Focusing on You: Virtual Platform Gives Patients Direct Access to Eye Care Specialists

2 min read  |  August 23, 2022  | 
Disponible en Español |

Natalie Townsend, OD, is an optometrist and Director of Bascom Palmer’s Rapid Virtual Eye Care Clinic at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. For more information about booking a virtual appointment, click here.


When Tony Etzel’s right eye became blurred by floaters he knew something was wrong.

“I would describe it like Tetris, sometimes big black chunks would move across my field of vision,” Tony says.

Instead of waiting for an in-person appointment, Tony used Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Rapid Virtual Eye Care Clinic launched during the COVID-19 pandemic under the direction of optometrist Natalie Townsend, OD.

“By creating a virtual platform, patients were able to connect with eye doctors here at Bascom Palmer virtually from the comfort of their own home,” says Dr. Townsend.

With the click of a button, patients can have direct access to a Bascom Palmer eye doctor the same day.

“As long as they have an electronic device, they’ll be able to connect with an eye doctor through a Zoom link that they will get after the appointment is made,” Dr. Townsend says.

Tony had a retinal detachment and was in surgery the next morning. He says the Rapid Virtual Eye Care Clinic and the team at Bascom Palmer saved his sight.

“I feel cared for and protected that I have an advocate to keep my vision good,” says Tony.

Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10.  For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.

Tags: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, blurry visions, Dr. Natalie Ann Townsend, focusing on you, rapid virtual eye care, telemedicine, virtual eye care clinic

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