Exams, Glasses Provided to Shelter Residents

UH Mobile Eye Institute Partners with Non-profit Group in “Eye See a Need” Project

A critical need is being filled thanks to the University of Houston and You’re Living Proof, a non-profit organization that assists survivors of domestic violence.  Throughout the month of February, the UH Mobile Eye Institute (MEI) will provide vision care to residents of three shelters in the greater Houston area. 

“Children who live in shelters frequently do not get the comprehensive vision examinations they need because of their residential instability and factors pertaining to anonymity,” said Dr. Doris Forte, an optometrist and survivor of domestic violence, as well as founder and CEO of You’re Living Proof.  “Through this collaboration, these children and their mothers will receive vision care.” 

This vision service project is called “Eye See a Need” because it has been recognized that vision problems prevent children from functioning optimally in many aspects of their lives, including academically in the classroom.  Left unaddressed, such negligence handicaps a child’s mental and social development, and can be considered a subtle form of abuse, Forte said. 

The MEI is equipped with the latest ophthalmic technology to bring comprehensive vision services on-site to patients needing optometric care.  In cooperation with the city of Houston and area foundations, MEI services are offered to patients who are unable to travel to the University Eye Institute at the UH College of Optometry or one of its three neighborhood clinics. 

“Our faculty and students have been providing critical vision care with the MEI for almost three years, and this is our first opportunity to provide care to this very deserving population,” said Dr. Gavin Gerondale, director of the Mobile Eye Institute.  “We’re hopeful that providing care to the shelter residents is something we can incorporate into our college’s externship program.” 

The shelters being provided vision care are the Houston Area Women’s Center, Bay Area Turning Point and Bridge Over Troubled Waters. 

The MEI provides comprehensive eye examinations, diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, and optical services to underserved, uninsured populations throughout Houston where mobility is an obstacle to receiving care.  For more information, visit http://www.opt.uh.edu/uei/services/mei.cfm

You’re Living Proof, a local 501(c)(3), empowers victims of family violence to become survivors by providing tools that promote emotional, spiritual, educational and financial rehabilitation.  For more information, visit http://www.urlivingproof.org/

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities.  UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 37,000 students. 

About the College of Optometry
The University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) educates and trains optometry students to provide the highest quality vision and eye care.  One of only 19 optometry schools in the country, UHCO offers graduate degrees in optometry, physiological optics and vision science, as well as a clinical residency program.  UHCO also operates an outpatient clinic, the University Eye Institute, which provides comprehensive vision care for the public. 

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