MMI opens vision clinic for those with intellectual, developmental disabilities

by John Keenan
April 14, 2021

Image with caption: From left, technician Alison Erickson, clinic director Karen Wilson, OD, and optician Lori Cervantes at the Munroe-Meyer Institute's Caring for Champions Program Vision Clinic.

From left, technician Alison Erickson, clinic director Karen Wilson, OD, and optician Lori Cervantes at the Munroe-Meyer Institute's Caring for Champions Program Vision Clinic.

UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute opens vision clinic for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities
 
The Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) Vision Clinic, part of the new Caring for Champions Program, began seeing patients April 2.
 
The clinic, a collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, joins dental and wellness clinics being offered at the new MMI building at 6902 Pine St., near the University of Omaha Scott Campus.
 
The clinic will serve individuals of all ages and abilities, providing comprehensive eye care.
 
"While screening athletes during the Special Olympics, it was noted that many with inherited developmental disabilities had not been receiving regular vision and dental care," said Karen Wilson, OD, clinic director. "MMI set a goal to provide these services in clinics dedicated to their client population."
 
MMI Director Karoly Mirnics, MD, PhD, said the institute was pleased to welcome Dr. Wilson and her staff to MMI's Caring for Champions Program, which incorporates the vision, healthy nutrition/wellness and dental clinics.
 
"The Caring for Champions Program addresses health issues in areas that have traditionally challenged individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)," Dr. Mirnics said. "With the help of our committed team from the Truhlsen Eye Institute, we are excited to begin offering vision services tailored to the needs of our clients at the Munroe-Meyer Institute."
 
Dr. Wilson said that for sighted individuals, it is estimated that 80-85% of learning is visual.
 
"Through our work with MMI and the Caring for Champions Program, we plan to provide our patients the best vision possible to achieve their goals at school, in their chosen sport and in all their daily activities," she said.
 
Richard Legge, MD is the medical director of both the Truhlsen Eye Institute and the MMI vision clinic. Dr. Wilson will be the optometrist providing care and is the new clinic's director.
 
Dr. Wilson has provided vision care in the Omaha area for more than 20 years. She has experience working with clients with disabilities and complex health needs, as well as low vision concerns. The clinic's technician, Alison Erickson, has experience as an ophthalmic technician and a pediatric optician, and optician Lori Cervantes has years of experience working with the IDD population.
 
The clinic will feature an optical department to provide spectacles and contact lenses for MMI clients, and the inventory includes frames that are customizable for people with unique facial features.
 
"We all look forward to providing a compassionate experience for our patients and their families in a calm, comfortable environment," Dr. Wilson said.
 
The clinic currently is open on Fridays; additional days will be added as their clinic grows.
Individuals can call the Munroe-Meyer Institute at 402-559-6418 to ask about scheduling appointments at the clinic.
 
We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.
 
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