Sacramento – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) teamed up with Vision Service Plan (VSP), the Californian Optometric Association, Adventist Health, Kings County Action Organization (KCAO) and the Tulare County Office of Education to bring VSP’s free “Mobile Eyes” to the Valley.
“Mobile Eyes” features deluxe mobile eye care clinics on wheels, outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms and dispensaries. Patients who qualified for the program and scheduled an appointment will receive a comprehensive eye exam and, if needed, glasses. Patients are able to select from a top quality assortment of frames. Most patients receive their new glasses immediately after their eye exam.
“Many of the communities that I represent suffer from extreme poverty and some of the highest unemployment in the state and country,” said Vidak. “Some of the people coming to the ‘Mobile Eyes’ clinic have never been to an eye doctor before and haven’t had the ability to purchase glasses for their children or themselves. Getting a pair of glasses for the first time can be life changing.”
Vidak hosted two “Mobile Eyes” clinics this year, one in Avenal on Dec. 6, and the other in Dinuba on Dec. 8. A total of 80 patients received free exams, and if needed, a pair of glasses the same day at the two clinics. Another 200 people received vouchers to get a free eye exam and glasses with a local optometrist at a later date.
“This amazing service would not be made possible without the generous contribution of time, talent and resources from Adventist Health, KCAO, the Tulare County Office of Education and our volunteer optometrists, Dr. Jeffrey Garcia of Lemoore and Dr. Garrick Petersen from Lindsay,” said Vidak. “Heartfelt thanks for their commitment to serving our communities.”
"The California Optometric Association is proud to work with Senator Vidak and VSP to improve access to health care with eye clinics like this one in Avenal,” said Jeffrey Garcia, OD with Lemoore Family Eyecare. "Our eyes are a window into our body’s health, so Doctors of Optometry often play a crucial role in detecting the first signs of diabetes, hypertension and other life-threatening diseases. We know that vision changes lives - helping us to work, learn and experience life. In places like Avenal, where families experience high rates of poverty and face obstacles to reaching health care, eye clinics like this one play an important role in providing life-changing eye and vision care.”
Vidak was the first to bring ‘Mobile Eyes’ to the Central Valley three years ago. The past two years, Vidak’s commitment to eye care for the underserved was demonstrated through his passion to bring free mobile vision eye clinics to the Kern, Kings, Fresno and Tulare counties through a partnership with VSP.
The McFarland and Fresno “Mobile Eyes” clinics in 2014 resulted in 57 people receiving a free comprehensive eye exam and, if needed, glasses. Another 80 people who couldn’t be served on the days of the clinics (because of time limitations) received vouchers to get a free eye exam and a pair of glasses from local optometrists at a later date.
The Hanford and Lindsay “Mobile Eyes” clinics in 2015 resulted in approximately 80 people receiving exams, and glasses, if needed. Another 200 people who could not attend the clinic received vouchers for a free exam and glasses.
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Senator Andy Vidak (left) visits with patients waiting for free eye exams at the VSP “Mobile Eyes” Clinic on Dec. 6, in Avenal (Higher-Res Version)
Dr. Jeffrey Garcia (left), with Lemoore Family Eyecare, and Senator Andy Vidak (right), at the VSP “Mobile Eyes” Clinic in Avenal on Dec. 6. (Higher-Res Version)
Patients look at choices for a free pair of glasses at the VSP “Mobile Eyes” Clinic in Dinuba on Dec. 8. (Higher-Res Version)
Dr. Garrick Petersen, from Lindsay, provides a patient with a free eye exam at the Dinuba “Mobile Eyes” Clinic in Dinuba on Dec. 8. (Higher-Res Version)