By Alicia Rohan
University of Alabama at Birmingham Eye Care and Jefferson County Department of Health are partnering again this year to provide comprehensive eye exams and glasses for low-income or underinsured patients through the outreach program Community Eye Care, Nov. 30-Dec. 3.
Established in 2013, the Gift of Sight program provides patients with complimentary eye care at the Western Health Clinic in Midfield, Alabama, and the UAB School of Optometry. Eyeglasses are provided to patients who need them, thanks to the generous support of the program’s partners, VSP, Remote Area Medical, Lions of Alabama and Allergan.
“Though the Gift of Sight is a relatively new event for our school, it has very quickly become something that our students, faculty and staff truly anticipate,” said Kelly K. Nichols, O.D., Ph.D., dean of the UAB School of Optometry. “We spend countless hours in the classrooms and teaching clinics preparing our students for what they will encounter as practicing optometrists; but during these few days each year, we all have the opportunity to learn, invest and provide care in ways that can’t be taught in a classroom.”
Applications to qualify for the eye exams are available through the Jefferson County Department of Health and the UAB School of Optometry. Early this fall, UAB School of Dentistry provided teeth cleanings, fillings and extractions at no cost to those in need throughout the Greater Birmingham area. The Dentistry Cares Community Day provided another platform for UAB’s Gift of Sight program to provide applications to those in need.
UAB Community Eye Care provides eye exams at little to no cost to thousands of patients each year at the Western Health Center in Midfield, The Foundry in Bessemer, Lovelady Center in East Lake, M-Power Ministries in Avondale and the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham Adult Day Program at LincPoint in Homewood. UAB Community Eye Care also partners with various campus entities to provide care to underserved residents throughout the Birmingham metro area, as well as the Black Belt communities throughout Alabama.
To inquire about making a donation to the Gift of Sight, call UAB Eye Care at 205-975-2020.