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JBSA News
NEWS | Aug. 19, 2014

JBSA-Randolph Optometry Clinic features 'excellent' eye care, patient rapport

By Alex Salinas Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

For one member at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Optometry Clinic, it's not the hectic schedule that sticks out the most, but the amount of hugs she gets from patients. "This is one of the friendliest military treatment facilities I've worked at," Lt. Col. Judy Rattan, 359th Aerospace-Medicine Squadron Optometry Flight commander, said. "There's an upbeat, 'can-do' attitude in our staff and patients, which makes this a positive place to be."

With six staff members serving a patient population of 25,000 people - 50 percent of them retirees - the clinic receives up to 40 patients a day, Master Sgt. Kevin Wood, 359th AMDS Optometry Flight NCO in charge, said. "We offer comprehensive eye health examinations to include diabetic retinal exams, contact lens updates and aviator refractive surgery exams," Wood said. "These services are available to TRICARE beneficiaries empaneled to JBSA-Randolph or the Schertz Medical Home," which is an Army-operated outpatient clinic. TRICARE beneficiaries not empaneled to JBSA-Randolph or the Schertz Medical Home are also privileged to the services, "but on a 24-hour space-available basis," he said. 

Rattan advised patients to bring glasses, contact lenses and contact lens prescriptions for all examinations. Without previous prescriptions and lenses, contact lens prescriptions cannot be updated.

Additionally, she suggested that active-duty members schedule full ocular checkups at least every two years, whether or not they wear glasses or contacts. Contact lenses should be updated annually.

"Our members need healthy eyes to accomplish the mission, especially downrange," she said.
 
When planning for checkups, patients should set aside at least one hour for an appointment, contact another parent or guardian to watch their children during their appointment as they cannot be in exam or waiting rooms unsupervised, and bring sunglasses and a driver to take them home afterwards.

"There's a good chance patients' pupils will be dilated four to six hours after examination, so plan accordingly," Rattan said.

The clinic no longer fits patients for new contacts, but they will update them. Alternatively, glasses are still available for active duty and retired members with glasses prescriptions, written by any optometrist or ophthalmologist, less than a year old.

If patients are found with progressed or serious eye conditions, "we can send them to the San Antonio Military Medical Center (at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston) or Wilford Hall (at JBSA-Lackland) for urgent care the same day, if needed," Wood said. 

Part of the clinic's mission is to educate patients based on their needs to "optimize their ocular health and quality of life," Rattan said.

The hours of operation are 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 on Friday. On the last Wednesday of every month, the clinic is open from 7:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

To make an appointment, call 916-9900 and press the option to schedule a consultation at a specialty clinic.

For more information, call the JBSA-Randolph Optometry Clinic at 652-5526.