VISION USA pilot program to offer exams, lenses

March 15, 2013

Optometry Cares® – The AOA Foundation’s VISION USA program, Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF), and Essilor of America will jointly establish a pilot program to correct uncorrected refractive error. The foundation recently finalized partnership discussions with the New Jersey Lions Glass Recycle Center (NJLERC) as part of the initiative.

The LCIF, in partnership with Essilor of America, trademarked a low-cost “Lion Lens” that NJLERC can now use along with new donated eyeglass frames or “Lions frames.” For the first time, Lions will have access to quality low-cost lenses that may be used to fill prescriptions from licensed eye care professionals willing to donate free eye exams to poor, sight-impaired people in local communities.

In New Jersey, the pilot program will allow local Lions Clubs to refer those in need for a free eye examination by completing the VISION USA referral application. Patients meeting the financial criteria will be scheduled for appointments with volunteer VISION USA optometrists at no cost.

Optometry Cares® and the VISION USA committee hope to make the most of the existing VISION USA provider network but also need to expand provider recruitment across New Jersey.

The foundation is asking AOA member volunteers to provide a one-time comprehensive eye exam. This pilot project is geared to improve access to comprehensive vision and eye health care for New Jersey residents.

To assist in these efforts, visit www.aoafoundation.org or email visionusa@aoa.org.

Volunteers In Service In Our Nation – VISION USA – provides basic eye health and vision services free-of-charge to low-income, uninsured individuals and their families. VISION USA is provided by participating AOA member optometrists who donate their services to their local community. In 2012, VISION USA received more than 6,000 applications for assistance and has more than 3,000 participating optometrists serving as volunteers.

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