SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A first-of-its-kind vision clinic will be serving Salt Lake City School District students this year. The Parkview Vision Clinic officially opened today. The clinic is located within Parkview Elementary School and will offer district students and community members on-site vision care.

The clinic is the result of a collaboration between the Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake Education Foundation, Friends for Sight, and Rocky Mountain University of Helath Professions.

Parkview Vision Clinic said it is looking to reduce barriers when it comes to essential healthcare 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.

“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.”

The clinic will be staffed by optometrists from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMU). Third-year RMU Optometry students will have an opportunity to work alongside faculty to gain hands-on experience and provide vision care to the community. 

The clinic will accept some insurance and will provide free care to those who qualify. In a press release from RMU, it was pointed out that even when insured, patients have barriers to accessing vision care. For example, if parents can’t take off work, have no transportation, there are no interpretation services offered, or the family cannot afford the glasses. This clinic will cover care for those families.

“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!”

Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Superintendent of Salt Lake City School District was on hand at the ribbon cutting today and expressed her appreciation for the impact the clinic will have on her district’s students.

“We are grateful for this partnership that will provide tangible solutions and hope for our students,” said Grant. “Our students will receive vision screenings and eyeglasses which will have a positive impact on their academics.”