By Candice Murdock, staff writer
A lot of students either walk, drive, or ride by Natural Bridge Road, but not all students may know about the new Optometry Patient Care Center, located on South Campus at 7840 Natural Bridge Road.
The Patient Care Center opened on November 4. Before this brand new eye center opened, students went to the optometry center in Marillac Hall for an eye exam. However, the facility was not as up-to-date as this current facility, and the facility lacked visibility.
Larry Davis, the dean in the College of Optometry, explains, “We were not in a facility that was designed for healthcare. It was a very old facility. It wasn’t efficient as far as patient flow, and it didn’t provide a lot of spaces we needed to operate.”
The new Patient Care Center also brings a new sense of visibility and awareness. Davis said, “The location being tucked back on South Campus was not as visible and accessible as this location is on Natural Bridge Road.”
Some students may have made up their minds about the type of eye center they attend, but for the people who are adamant about not switching, they may be missing out on a bargain. One bargain for students is the price. For students, examinations are free, though there is a “fitting price,” which is thirty dollars. In order for students to get a free examination, they have to bring in their student ID and their class schedule. Non-students have to pay ninety-five dollars out of pocket with insurance.
While faculty provide services at the new Patient Care Center, students also play a part in providing services. Brandon Tish, a third year optometry student who works in the school dispensary, explained the benefits of this eye center. “The first and foremost benefit would be that if you sit for an exam you get 40 percent off a complete pair of glasses from our optical. This is a large benefit and many times outweighs the benefits most vision insurance plans would give their policy holders,” Tish said.
Along with the benefit of less expensive eyewear is the assurance of a thorough eye examination. Tish said, “As a student, our job is to learn and practice as much as we can on every patient. This translates into complete vision examinations done at the highest level possible, ensuring the patients get quality care.”
Davis also explains the importance of why eye care is important. “Eighty-percent of our information that we gather throughout our day comes from the eyes, and it’s important for learning, navigating throughout the world, and the gift of sight is something that we all appreciate very much,” he said. “Preserving, and maximizing the quality of vision is the most valuable thing that we all appreciate.”
The facility offers Adult Comprehensive Eye Examinations, as well as Pediatrics/Vision Training, Contact Lenses, Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eye Health Management, Corneal Topography, Retinal Photography, and Electrodiagnosis. It is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information, visit https://www.umsl.edu/~optomety/Patient%20Services/ucent.html.
You can also read about UMSL’s Pre-Optometry Club.