In conjunction with the recently announced Doctor of Optometry program, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMU) has opened the RMU Eye Institute, a new community-focused clinic to help meet the needs of the local community by providing exceptional eye care to individuals and families.
The RMU Eye Institute, which hosted a soft opening in September and a formal ribbon cutting on November 10, will serve individuals and families in Provo and surrounding areas. Eye Institute Director Court Wilkins, OD, MHS, FAAO, said, “We look forward to serving the people of Provo and the surrounding area. The clinic will provide eye care, research, and be a teaching institute for students and Utah doctors alike. Our doctors are dedicated to providing vision care for your entire family. We have partnered with many of the local providers to help make the clinic and the clinical experience of the students a success.”
The eye institute’s services will include ocular emergencies, diabetic eye exams, hypertension eye exams, LASIK/PRK consultation, cataract consultation, advanced dry eye care, eye disease, pediatric exams, vision therapy, myopia management, glaucoma, keratoconus evaluation with scleral contact lens fitting, cross-linking consultation, low vision, cosmetic procedures, glasses and contact lens, and comprehensive routine eye care.
Adam Hickenbotham, OD, MPH, PhD, Dean of the College of Optometry, who will oversee the new optometry program and eye institute, explained how these services would benefit Utah residents. “In addition to offering full-scope optometry services and comprehensive eyecare, the optometry clinic will also offer specialty services and could be a referral center for other doctors. It will also offer pro-bono services to patients who may not qualify at their local optometrist.”
The institute will work in conjunction with the Doctor of Optometry program to provide clinic and research experiences for students alongside faculty. The Doctor of Optometry program has received preliminary accreditation from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education and is now accepting applications for the May 2023 cohort.
For future optometrists, it means providing excellent patient care and improving eye care as a whole. “We will have our students heavily involved in research and development. It is how the clinic can be used to further technology to enhance the future of eye care,” said Wilkins.
Hickenbotham explained that the new Doctor of Optometry program will make a difference not only in the community but also in the profession. “New optometry students at RMU will be instructed to match the highest level of training and performance in the US. To maintain accreditation, an optometry program must meet the highest standards available in all 50 states. There is a shortage of healthcare providers in Utah, including optometrists. New students will help provide the eye care services that are needed.”
Clinic information, including appointment and insurance information, can be found at rm.edu/eye-clinic/.