First Christian Church doubles as downtown eye clinic

By Madison McCorkle

The Community Eye Clinic and First Christian Church are working together to better the Fort Worth community.
The eye clinic is located inside of First Christian Church in downtown Fort Worth. They offer the service through their program called Glimpses of Reign, a mission where the church invites others to use their building space in ways that will benefit to community, said Associate Minister, Rev. Christy Drechsel of First Christian Church.
“We at First Christian Church believe that the Community Eye Clinic is the best example of an organization focused on the lasting impression they make in the lives of those in the Fort Worth community who are otherwise underserved,” said Drechsel.
The clinic is open to anyone Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.. Appointments can be made over the phone or online. Walk in emergencies are also accepted.
Financial assistance is determined on a case by case basis for services, medications and glasses, according to clinic director and optometrist, Dr. Jennifer Deakins. The clinic is funded by the University of Houston College of Optometry, the Rosenberg School of Optometry and  several industry and community partners, said Deakins.
“The outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous,” said Deakins. “Since opening the doors, we have had endless local partners come forward to coordinate care and services.”
In addition to providing eye care, it is also a teaching clinic for Optometry students.
According to Deakins there are two attending faculty optometrists along with eight fourth year optometry students that work out of the clinic.
“I am honored to be a part of this clinic,”Deakins said. “I am fulfilled by caring for the patients that traditionally have the least access to health care and other services.”
The Community Eye Clinic opened in May 2013 with the support of First Christian Church, the City of Fort Worth, Alcon, University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO), the Rosenberg School of Optometry (RSO) at the University of the Incarnate Word and local Tarrant County Optometrists.