As I am writing this, I San Diego County has just entered the Orange Tier of quarantine! Over one million San Diegans have been vaccinated! The burden of disease of COVID-19 is rapidly decreasing! This means that San Diegans are going to feel more comfortable going to the eye doctor for their eye exams. Hopefully this is good news for your practices as many of us are still recovering from the initial shutdown. As your practices begin to pick up, let’s not forget about our mission as members of the society, and the reason we became optometrists: to help those in need.
The San Diego Optometric Society has a long history of volunteering for the Lions Optometric Vision Clinic to provide quality eyecare to those who qualify. These include people who are unable to obtain assistance through private insurance or other social service agencies. They may be low-income families, or those undergoing rehabilitation programs. What better way of helping these people get back on their feet than by giving them the gift of sight! The LOVC provides its patients with comprehensive eye exams, low-cost glasses, dilated retinal examinations, and glaucoma screenings. At the moment, there is a long waiting list to get an eye exam because the clinic was closed for a while during the COVID-19 quarantine.
The LOVC makes it easy to volunteer your time! They are open Monday through Friday, 9am-1pm. However, they are willing to remain open for an afternoon shift from 12-2pm or a rare Saturday shift for those of us that work during the week. You set your schedule of how many patients you want to see. So it is really a small time commitment, you can still see half a day of patients in your office after volunteering! The clinic has all the equipment you need, including Optos photography! The staff is wonderful and very helpful. They work up your patients for you and take care of glasses orders and referrals, when necessary. The hardest part is just picking up the phone to schedule your time!
Another opportunity to give back is the North County Veteran Stand Down happening September 17-19th. Healing California will be there providing eye exams, as well as making and dispensing single vision prescription glasses onsite to homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. Veterans make up a large portion of our community, so let’s give the gift of sight to these service members who have given so much for us. The clinic is open 8am-5pm each day with morning, afternoon, or all-day shifts available. To sign up, go to the following website: https://healingca.org/upcoming-clinics/ncsd
Please let our board members know if you have any questions! I encourage all of you to volunteer at one or both of these clinics to help those in our community who need it most.