Removing Barriers to Vision Care for Iowans in Need
Many Iowa families may face challenges that prevent them from receiving necessary vision care. This could include limited financial resources, scheduling concerns, or transportation challenges. However, visiting an eye doctor for regular checkups is essential for monitoring eye health and receiving timely treatment. The CDC estimates 93 million adults in the U.S. are at high risk for vision loss, but only half of those have visited an eye doctor in the past year.
Vision loss is a common health issue impacting daily activities like working, driving, and cooking. Additionally, poor vision can affect how you feel, leading to increased headaches, eye pain, and eyestrain. All of these concerns can negatively impact your quality of life.
Increasing awareness for vision health
As a not-for-profit insurance company, Delta Dental of Iowa and our Foundation aim to build stronger communities by investing in actions that promote and improve health — removing barriers, expanding access to resources and increasing equity. Working with local vision nonprofits, we are dedicated to improving accessibility and growing awareness of the importance of vision care.
One example of how we do this is by hosting free vision clinics for those facing barriers to care. Vision clinics have been offered in partnership with OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation and Prevent Blindness Iowa to communities of high need, such as Oakridge Neighborhood in Des Moines. Over the last two years, we have provided 800+ free vision screenings, exams, and eyeglasses through these events.
We also support many outstanding organizations by providing funding through our Foundation grant programs. Vision screening programs in schools are an effective way to catch and treat developing vision concerns that could impact a child’s learning. Delta Dental has funded these three vision-focused nonprofits:
Continue reading to learn more about each vision nonprofit.
Vision to Learn
Vision to Learn (VTL) is a nonprofit that provides free vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to children in low-income communities by bringing a mobile clinic to area schools. In 2020, VTL passed a milestone of providing more than 8,000 students in Iowa with a vision exam.
Prevent Blindness Iowa
Founded 65 years ago, Prevent Blindness Iowa is a leading educator on eye health across the state. They provide services for both adults and children, working to spread awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment for eye disease. Last year they screened more than 60,000 students to detect and treat eye problems.
Iowa KidSight is a collaboration between the Lions Club of Iowa and the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Through this program, infants and young children can receive free vision screenings.
The mission continues
At Delta Dental, health and wellness is at the center of everything we do. We continue to look for ways to make an impact across our state with mission-focused program support aimed at enhancing the oral and overall health of Iowans.
Learn more about Delta Dental Foundation and our giving programs.