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Crownpoint Eye Clinic
PO BOX 358
Crownpoint, NM 87313
Fax: 505-786-6435

Contact Person: Nazret Weldeghiorgis, O.D.

Clinical Teaching Faculty: Nazret Weldeghiorgis, O.D.
Residency and Student Coordinator,

Type of Practice: Indian Health Service

The Crownpoint Eye Clinic is a hospital based practice providing primary and emergency eye care services. It is located on the Eastern edge of the Navajo Reservation, and the vast majority of our patients are Navajo. Our main facility is located in the community of Crownpoint, population 3,000, however, over 20,000 patients utilize services at our facilities. Satellite clinics are located at Pueblo Pintado (40 miles to the east) and Thoreau (25 miles south).


  • Patient population: >30,765
  • Eye Clinic sees approximately 4,000 patients/year
  • Patients range from pediatrics to geriatrics with an equal mix of males and females.

Prerequisites for Student Interns:

  • Must pass Security Clearance before start of rotation (Fingerprint and Background Check) – contact Student Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the start of rotation.
  • Competency with Electronic Health Records
  • Strong desire to learn, works well with others, and provides compassionate patient care
  • Please see Externships Documentation and Immunization requirements page for additional requirements.

Patient Services Provided:

  • We are a primary care clinic that offers comprehensive eye exams for all ages, Diabetic Eye Exams, Glaucoma Care, Cataract Post-Ops, and Urgent Care services.
  • Laboratory and radiology services are available for additional work-up.

Educational Objectives:

  • Provide a comprehensive experience in primary care optometry in a multi-disciplinary hospital setting.
  • Strengthen the externs’ primary care skills.
  • Expand and enhance the externs’ ocular and systemic health care knowledge base.
  • Develop the externs’ ability to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan for a variety of patients and conditions.
  • Foster the utilization/interpretation of ancillary testing (e.g. Cirrus Ocular Coherence Tomography, Humphrey Visual Field, Zeiss Fundus Camera)

Student Responsibilities:

  • Participate in public health presentations or service projects
  • Prepare one 20-30 minute case presentation
  • Participation in department journal clubs and workshops
  • Complete accurate patient records by the end of the day
  • Wear professional attire with identification at all times. Scrubs are allowed. White coat is not required.
  • Recommended to bring all personal equipment you require to conduct exams.

Faculty Responsibilities:

  • Supervise and educate externs
  • Provide an extensive primary care patient base along with a variety of diverse, challenging, and complex cases.
  • Provide students with a safe learning environment
  • Uphold the mission of the Indian Health Service to raise the health status of the American Indian and Alaska Native people to the highest possible level
  • Provide students with a clinical performance evaluation at the completion of the rotation

College Affiliations:

  • Marshall B Ketchum University

Clinic Hours:

  • Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm.
  • Closed on weekends and federal holidays.

Housing Responsibilities:

Student housing is provided and shared with externs from other departments (e.g. pharmacy, PT, nursing, dental). It is a 5 minute drive to the hospital. Transportation is the responsibility of the student.


  • Crownpoint is located in a rural area. It is approximately 1 hour from Gallup and Grants, 1.5 hours from Farmington, 2 hours from Albuquerque (closest major airport), and 3 hours from Santa Fe.
  • The Crownpoint Rug Auction is held on the 2nd Friday of every month and draws visitors from distant locales.
  • Opportunities for outdoor recreation abound. Several National Forests and Wilderness Areas are popular for hiking, bicycling, rafting/kayaking and photography. In the winter, many ski resorts are within driving distance, including Purgatory Ski Resort and Wolf Creek Ski Area.
  • National Parks and monuments within a few hours’ drive include the Grand Canyon (4.5 hours), Zion National Park (6.5 hours), Moab, UT (4.5 hours) and Antelope Canyon (5 hours). Many other National Parks are located in our area, some within driving distance for a day trip, such as El Malpais and El Morro.
  • History/archaeology buffs will delight in Chaco Culture National Historic Park, located one hour from Crownpoint.
  • Each summer, the Eastern Navajo Fair is held in Crownpoint (rodeo, pow-wow, live music, dancing). The Gathering of Nations is North America’s biggest Pow-Wow and is held in Albuquerque in the spring.
  • Make sure to experience the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October.
  • Santa Fe is known for its many museums, art galleries and historic cathedrals.


Crownpoint Policies