Boston OD Goes Above and Beyond for Middle Schoolers in Need

By


Dr. Tricia Rose, OD,
owner of Envision Optometry
and founder of Envision
Boston Giving.
BOSTON, Mass.—While all eyecare professionals serve and support their communities by providing valuable health care services, some ECPs go above and beyond expectations by volunteering their own time and money to help those in need. Dr. Tricia Rose of Envision Optometry is one of these exceptional ECPs. Once a week, Dr. Rose visits Irving Middle School in Boston and provides free eye exams to the students as a part of her charity program, Envision Boston Giving.

Dr. Rose, who graduated from Illinois College of Optometry, moved to Boston in 2011 and opened Envision Optometry. This past April, she decided to start Envision Boston Giving, a program that provides vision screenings and glasses to school children, because of her desire to help her community. Through some connections at Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Rose found out about the need for eyecare in Boston Public Schools and was able to meet with Mayor Martin Walsh of Boston to develop the proper guidelines and lay the groundwork for the program.


Armed with trunks of eyewear and
optometric equipment, Dr. Rose uses a
classroom as a makeshift clinic to screen
Irving Middle School students.
“I wanted to give back and have my practice build a deeper relationship with the community,” said Dr. Rose. “Bringing vision screenings to schools with children of high need is a great way to be of service in the community.”

Every Tuesday since late April, two team members from Envision Optometry accompany Dr. Rose to Irving Middle School to give eye exams to the students there. If a student is in need of glasses, they will be fitted and given a pair free of charge. All of the glasses given to students are from Modern Optical and are funded by donors who support Envision Boston Giving.

Dr. Rose has found that roughly 80 percent of the students that have been screened are in need of new eyewear; out of those students, half of them have never worn glasses before, while the other half have a pair that is lost, broken or out of date.


An Irving Middle School student
listens carefully as Dr. Rose
explains eye exam procedures.
“The kids we are seeing will not have the same opportunities to succeed,” explained Dr. Rose. “The schools are doing the best that they can but there is still a major loophole in the delivery of care to children. Busy working parents can't always handle all of the details involved in raising children and they need help.”

While these weekly visits have no significant impact on Envision Optometry’s daily operations—Dr. Rose only visits on her day off—the practice certainly plays a big part in the charity program. Eye exams are a contribution made directly from the practice and its staff members. Additionally, Envision Optometry staff help check in new eyewear, organize paperwork and track statistical data for the program.

Once all of the children at Irving Middle School have been screened, Envision Boston Giving will take its services to other schools; there are already plans to visit schools in Mattapan and Dorchester later this year.

So far, Envision Boston Giving seems to have been as rewarding to Dr. Rose as it has been to the students she’s served. “I love seeing the reactions of the kids when they receive new eyewear—they light up!” she said. “It’s incredibly rewarding for all of us to be able to be a part of this program.”

 


The Envision Boston Giving blog highlights Dr. Rose’s
thoughts on the program and showcases other
philanthropists from the Boston area.