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428 Cedar Rapids Community Members Received Free Eye Exams and Glasses

Posted on November 1, 2023 in Foundation


On October 25-26, Delta Dental of Iowa and its Foundation in partnership with OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, Eastern Iowa Health Center and Prevent Blindness Iowa offered free comprehensive eye exams to 428 Cedar Rapids area children and adults, of which 384 were provided with free eye glasses and 29 referred to specialists for additional follow-up care.

This was the third year for the free vision clinic to be offered in Iowa and the first year held in Eastern Iowa at Linn County Public Health’s Harris Building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Working with nearly 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 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 428 individuals in the Cedar Rapids community.”

“The clinic’s impact was substantial. With Delta Dental of Iowa, its Foundation and the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation’s support, we were able to improve the lives of our local community members by giving them access to critical vision care,” said Joe Lock, President and CEO of Eastern Iowa Health Center. “Many of our patients face challenges in accessing vision care services. By offering the clinic locally we were able to overcome those challenges and provide needed vision services.”

According to OneSight, 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.

“We know that 75% of adults require some sort of vision correction and that millions of children suffer from undetected vision problems,” said Dr. Chad Overman, director of vision benefits, DeltaVision. “Through the screening processes over the two days of the Cedar Rapids clinic, we were able to identify people with eye diseases that require additional medical treatment and to fit children and adults with eyeglasses, in many cases for the first time.”

The vision clinic hosted by Eastern Iowa Health Center is an example of how Delta Dental is investing in local communities to improve lives through expanded access to dental, vision and overall healthcare.

Video Interviews and B-Roll

Interviews include: 

  • 0:00-0:17 - Suzanne Heckenlaible, Executive Director, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation
  • 0:18-0:32 – Joe Lock, President and CEO, Eastern Iowa Health Center, Cedar Rapids
  • 0:33-1:07 – Patricia Nguyen, Program Manager, OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation  
  • 1:08-1:21 – Joe Lock, President and CEO, Eastern Iowa Health Center, Cedar Rapids