A May merger of the IU School of Optometry’s Community Eye Care Center and Bloomington’s Atwater Eye Care Center makes more services available to patients, but may make eye care less accessible to some.
The merger may require some patients to travel longer distances or catch a bus to get to their eye appointments.
Neil Pence, associate dean for clinical and patient care services at the IU School of Optometry, says that the central location of the Atwater Eye Care Center makes it possible for patients to use public transportation.
The clinic also offers free patient parking, a rarity on IU’s campus.
“Whenever you’re in two locations, you’re splitting your resources. And we can’t have everything for everyone in one place,” Pence says.
Pence says the merger will not discontinue any programs the clinic offers the community. The 17,000 patients the two centers now serve will have access to a wider array of services without any doctors losing their jobs.
Patients from the Community Eye Care Center can meet with doctors at the new location beginning May 6.