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VA Portland Health Care System – Portland Division
PO Box 1034 / Eye Care Team (P-3-Eye)
Portland, Oregon 97207
3710 Southwest U.S. Veterans Hospital Road
Building 100, 8th Floor, C Wing
Portland, Oregon 97239

VAPORHCS-Portland Division, Student Program Coordinator:
Kirk Halvorson, OD (503)220-8262 ext. 56860

Clinical Teaching Faculty:

Kirk Halvorson, OD (Student Program Coordinator)

Molly Phan, OD, FAAO Weon Jun, OD, FAAO (Assistant Chief, Optometry Section) Rebecca Kline, OD, FAAO Shannon Lutz, OD, FAAO Jonathon Thomas, OD Mark A. Williams, OD (Chief, Optometry Section)

Type of Practice: Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Patient Care Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Wednesday 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Necessary Equipment: All equipment will be provided. Please bring a white clinic jacket.

General Information:

VAPORHCS is a 303-bed consolidated facility with two main divisions (Portland and Vancouver Divisions) and eight community-based outpatient clinics (Bend, East Portland, Hillsboro, Newport, North Coast, Salem, The Dalles and West Linn CBOCs). VAPORHCS serves as the quaternary referral center for Oregon, Southern Washington and parts of Idaho for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to comprehensive medical and mental health services, VAPORHCS supports ongoing research and medical education, including the nationally funded Mood Disorders and Hepatitis C Resource Centers.

Outpatient and inpatient care provided at the VAPORHCS-Portland Division campus includes the services of the Eye Care Team, Primary Care, Hospital & Specialty Medicine, Operative Care, Mental Health, Audiology, Dental, Pharmacy Services, Imaging, Pathology & Laboratory Services, Women’s Health, and the Emergency Department.

The VAPORHCS Eye Care Team consists of both an Optometry and Ophthalmology Section which are highly integrated and collaborative in the provision of a full spectrum of eye and vision care services. The VAPORHCS Ophthalmology Section is primarily based on the Portland Division campus, and offers general and subspecialty care including cornea, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, medical retina, strabismus, uveitis, and vitreo-retinal surgery. The Ophthalmology Section also has a strong educational component including an academic affiliation with Oregon Health and Science University’s Casey Eye Institute.

The Optometry Section of the VAPORHCS Eye Care Team includes eleven staff optometrists, several fee optometrists, three full-time optometry residents (PUOCO affiliated), and fourth professional year optometry student externs from three academic affiliates (PUOCO, UCB and NECO). Comprehensive eye and vision care services are provided through the Optometry Section clinics at the VAPORHCS’ Vancouver Division, Portland Division, Salem CBOC and Bend CBOC facilities. The Optometry Section also provides binocular vision and low vision care through the Low Vision Rehabilitation Services at the VAPORHCS’ Vancouver Division, Portland Division, Salem CBOC and Bend CBOC facilities. Majority of the optometry staff are residency trained, and practice with broad clinical privileges to enable management of a wide variety of challenging ocular and visual disorders in patients with frequent comorbid systemic health problems.

The VAPORHCS Portland Division Eye Care Team has 19 fully equipped eye exam rooms shared by optometry & ophthalmology. Additional ophthalmic instrumentation at the Portland Division includes a Humphrey Field Analyzer II, Octopus 900 perimeter, OPTOS California, LENSTAR Optical Biometer, OCULUS Pentacam, Cirrus OCT, Eye Cubed-Ellex, Pachymeter and digital retinal imaging. All students will have electronic access to the VAPORHCS’ interdisciplinary computerized patient record system.

Continuing Education

Weekly Optometry Clinical Seminar: The VAPORHCS Optometry Section conducts a weekly clinical seminar each Wednesday afternoon for didactic presentations and clinical discussions between program faculty, residents and students. All PVAMC Portland Division, Vancouver Division; Salem and Bend CBOC-based optometry students will participate jointly in this weekly clinical seminar.

VISN 20 Optometry Grand Rounds: The VISN 20 Optometry Grand Rounds is a one hour continuing education program presented by live video broadcast from VAPORHCS to all Pacific Northwest VA medical centers, Lebanon VA, Reno VA, and Fresno VA on the second Wednesday of each month. These presentations are by a diverse group of interdisciplinary health care providers. All VAPORHCS optometry students attend the grand rounds presentations.


Our patient VA population is composed mainly of men between the ages of 40 to 100, although younger adults and women are seen in increasing numbers as OIF/OEF veterans are returning from active duty.

Prerequisites for Student Interns

Must have a positive attitude, strong desire to learn, ability to work well with others and provide compassionate patient care. Due to the challenging nature of this rotation, students should have the basic components of a routine eye exam mastered. Please see Externships Documentation and Immunization Requirements page for additional requirements.

Patient Services Provided

Primary eye and vision care

Educational Objectives

Enhance technical, analytical, and patient management skills through patient-based experiential learning in a primary care eye clinic.

Student Responsibilities:

Professional conduct with patients, staff, and peers is expected.
All students are expected to equitably support the efficiency of the Eye Care Team.
The student will report any concerns to the clinical faculty or the affiliate institution in a timely manner.
Punctuality is expected. Student clinic hours are from 7:30 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m., although later hours should be anticipated depending on variations in the daily schedule.
No personal ophthalmic equipment is required or recommended.
A white clinic coat (jacket length) is required.

Faculty Responsibilities

To provide a safe environment for patient-based clinical education.
To efficiently provide high-quality patient-centered optometric care for all eligible veterans.
Please know that there are many providers at this site other than the clinical faculty. You will be working with the clinical faculty person(s) and the other providers in patient care.


No housing is available through the VAPORHCS. It is easy to find housing near the VAPORHCS Portland Division campus. Apartments in Portland are readily available for month-to-month rental and many are within walking distance or have public transit available. Search online for more housing information in Portland, OR.

Transportation and Parking

Parking is not available to students at the VAHPORHCS Portland Division. VAHPORHCS parking regulations are strictly enforced by the VA police, and violators can expect to be ticketed and towed. Portland has a great public transportation system of bus, trolley and light rail services. Students are strongly encouraged to consider transportation options when choosing housing.

PVAMC Optometry Section Academic Affiliations:

University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry
Pacific University of Oregon, College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry

VA Portland Policies