Dr. Ron Kirk and San Juan Vision Clinic officially join UNHS

It’s now official! Another prominent medical provider in San Juan County is part of the UNHS family, and we’re thrilled to have him and his staff on board.

Dr. Ronald D. Kirk O.D., and his staff at San Juan Vision Clinic, in Blanding, officially became a member of Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. on July 5. With the transition from being a private practice Optometrist to being a provider for UNHS, Dr. Kirk is now able to provide services to UNHS patients who are covered under Indian Health Services (IHS) as well as all those patients he has treated for the past thirty years. Kirk said he will continue providing the same services to his long-time self-pay patients. UNHS CEO, Michael Jensen, said Dr. Kirk and his staff have valuable knowledge and skill in an area of care that is new to UNHS—Optometry.  Although it is a new challenge compared to the usual medical and dental services at UNHS, it highlights UNHS’ commitment to growth and expansion of services to our rural residents.

Dr. Ron Kirk O.D.

According to Kirk, there is much to learn about the different types of services covered under IHS and other insurances covered under the new affiliation with UNHS, and that will take some time. However, patients can be sure all insurances will still be accepted, including Medicare, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico Medicaid, and Arizona Access. With certain stipulations, eligible IHS patients will be able to receive free exams and eyeglasses. Adults may receive a free eye exam and a pair of glasses every two years; children once a year. Patients not covered under IHS, may also qualify for reduced-price eyeglasses and frames, according to according to Jensen. Kirk said insurance companies do not cover payment for contacts, since they are considered to be cosmetic in nature and not medically necessary. For more information about what services and pricing opportunities are available with the various insurance options, please call San Juan Vision Clinic at 435-678-2324.

For the time being, Dr. Kirk will continue to see patients in his office at 46 North Main Street, in Blanding. He said the eventual plan is to visit the other UNHS community health centers, in San Juan County. Once the new UNHS Clinic building, in Montezuma Creek, is completed and operating next year, plans could include scheduled examination days in Montezuma Creek. Also, the new UNHS Community Health Center, in Blanding, will include a three-station Optometry clinic. That building is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019. When it is finished, Dr. Kirk will move his practice into that facility.

Dr. Kirk’s staff said last week the transition to the new computer and billing system will take some time to master and there is a huge learning curve in making that transition. However, they are making great strides in learning the new system with the help of the UNHS IS specialists.

“Just be patient with us,” said Davi Black, one of Kirk’s highly skilled office staff. Other office staff members are Marcia Johnson and Nicole Holiday.

Office hours for San Juan Vision Clinic are currently 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Kirk said they might include some Friday hours in the future if needed. For an appointment or for questions about insurance coverage call 435-678-2324.

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