Thanks for vision care

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Western Tidewater Free Clinic is well known throughout the area for giving excellent, free medical care to people ages 18 to 64 who have no insurance and make less than twice the federal poverty level.

However, fewer people might know the clinic provides many additional services, among which are dental and vision care.

Our mouth and our eyes might seem like small parts of our body and are perceived as less important as, say, our heart or our lungs. But our dental and vision health can both affect and be affected by the health of the rest of our body. Trouble with our mouth or our eyes can also affect our mental health, our chances of employment and other quality-of-life factors.

Taking those things into consideration, the free clinic has expanded its considerable services since it started to offer general medical care. It now has a dental clinic and vision care, among many other needed services.

The Virginia Eye Foundation recently supported the clinic’s vision care efforts with a donation of $20,000, which will be used to expand eye care services at the clinic.

“The relationship and funding from Virginia Eye Foundation really helps us serve those persons who have no other options and have not had eye care in years,” said Chet Hart, executive director of the free clinic.

Karen Spencer, executive director of Virginia Eye Consultants and its related entities, including the foundation, said she was looking forward to seeing how the donation would change lives.

“We’re excited to make this donation and look forward to seeing how it can change the lives of some of the people here in Western Tidewater,” she said.

People who have untreated vision problems are likely unable to work and therefore have no means to be able to visit an eye doctor where they would have to pay full price for services, so the vision care at Western Tidewater Free Clinic is sorely needed. We thank the clinic, the Virginia Eye Foundation and all of the clinic’s other donors and volunteers for helping to make this important aspect of health care in our area a reality.