Each year, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) partners with an organization that has a mobile vision clinic to provide free vision screening and glasses (if needed) to underserved communities across the United States. In 2019, ACU teamed up with Vision To Learn to provide free vision exams and glasses to children who do not have access to vision care. Thanks in part to a grant from the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare, ACU is able to address the immediate needs of underserved communities by providing free eye exams and prescription glasses, as well as providing a grant to assist health centers who are interested in adding permanent vision services.
Currently, there are millions of children in the United States who can not read a book or participate in class because they are in need of glasses. Providing free eye exams and glasses to children ensures that these children have the tools they need to be successful in school. To assure a good start the school year, the majority of the Vision Van events took place during the summer or at the beginning of the school year.
Van Impact 2019
Michigan – The Vision Van spent about a week in Michigan traveling to several health centers across the state including: Mid Michigan Community Health Centers in Houghton Lake, MI, Center for Family Health in Jackson, MI, and Community First Health Center in Algonac, MI. During this week the van provided prescription glasses to more than half of the children that were examined.
Iowa – This is the second consecutive year that the Vision Van has stopped in Iowa. In August, the van stopped at Peoples Community Health Center in Waterloo, Iowa, and in October the van made an appearance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the Eastern Iowa Health Center. During both visits the van was able to provide students with glasses to help them perform better in school and every aspect of their daily lives.
Pennsylvania – In August, we worked with Penn State Health to bring the van to Steelton, Pennsylvania. We spent two days at Steelton – Highspire Elementary where we provided 56 kids with prescription glasses. Here is an article about the event featured in the Penn State Health Newsletter.
New Jersey – Just before the beginning of the school year, the Vision Van made a stop in Dover, New Jersey at Zufall Health Center. At this health center we were able to provide 46 students with prescription glasses to start the school year on the right path.