Local optometrist looks to provide reasonable services

Moscow eye care clinic opened in Oct., services low-vision patients

ELAYNE RODRIGUEZ, Evergreen reporter

A Pullman resident and optometrist opened an eye care clinic in Moscow in an effort to provide equal service opportunities and offer reasonable services to new and returning patients.

Optometrist Dr. Enjoli Cooke said she invested in a new eye care business called Inland Eye Care. The eye care clinic began its services on Oct. 14.

She said the main reason she opened her own eye clinic in Moscow is to come back home to practice medicine.

She has been an optometrist since 2009 when she really began take patients and learning about the special equipment, Cooke said.

She opened her new business to service patients with low vision that most optometrists and ophthalmologists do not specialize in, Cooke said.

Low vision is where glasses, contact lenses, surgery or medication will not help with the patient’s vision, she said.

Cooke said she will likely offer true low vision services with specialized devices after a year of being open. She plans to expand the clinic and bring on other physicians to work along with her.

She said she plans to work with other vendors and partners to bring in machinery to facilitate and increase functioning with patients who have been turned away or relocated to a distant city.

She has worked closely with the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and serviced those specific patients, Cooke said.

“This is what health care practitioners should be doing is taking the time to really care for people’s needs and concerns,” she said.

Cooke said she has been someone else’s associate working under their jurisdiction over the years of her career.

She said she became very upset by things that she was seeing and decided to plan to open an eye business in the next year.

She said she is currently working part-time at a Clarkston business in order to manage personal finances.

It is a condition of the loan to remain employed at least two days a week at an external clinic, she said.

“It is pretty darn expensive,” she said. “It was several hundred thousand dollars of expenses, but it is absolutely worth it to be able to practice with autonomy, conscience and ethics.”

She said she believes in first treating everybody the same and showing loyalty to them, then the money part will take care of itself.

“It doesn’t matter whether they have state insurance, or other government-funded plans, private pay, everyone should be treated with compassion,” she said.

She said it means a lot to the patient when she takes the time to listen and give extra time to them during services.

Cooke said she is only available for patient care right now. She works three days a week at the Moscow eye clinic, but the clinic is open five days a week.

The clinic has an optician and offers general services to patients’ eyewear fittings, contact lenses and examinations, she said.

“We’ve been open for six days total of patient care. And we’ve already had 18 patients come through,” Cooke said. “Pretty soon, depending on my level of profitability in business, I will be able to get rid of the part-time job.”