse constituencies and has uncovered unmet eye and vision care needs in many communities. Some of these partnerships have led to opportunities for establishing sustainable eye clinics.
Today, the College continues its work providing eye screenings to area elementary schools, preschools, and community groups. The College is creating a task force to develop new ways to further our goals of providing eye and vision care services to the community. In doing so, the College will create new models and new programs to engage our partners, funders, community health centers, and government agencies in our work both educating students and serving the community.
Serving Communities Around the World
NECO students carry on the College’s dedication to Impact - whether traveling to Nicaragua to screen children, dispensing glasses in inner city neighborhoods, or providing care to veterans, bringing vision care to those in need is their promise. This compassion, innovation, and excellence are the driving forces behind all that we do, providing the foundations for our educational philosophy, clinical experience, and our partnerships and collaborations.