Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

September 9, 2005

Contact: Lisa Merkl
713.743.8192 (office)
713.605.1757 (pager)

College of Optometry Sees Need to Expand Services to Storm Victims

HOUSTON, Sept. 9, 2005 – From replacement glasses to critical eye care, the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) is extending services to Louisiana and Mississippi evacuees displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The University Eye Institute (UEI) is asking those in need of eye and vision care to contact them as soon as possible to make an appointment. “With the generosity of our corporate and philanthropic partners, we are now in a position to deliver virtually every service at our disposal at no charge,” said Earl L. Smith, dean of UHCO.

“During the past week, the UEI has set up a presence at both Reliant Park and the George R. Brown Convention center. However, these facilities are designed to serve only people who are residents of those facilities,” said Nick Holdeman, UEI executive director and chief of medical services. “To ensure we are in a position to serve everyone impacted by this storm, we felt it necessary to make sure all evacuees knew there was a place they could go to receive high-quality eye and vision care.”

To take advantage of this offer, patients only need to provide a valid ID from either Louisiana or Mississippi to be eligible. “We know there are people out there who need eye and vision care at this time,” said Smith. “Some may only need a replacement set of glasses while others may need more critical eye care. In either case, we are here to help and will do whatever we can to work with those in need.”

To take advantage of this offer, patients are encouraged to contact the UEI, located on the UH campus in the J. Armistead building, at 713-743-2020.

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 35,000 students.

About the UH College of Optometry
For more than 50 years, the University of Houston College of Optometry (UHCO) has trained optometrists to provide the highest quality vision and eye care. One of only 17 optometry schools in the United States, the UHCO offers a variety of degree programs, including Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), a combined Doctor of Optometry/Doctor of Philosophy (O.D./Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Located at the University of Houston, the UHCO consists of 50 full-time faculty, 508 adjunct faculty and 76 full-time staff.

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