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Clinical Partners

The New England College of Optometry (NECO) Clinical Network includes collaborative relationships and clinical affiliations with sites throughout the Greater Boston area, as well as nationally and internationally. These sites include both NECO clinical faculty and affiliated faculty at community health centers, academic medical centers, VA medical centers, Army and Naval Health Clinics, Private and Group OD practices, MD/OD group practices, Canadian eye clinics, Indian Health Practice, School based programs, Pediatric School Health programs, and services for individuals with disabilities, low vision and geriatrics, and eye care for the homeless. Our patient care model is based on an assessment of community needs, working closely with these communities to provide the best services to meet those needs.


Clinical Network logoHands-on Training in Eye Care

These collaborative relationships help to train optometry students at the New England College of Optometry and provide outreach and care in the community.  Through experiencing clinical placements at various locations within the New England College of Optometry Clinical Network and beyond, students are able to experience a wide variety of patient care needs through their training while being mentored by experienced NECO clinical faculty as well as affiliated faculty.  While a majority of these are located in the Greater Boston area, NECO students also experience placements at clinical affiliates around the nation, as well as several other countries.  


Community Health Centers

Through a series of collaborations that began in the 1970s, the New England College of Optometry Clinical Network has become the national leader in health center-based vision programs. Today our doctors and students provide service and best practice support in over 14 community health centers in the Greater Boston area. Current health centers include: Charles River Community Health, Codman Square Health Center, The Dimock Center, DOT House Health, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Fenway Community Health Center, Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center, Holyoke Health Center, Lynn Community Health Center, Martha Eliot Health Center, North End Waterfront Health, South Boston Community Health Center, South End Community Health Center and Upham's Corner Health Center


Academic Medical Centers  

NECO Clinical Network doctors and NECO students provide care and staffing support at local prestigious teaching hospitals in departments such as pediatrics and ophthalmology. Current hospital-based programs include:  Department of Ophthalmology, Boston Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center – Floating Hospital for Children


VA Medical Centers 

NECO Clinical Network doctors and NECO students provide care and services at VA hospitals in the Boston area as well as throughout the country. New England College of Optometry has formed a strong collaborative relationship with VA hospitals over the past 30 years through as strong residency and clinical program within the VA setting.  Nearly a decade after community health centers began sprouting up around the country, the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) established the VA Optometry Service and transferred optometrist from the civil services to the physician-dentist personnel system.  Today, optometry students train with NECO Clinical Network doctors and provide care to patients with a wide range of eye and vision problems such as multiple complex ocular and systemic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and neurological and cardiac disease.


Community Partnerships and Outreach

The New England College of Optometry Clinical Network is committed to providing access to high-quality, convenient, and affordable eye care throughout the community.  Our community partnerships provide outreach services to individuals with disabilities, people who require low vision and geriatric services, and those who are homeless. These include New England Eye SEMA (Southeastern MA), New England Eye at Perkins School for the Blind, and the Seamark Vision Clinic at the Cotting School.

With a rich history of community service, students from New England College of Optometry work alongside optometrists in our clinical network to provide eye care through the system of community collaborators. Together, they provide advanced eye and vision services, along with other coordinated heath services, designed to care for special populations including children, older adults, those with low vision, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities.  Their goal is to provide services for the whole community, including underserved populations.


Pediatric School Health Program

New England College of Optometry provides vision screenings to elementary schools, preschools, and community groups in the Greater Boston area.  Our goals include identifying vision issues and making recommendations for further eye exams when necessary to help students have their vision corrected to find success in school and sports.  Correcting and maximizing vision creates opportunities for learning and reading, socialization, work and play, safety and independence, and better emotional and physical health. 

Current locations:

  • ABCD HeadStart
  • Boston Public Schools Screening Program
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston
  • Preschool Programs in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Revere, Lynn, and Lowell

Individuals with Disabilities Service:

The New England College of Optometry Clinical Network provides vision care to individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout the Commonwealth at special-needs-based schools and rehabilitation centers.

Current locations:


Low Vision and Geriatric Services

Low vision and geriatric services are provided to individuals throughout the Boston area.

Current locations:  


Eye Care for the Homeless

Through a collaboration with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless program, New England College of Optometry Clinical Network provides care at shelters in the Boston area.  

Current locations: 

  • Pine Street Inn
  • Barbara McGinnis House
  • Jean Yawkey Place