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Public Health

Community health is a cornerstone of the clinical experience at NECO.

Community Health Centers

In 1965, Boston became one of two pilot project sites (along with Mound Bayou, Mississippi) for the nation’s first government-funded neighborhood health centers. The pilot’s success spurred the establishment of neighborhood health centers across the country, and New England College of Optometry was among the early supporters of this movement. In 1969, NECO initiated its first clinical affiliation with a Boston neighborhood health center, the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center. Soon after, the College revamped its curriculum with the aim of enriching and expanding students’ clinical experience. Read more about NECO and Community Health Centers.

For students to become great clinicians, they have to understand the communities they're working in.

Dr. Barry Barresi, OD '77

VA Medical Facilities

NECO has also developed a strong residency and clinical program in Veterans Affairs (VA) settings. These experiences allowed opportunities for optometry students to train in VA medical facilities and to gain exposure to patients with a wide range of eye and vision problems, including those related to systemic conditions. In return, the VA environments gained access to strong optometrical care and students help both patients and their families. Learn more about NECO and the VA Medical Administration.

New England College of Optometry Clinical Network

Over time, New England College of Optometry's network of clinical affiliates has grown to include specialty care affiliates in schools, community centers, senior centers, homeless shelters and rehab hospitals. Collectively, these are known as the New England College of Optometry (NECO) Clinical Network. These specialty care clinics provide services to blind, homeless, handicapped, homebound, pediatric, and geriatric populations. Learn more about NECO's Clinical Network.

Dr. Biffi handing glasses to patient to try on