Get involved in outreach and community service. At the Indiana University School of Optometry, our goals include introducing our students to programs, populations, and practice modalities that they might not experience in a typical clinical setting, and providing vision care to those for whom financial, geographic, or physical barriers prevent access to such services.
We believe that this exposure results in graduating doctors who develop greater awareness of the issues that influence access to health care. Our hope is that these doctors in turn will exhibit greater personal engagement in the communities where they live and work.
The School of Optometry provides students with opportunities to be involved in the community through outreach projects. Every year, School of Optometry students provide the screenings for Junior Olympics, Special Olympics, and school screenings for grades K–5. The School of Optometry has also partnered with the City of Bloomington in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to provide full eye exams for underserved populations. Our students have also provided athletic vision screenings at Indiana University and the local high schools in conjunction with our sports vision program.
Volunteers in Medicine of Monroe County
The Volunteers in Medicine of Monroe County (VIM) program provides free medical services to low income, uninsured Indiana residents of Monroe County and Owen County. The School of Optometry has partnered with VIM to provide free comprehensive vision care and reduced cost eyeglasses to those who qualify. Contact the VIM program to learn more.
Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital
The Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis is one of six Indiana psychiatric hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Long-term services are provided to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance, adults of all ages with serious mental illness, and adults with chronic addictive disorders.
School of Optometry doctors and student interns perform eye examinations on residents of the facility. Comprehensive eye care is provided on a weekly basis in a fully equipped room located in the hospital’s medical clinic.
Indiana University School of Optometry Community Outreach (IUSOCO)
IUSOCO is a program that provides access to vision health care services for the medically underserved. At the Indianapolis Eye Care Center, glasses and medically necessary contact lenses are provided to qualified patients at a reduced rate. Contact IUSOCO at 317-321-1470 to learn more.
The School of Optometry is an active participant in the InfantSEE® program, “a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care . . . . Under this program . . . member optometrists will provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment within the first year of life as a no-cost public health service.”
School vision screening
Additionally, the School of Optometry has provided school vision screening for 1,068 kindergarteners and first graders at 15 Bloomington schools and 12 schools in Indianapolis. These screenings help identify students who need eyeglasses or other interventions to help them function at their highest level in school and, thus, later in life.