WHO WE ARE
In the early 1980’s, many western South Dakota eye surgical patients were flown to Denver, Colorado, or Minneapolis, Minnesota, as complex retina, plastic and corneal procedures were not being performed in the Black Hills region.
In 1982, Black Hills Regional Eye Clinic, later changed to Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, was established by Dr. Paul Wright, Dr. Dan Hafner and Dr. John Herlihy, as a non-profit corporation for the purpose of providing and supporting the delivery of comprehensive eye care in our community.
In 1987, Black Hills Regional Eye Institute Foundation was formed to support the research and education missions of Black Hills Regional Eye Institute. By 2001, Black Hills Regional Eye Institute had become a very successful organization, covering all of the major specialties of eye care and serving patients from a five-state area.
In 2002, the clinic and name, Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, were sold to a private for-profit group, with the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute Foundation remaining non-profit in order to continue its emphasis on research and education. Shortly after, Northern Plains Eye Foundation was selected as the organization’s new name, in order to give broader focus across the Northern Plains region, and the assets and liabilities of the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute Foundation were transferred to Northern Plains Eye Foundation.
As Northern Plains Eye Foundation was no longer serving only the research and education missions of Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, Northern Plains Eye Foundation saw opportunity to create a new identity and signature programs, redefining the organization over the past decade to what its education, research and community service missions look like today.
WHAT WE DO
Today Northern Plains Eye Foundation (NPEF) programs provide thousands of free vision screenings annually to pre-school and elementary age children by way of the Northern Plains Eye Foundation Western South Dakota Lions Children’s Vision Screening Initiative (CVSI), sight-saving surgeries through Christmas Gift of Sight to help underserved individuals regain their vision, and most importantly, independence, mobility and quality of life, scholarships for future eye care professionals by means of the Dr. Paul L. Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship, and training for the construction industry, via Workplace Vision Wellness, on how to protect against injuries resulting in temporary or permanent vision loss in the workplace.
WHERE WE SERVE
Northern Plains Eye Foundation is located in downtown Rapid City, which is centered in the beautiful Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota. Our service area encompasses a 300-mile radius that incorporates a five-state region inclusive of all of South Dakota, Northeastern Wyoming, Southeastern Montana, Southwestern North Dakota, and Northwestern Nebraska.
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