Working through the UW Health Patient-Centered Care Committee, of which Dr. Schmitt is currently the chair, the team assessed the department’s central care spaces at University Station Eye Clinic. They identified and documented many opportunities to improve the facilities for visually impaired and aging patients, such as creating legible signage, and changing carpet and wall colors to increase contrast.
Drs. Mondal and Schmitt have also strengthened relationships with external community partners, including the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired (WCBVI) and UnityPoint Health-Meriter, a partner of UW Health. With Dr. Mondal and the Low Vision clinic in full swing, patients benefit from long-standing relationships with the programmatic efforts of WCBVI, plus additional social and occupational resources. Dr. Mondal refers many patients to WCBVI after her initial examination. WCBVI is one of the few full-service, local resources that offers adaptive technology resources, in-home assessments, advocacy and a store for low vision aids. The occupational therapist referrals help people with low vision function at the highest possible level by teaching new skills, modifying tasks, and addressing home and public safety, as well as providing driving assessments.
Another essential community partner is Vision Forward of Milwaukee. Dr. Schmitt refers many pediatric patients to Vision Forward, as the organization specializes in assisting the visually impaired from birth through adulthood to achieve educational, personal and professional goals.