“This is awesome.”
“I haven’t had glasses in years.”
“I’ve been using glasses bought at the local drugstore,” and “This is like Christmas,” were some of the comments from several veterans who received free eye exams and glasses on May 4-6.
Military Veterans Resource Center hosted the event in partnership with VSP Global Eyes of Hope mobile clinic. Over the space of three days in May at two of MVRC’s locations 200 veterans received free eye exams and glasses on the spot or vouchers to get eye care at a later date from a VSP network optometrist.
The VSP mobile clinic, outfitted with a exam room, frame selection area and a finishing lab, travels all over the country providing eye exams and glasses to hundreds of people each year. However the clinic has never served veterans exclusively – until now.
The response from the veteran population in Columbus and Chillicothe was phenomenal. MVRC Columbus had veterans calling for appointments from as far away as Cleveland. The Chillicothe event brought in veterans from several southern Ohio counties.
“This proves that the need is definitely there,” said Stefanie Hauck, communications officer for MVRC. “We had several local homeless shelters bringing groups of vets in as well.” she added.
Working in partnership with VSP optometrists who volunteer their time and services, patients seen at the VSP mobile clinic receive a comprehensive eye exam and, if needed, glasses. Glasses include single vision, bifocal, or trifocal lenses and a new frame, which patients select from the dispensary on-board the clinic. There is a finishing lab on-board as well, allowing patients to receive their new glasses on the same day as their eye exam.
More than $80,000 worth of care was provided between the two locations. MVRC will be providing this service again in the near future.
“We are looking at the October timeframe,” Hauck said. “To coincide with the Columbus stand-down,” she added.