In-School Vision Care Provided to SLC Students & Community
Excitement was high today at the Parkview Vision Clinic ribbon cutting. The clinic is located within Parkview Elementary School and is a result of the collaboration between the Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake Education Foundation, Friends for Sight, and Rocky Mountain University. The aim is to provide essential vision services to students and the local community.
The Parkview Vision Clinic represents a groundbreaking initiative that goes beyond traditional and will profoundly impact the lives of countless children and families in the Salt Lake City area. As the first clinic of its kind in Utah, it will reduce barriers by providing clinical care in a trusted space, providing reliable interpretation services, ensuring students can access care during the school day, and glasses will be provided at no cost to the family.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of Parkview Vision Clinic,” said James Yapias, Senior Director for Salt Lake Education Foundation. “This clinic is the result of a partnership that seeks to break down barriers to access quality vision care, ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive academically and beyond.”
“Vision disorders are one of the most prevalent disabling conditions for children,” says Jamie Justice, Executive Director of Friends for Sight. “ In low-income schools, 50% of children need glass, but 90% don’t have access to them. That’s why this clinic is so important!”
Optometrists from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMU) will work on-site with patients to provide vision care. This clinic offers third-year RMU Optometry students an opportunity to work alongside faculty to gain hands-on experience and provide vision care to the community.
“RMU educates healthcare professionals who will go out and improve the human condition,” says President Cameron K. Martin, PhD. “Partnering with Parkview Eye Clinic is yet another way RMU works toward its mission.”
This clinic accepts some insurance and provides free care to those who qualify. Even when insured, patients have barriers to accessing vision care. For example, parents can’t take off work, have no transportation, no interpretation services are offered, and the family cannot afford the glasses.
“We are grateful for this partnership that will provide tangible solutions and hope for our students,” said Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Superintendent of Salt Lake City School District. “Our students will receive vision screenings and eyeglasses which will have a positive impact on their academics.”
The grand opening event was filled with inspiration, hope, and the celebration of unity. Representatives from the Salt Lake Education Foundation, Friends for Sight, and Rocky Mountain University provided insight into the collaboration that brought this transformative project to life. It was a great way to celebrate not just the opening of a clinic, but the opening of new doors for our children’s futures.
ABOUT SALT LAKE EDUCATION FOUNDATION: The Salt Lake Education Foundation supports every student in the Salt Lake City School District, helping ensure that they achieve their goals both in and out of the classroom. The foundation relies on the support of the community to help students, whether it is volunteers helping with a school musical, gifts of food for families, or funds to assist with elementary STEAM activities. For additional information, visit www.saltlakeeducationfoundation.org.
ABOUT FRIENDS FOR SIGHT: Fighting blindness in Utah since 1955, Friends for Sight is a non-profit organization that works to increase access to vision care by partnering with local optometrists and ophthalmologists to provide free, complete eye exams and access to glasses throughout Utah. The organization ensures that people of all ages and backgrounds have access to quality eye care and disseminating information about eye safety, threats to vision, and available community resources. For additional information, visit www.https://friendsforsight.org/.
ABOUT ROCKY MOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY: Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMU) is an exclusive graduate healthcare education institution accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Founded in 1998 and located in Provo, Utah, RMU offers high-quality and evidence-based master’s and doctoral degree programs in various healthcare specialties with a diverse student body and faculty. Learn more at rm.edu.
ABOUT SALT LAKE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT: The Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) is Utah’s capital city school district. With more than half of SLCSD students coming from a minority racial or ethnic background, most students coming from low-income households, and more than 80 languages spoken by district families, it is also one of the state’s most diverse. SLCSD prides itself on its robust academic and extracurricular offerings, inclusive academic environment, focus on supporting students’ social and emotional learning, and promoting excellence and equity: every student, every classroom, every day. For more information, visit www.slcschools.org.