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Big Give Message from Sandra Pena

Sandra Peña.
As the Patient Services Supervisor at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science, I’ve witnessed first hand the incredible strides we’ve made in eye care over the past three and a half years. My journey in optometry started when I was just 19, and since then, my passion for the field has only grown, fueled by the academic challenges and the joy of learning on the job.

Our clinic is unique in its patient care and services, primarily due to our diverse demographic. We have the privilege of serving many low-income patients, providing them access to quality eye care they might not otherwise afford. Our patients come to us seeking the meticulous, thorough exams and genuine care that our clinicians are known for. This detail-oriented approach and the deep care for our patients’ well-being set us apart.

Patient care, to me, is about seeing each patient as a family member. It’s about putting their needs first and approaching their care with empathy. A recent experience that stands out to me involved a patient struggling with insurance issues. I took it upon myself to be their advocate, liaising with the insurance provider and ensuring they had peace of mind throughout the process. It’s this kind of above-and-beyond effort, coupled with patient education, that makes a significant difference in the lives of those we serve.

The opening of our satellite campus in Emeryville represents an exciting chapter for our school and clinic. With a focus on pediatric care, we can elevate these kids and allow them to succeed, and through that, we’re investing in a brighter future for all. I believe the Emeryville clinic will attract more patients and provide unprecedented opportunities for expanding our care.

Working at Berkeley has been a transformative experience. It’s provided a nurturing environment for professional growth and has allowed me to become a confident leader. Our team’s diversity fosters a rich learning environment where we continuously learn from each other. This dynamic has strengthened my career path in optometry and my relationships with my colleagues.

Looking ahead, I’m optimistic about the growth and development of the Herbert Wertheim Schoo of Opometry & Vision Science, especially with the addition of the Emeryville clinic. My hope is for optometric care to be recognized as a mainstream and essential component of medical care. Our school and clinics are leading the way in this regard, shaping the future of eye care with a commitment to excellence and innovation. Through initiatives like the “Our Vision, Our Future” campaign, we’re not just expanding our facilities; we’re enhancing our ability to serve, educate, and lead in the optometry field.

The future of eye care is bright, and Berkeley will continue to be at the forefront, guiding the next generation of optometrists with confidence and expertise. Together, we’re not just looking ahead; we’re leading the way.

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