Community Outreach

Tele-retinal Imaging (TRIP Program)

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss for working aged adults in the United States. Early detection and proper intervention is essential to reduce the risk of vision loss. The Tele-retinal Imaging Program (TRIP) is a screening program for patients with diabetes. Retinal cameras are set up in many primary care facilities throughout UNM Hospital and Clinics.

Patients with diabetes have photographs of their retina taken at one of these facilities. The images are then transmitted to the eye clinic to be graded by one of our eye doctors. The eye doctor will examine the images for signs of diabetic retinopathy was well as other eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

A report of the findings is sent to the patient’s primary doctor. If the eye doctor detects problems that can affect vision, the patients will be referred to the eye clinic for further testing and possible treatment.

Community Vision Project

The Community Vision Project (CVP) is a series of mobile eye camps where medical students provide screening eye examinations for underserved populations.

Each year, the project trains up to 20 medical students in a setting of community service. In a typical eye camp, students perform a medical and ocular history, auto-refract (check eyeglass prescription), and complete a dilated eye examination.

Patients with refractive errors are dispensed glasses free of charge. Complex eye diseases are referred to specialists at UNM for further management. Students learn important eye examination skills and acquire real-world knowledge about basic eye diseases like cataracts and diabetic retinopathy

Since its first eye camp in 2009, the CVP has run over 40 mobile eye camps throughout New Mexico (from Alamogordo to Shiprock) and seen over a 1000 patients.