The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) has broken ground and extended its philanthropic reach into the Eastside of San Antonio, an area critically in need of an institution providing optometric care.
On Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, UIW commemorated the beginning of construction on the UIW Eye Care and Health Institute located at 2527 E. Commerce St. (corner of Walters and Commerce, two blocks north of St. Phillip’s College) with a ground- breaking ceremony.
The $8 million, 30,000 square-foot modern public health care facility will provide vision care to residents in this area of San Antonio. Because there exists only one private optometry office available to a community of over 143,500 residents, UIW’s new institute will serve a quintessential role in offering access to eye care for vulnerable populations, specifically children, the elderly and the uninsured.
Patients will be accepted regardless of their ability to pay. The institute will diagnose and treat diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma; these vision-damaging conditions remain overrepresented in the populations forming the majority of the Eastside and its neighboring communities. Licensed eye care doctors and interns from UIW’s Rosenberg School of Optometry will render care at the institute.
“The uniqueness of this futuristic Eye Institute is that it will be founded on the same values that serve as the foundation for all University of the Incarnate Word projects. It will be a community partnership committed to excellence in patient care and education within a context of faith, human dignity and social justice,” said Dr. Andrew Buzzelli, dean of the Rosenberg School of Optometry.
In addition to UIW’s funding of the institute, the City of San Antonio invested $1.2 million under Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #11 (TIRZ 11) and $1.6 million through the Com- munity Development Block Grant (CDBG), Section 108 Funds.