Eye Health and Vision Care for the Underserved

Underserved populations continue to face barriers to accessing eye health and vision care and prescription glasses due to cost, transportation, and limited access to vision services. FQHCs are ideal for delivering vision care due to their focus on the delivery of integrated care for underserved populations. Vision care can be integrated into primary care visits to address the impact of poor health and disease on vision and to increase quality of life.

With this in mind, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is partnering with the Centene Foundation for Quality Health Care to provide grants of $25,000 to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to assist with start-up costs and expansion of permanent and comprehensive eye health and vision care programs as part of our Eye Health and Vision Care program.


Permanent programs are defined as programs that are located at the health center site and operate year-round on a regular schedule. Some health centers, particularly those in rural areas, may apply for portable equipment to operate a flexible clinical model where services are made available at more than one site on a regular schedule.

To be eligible, health centers must plan on providing comprehensive eye exams as defined by the American Optometric Association. Grants will not be made available for programs that are limited to vision screenings and referrals.

Grant dollars may be used to support the cost of new equipment and services necessary to establish or expand vision care programs. Funds may not be used to support salaries, contracted optometry or ophthalmology services, replacement equipment, or construction costs.


  • Must be an FQHC working to make comprehensive eye exams more accessible to underserved patient populations through direct service delivery.
  • Must be an FQHC working to expand an existing vision care program to include comprehensive eye exams. For example, your program currently offers vision screenings and needs additional support to provide comprehensive eye exams.
  • Must have your vision care program operating and accepting patients within 6-months of receiving the grant.
  • Must agree to share aggregated vision service data after 6- and 12- months of providing vision services. Please review the reporting template.
  • Must share an informational flyer with vision care patients to assist ACU in collecting success stories. Success stories will be used to increase awareness of vision care needs and impact for underserved populations. Patients who volunteer to be interviewed by ACU will receive a $100 gift card. Patient names will not be included in success stories.
  • Health centers in the following states and counties are especially encouraged to apply: CA (Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sutter, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yuba counties), TN, MO, LA, TX, OH, MS, IN, NE, KS, MI, NC, AZ, OK, and KY.

Grant Information

The deadline to apply has passed, but please stay tuned for future grant opportunities! This round of grants will be distributed in late June.

For questions, please contact Sabrina Edgington.