AMIGOS Provided Eyecare Close To Home During Spring Break
On the Oregon Trip 2019, 14 optometry students (along with Melanie Tan, Lisette Romig, Dr. Borbidge, and Dr. Martin) traveled along the Columbia River Gorge in Northern Oregon to provide eyecare to 336 patients in underserved communities. Sixty percent of these patients received free spectacles made to their exact prescription, 20 percent received medical referrals for follow-up care, with five of those patients receiving urgent referrals.
A wide range of ocular disease was seen, including primary open-angle glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, toxic neuropathy, congenital glaucoma, keratoconus, cranial nerve palsies, strabismus, and more. Students got to try their hand at refracting patients with as high as 16.00 diopters of myopia, or 6.00 diopters of cylinder — just in time for check-outs!
Volunteers from Casey Eye Institute were instrumental in helping organize the trip and brought their own EyeVan as well; some of the Pacific students got a chance to see patients on that van.
During our downtime, we were able to explore some of the wild and eclectic things that the Columbia River Gorge had to offer. We stopped by Maryhill Stonehenge, a WW1 memorial made to be an exact replica of the European original, as well as Hat Rock State Park, a historic part of the Lewis & Clark trail. For dinner, we gorged ourselves on food from fantastic diners and breweries in Pendleton and Boardman. All in all, the wide range of pathology and ability for students to do full phoropter refractions, slit lamp exams, and dilated fundus exams made this trip a fantastic learning opportunity for the team members. Everybody's Spanish skills were grown significantly, as well.
Lastly, the chance to once again spend time with Pacific legend Dr. Sarah Martin almost made the trip worth it for that reason alone.