VSP Vision Care Provides Eye Exams for Underserved Students

Over 3,400 low-income, uninsured served nationwide by 105 VSP Doctors
 
Rancho Cordova, Calif., October 28, 2009 – One hundred students can now see clearer as VSP® Vision Care partnered with Green Dot Public Schools and local VSP network doctors to provide no-cost eye exams and eyewear in underserved areas of Los Angeles and the Bronx, NY.

Throughout the week of exams, which took place in late October, students at 10 Green Dot Public Schools were brought aboard two fully-stocked mobile eyecare clinics for comprehensive eye examinations and eyewear. In addition to the 100 students seen aboard the 40-foot VSP Mobile Eyes® clinics, VSP donated more than 90 vouchers providing no-cost eye exams and materials to qualified Green Dot students.

“Increasing access to quality eyecare for uninsured and underinsured students is close to the heart of VSP,” said Connie Vavricek, VSP Mobile Clinics Manager. “If students can’t see well, they may not reach their full potential, which could have life-long repercussions.”

Good vision is critical to a student’s academic success, yet a 2009 joint study by VSP and Prevent Blindness America shows that one in five 12 to 17-year-olds has trouble seeing the board in class.

“Our students at Green Dot Public Schools face many challenges; seeing shouldn’t be one of them. The generosity of VSP Vision Care and local optometrists in providing eye exams equips students with a fundamental tool they need for future achievement—clear sight,” shared Judy Davidds-Wright, Director of Public Affairs and Community Partnerships for Green Dot Public Schools.

Green Dot Public Schools have a proven track record of serving the highest-need students in the Los Angeles area. With a student population that is 90 percent low-income, 80 percent of freshmen entering a Green Dot Public School go on to graduate in four years, exceeding the graduation rate of the Los Angeles School District by 34 percent. The Green Dot New York school opened its doors in 2008 with 93 percent of the freshman class earning enough credits during their two years to advance to 11th grade, 93 percent attendance rate, and reported zero physical altercations during the first school year.

The VSP Mobile Eyes program began as an extension of relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The program, which allows VSP to respond to disasters immediately, includes two mobile eyecare clinics and 10 sets of portable ophthalmic equipment. Both clinics feature two state-of-the-art comprehensive eye exam rooms and a full dispensary to provide exams and materials to people in need.

For photos of the events, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vsp_mobile_eyes/sets/72157622640477732/
 
About VSP Global                                                           
VSP GlobalSM is composed of a complementary group of leading companies, all working together to meet and exceed today’s eyecare professionals’ business needs. The companies include VSP® Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States; Marchon® and Altair®, cutting-edge manufacturers, designers, and distributors of quality fashion and technologically advanced sunwear and eyewear; Eye Designs, a leader in the design of custom interiors and merchandising systems for the optical industry; Eyefinity®OfficeMate®, innovative e-commerce and practice management solutions, and electronic medical records software; and VSP Optics Group, offering ophthalmic products and providing technologically advanced lab services. VSP Global, combining the strength and expertise of each of these companies, offers a choice of integrated eyecare and eyewear programs and services that enhance eyecare professionals’ ability to deliver the best patient experience and build a thriving business.
 
Since 1997, VSP has provided more than 553,000 low-income, uninsured children with free eyecare. Through relationships including those with the American Diabetes Association and Prevent Blindness America, VSP promotes the importance of annual eye exams for maintaining eye health and overall wellness.

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