Military veterans receive free eye exams, glasses and health risk assessments

VSP providers Thomas Wing, OD (l) and Helen Kwong, OD (r) with a veteran and VSP volunteers
VSP® Eye on Diabetes campaign helps veterans in-need access care on Memorial Day
 
Rancho Cordova, Calif., May 30, 2012 – On Memorial Day, May 28, 36 low-income, uninsured military veterans and California residents received free health services, including comprehensive eye exams, glasses and health risk assessments for diabetes and high blood pressure during the third VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign event of the year. Additionally, 51 patients were identified as being at-risk for diabetes.
 
Partnering with the Sacramento Community Veterans Alliance (S.C.V.A.) and the California Optometric Association (COA), VSP Vision Care brought a 45-foot-long mobile eye clinic outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms and a dispensary to the California State Military Museum in Sacramento. Local VSP optometrists Helen Kwong, OD, and Thomas Wing, OD, teamed with pre-medical and medical student volunteers from University of California, Davis to provide the services to veterans and residents in need. The VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign focus is to increase awareness and understanding of the connection between eyecare and a person’s general health.
 
In recognition of the campaign, the California State Legislature hosted a special presentation at the California State Capitol and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson proclaimed May 28 “Eye on Diabetes Day in Sacramento.” It is estimated 2.5 million California residents have been diagnosed with diabetes, and an additional 1.4 million have undiagnosed diabetes.
 
“To partner with the S.C.V.A., COA and UC Davis brought another level of impact to the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign by providing critical services to our military veterans in need,” said Connie Vavricek, director of industry outreach at VSP Vision Care.  “Our goal is to create greater knowledge and understanding of incorporating positive preventative care behaviors, such as annual eye exams, into people’s lives while increasing access to that care to those in need.”
 
Following the event, all patients who were identified as needing further health services are eligible to receive care through the S.C.V.A. at the UC Davis affiliated student-run Willow Clinic in Sacramento.
 
“We have found that the largest segment of the homeless veteran population seen through S.C.V.A. outreach events are those who served in the Vietnam era and who consequently face the risk of delayed illnesses and cancers connected with Agent Orange exposure,” said Dr. Darryl Hunter, founder of the S.C.V.A. “Diabetes mellitus is one of the 17 listed conditions that the Veterans Administration has identified as a service-connected condition connected to Agent Orange exposure. Our partnership with VSP Vision Care helps us to identify those who are at risk for diabetes and connect them to benefits that they otherwise would never have known about.”
 
The VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign has made stops in eleven states since it launched in 2010.
 
For more information about the campaign, visit vspglobal.com/globaloutreach.
 
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About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 57 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity® which offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.  

To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested close to  $146 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 765,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.
 

ATTACHMENTS

VSP provider Thomas Wing, OD with VSP volunteers and UC Davis medical students

VSP provider Thomas Wing, OD with VSP volunteers and UC Davis medical students

VSP provider Helen Kwong, OD, examines a veteran

VSP provider Helen Kwong, OD, examines a veteran

Shelli Shaver, RN performs a health risk assessment for high blood pressure on a veteran

Shelli Shaver, RN performs a health risk assessment for high blood pressure on a veteran

VSP provider Thomas Wing, OD examines a veteran

VSP provider Thomas Wing, OD examines a veteran

VSP providers Thomas Wing, OD (l) and Helen Kwong, OD (r) with a veteran and VSP volunteers

VSP providers Thomas Wing, OD (l) and Helen Kwong, OD (r) with a veteran and VSP volunteers

VSP volunteer pretests a veteran

VSP volunteer pretests a veteran

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