As optometrists, we know better than anyone that quality of life is deeply connected to having normal, comfortable vision. Once empowered with clear eyesight, our patients can go about life with confidence—they can study for finals without battling headaches; contribute at a work meeting without straining their eyes; go on a hike and notice every leaf, flower, and bird. The use of eyeglasses may seem basic to us, but to our patients, it can be life changing.
One of the most personally gratifying aspects of our profession is how we’ve been specially educated to provide a valuable service to anyone who needs it. When a person—no matter their age or socio-economic status—has a vision difficulty, they can confidently go to an optometrist and receive the care they need.
By volunteering our time, we can provide the public with a high level of community service. SDCOS members have a fully-equipped, fully-staffed optometric clinic available to us through our local charity of choice, the Lions Optometric Vision Clinic (LOVC).
The LOVC’s mission is to provide eye care for individuals throughout San Diego County who are otherwise unable to obtain it through private insurance or other social service agencies. By volunteering at the LOVC, you can deliver many vision and eye health services to the public, including comprehensive eye examinations, low-cost eyeglasses, dilated retinal evaluations for diabetic patients, Optos retinal photography, vision therapy, and glaucoma screenings.
SDCOS members have volunteered at LOVC for many years, and in our long and successful relationship we’ve helped them in their charter of providing eye care for persons in need throughout San Diego County. The eye examinations at LOVC are free of cost to those who qualify, but this is only possible because of the doctors who are so generous to volunteer their time and skills. At this time, there is a waiting list of patients seeking optometric care because there is an undersupply of participating volunteer doctors.
LOVC volunteer scheduling is half a day, from 9am – 12:30pm, Monday through Friday.
This allows plenty of time for the volunteering doctor to see a half-day schedule of patients at LOVC and not miss a full day of personal work. LOVC is also very accommodating to doctors who want to work at different paces, and will make the experience as comfortable as possible. New OD volunteers are valued as well as veteran doctors, and LOVC only needs two or more days’ notice from a volunteering OD.
I’d like to encourage all our members to consider volunteering any time you may have, to help LOVC continue to serve a very needing and deserving group of people in our community. Doing so provides a truly life-changing service for our fellow San Diegans.
Please call LOVC directly to schedule yourself by contacting the Lions Optometric Vision Clinic at 619-298-5273. The clinic is located at 1805 Upas Street, San Diego. For more information from a colleague, contact Dr. David Wong, SDCOS Liaison to LOVC, or ask any SDCOS Board member.