Vision Care Services Provided to 366 Patients in Des Moines
On November 1 and 2, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation in partnership with OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, Prevent Blindness Iowa, and Oakridge Neighborhood Services offered free comprehensive eye exams and 323 pairs of glasses to 366 children and adults at Oakridge Neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition, Prevent Blindness Iowa conducted 56 vision screenings for preschoolers attending Oak Academy. Based on the screenings, some students were then referred to the vision clinic for a complete eye exam and glasses.
This was the second year for the two-day, free clinic which was sponsored locally by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation in partnership with Oakridge Neighborhood and Prevent Blindness Iowa. Working with more than 100 local volunteers including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other skilled and general volunteers, the clinic addressed unresolved vision needs for children and adults. The clinic leveraged the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation clinic model and manufacturing process so many individuals needing eyeglasses were able to receive them the same day.
“Events like this vision clinic provide a direct impact to Iowans and helps us fulfill our mission of improving the health and lives of those we serve,” said Suzanne Heckenlaible, executive director of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “We appreciate all of our partners in this effort and are thankful for the investment of time by our volunteers to affect the lives of 366 individuals in our community.”
“The clinic’s impact was significant. Together with Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, we improved the lives of our community members by giving them access to critical vision care,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, President and CEO of Oakridge Neighborhood and Oakridge Neighborhood Services. “Many of our immigrant and refugee populations face barriers to accessing essential health and wellness services. By offering the clinic onsite we’re able to bridge the access gap and increase levels of participation for our residents.”
According to the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, one in four students in the U.S. has an undiagnosed vision problem and experts estimate that 80% of learning is visual. Lack of access to vision care is comprised of three main gaps: lack of affordability, lack of awareness, and lack of physical access. The vision clinic hosted at Oakridge is an example of how Delta Dental is investing in local communities to improve lives and expanding its mission to include vision and overall health care.