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VOLUNTEER OPTOMETRISTS OFFER FREE EYE CARE TO WORKING POOR

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Working people who don't have money for adequate health care have a once-a-year opportunity to get free eye examinations. For the fifth year in a row, the Ohio Optometric Association is sponsoring a statewide eye care program for low-income uninsured working people. It's easy for people to find out if they're eligible. All they need to do is call 800-766-4466 during the month of January. According to Dr. Richard Deutch of Cincinnati, chairman of the program in Ohio, "We help low-income working families with no health insurance who are often not eligible for government programs."
 If workers are eligible for the program, every effort will be made to link them with a volunteer optometrist for a free examination and also to make arrangements for glasses, if needed. If eye disease is diagnosed, the doctors may provide treatment during the office visit or make arrangements to refer patients to other health care professionals. More than eye disease may be revealed. "Diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected for the first time during a professional eye examination, because the eye is the only organ of the body in which blood vessels are exposed without cutting tissue," Deutch said. The examinations will be conducted during Save Your Vision Week, March 6-12.
 To be eligible for care, one member of the family must be employed, the family must not be covered by government or private health insurance, eye exams must not have been received in the past year, and household income cannot exceed an established level based on household size. It only takes one phone call to the toll-free number to determine if a person is eligible. Those who qualify will be notified by mail if a volunteer optometrist is available in their area, and they will receive instructions on how to schedule an appointment for an examination.
 According to Deutch, "In most cases, these volunteer doctors are not only donating their time, but they're also donating their private offices and their staffs to working people who are in need. It is rewarding to see hard-working people improve their ability to perform their jobs and to enjoy their lives because of improved vision or eye treatment." No taxpayer money is involved in the program. The eye care program is called Vision USA (Volunteers In Service In Our Nation) and is held nationally in conjunction with the American Optometric Association.
 -0- 12/01/93
 /CONTACT: Linda Fette of the Ohio Optometric Association, 614-224-2600/


CO: Ohio Optometric Association ST: Ohio IN: HEA SU:

AR -- CL001 -- 9052 12/01/93 08:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 1, 1993
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