Preventative care visits have dropped significantly over the course of the pandemic, and this is especially true in under-served communities. That’s why the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation teamed up with OneSight, a leading global vision care nonprofit, to provide free eye exams and glasses to kids and adults throughout Cincinnati.
Free vision care was provided to 606 Kids and adults in the area from March 8 through March 26 at five locations across the Greater Cincinnati area. Out of the patients seen, 93 percent needed glasses.
“The ability to see clearly is essential and when students get the glasses they need it can help them learn up to twice as much. When not diagnosed and corrected with lenses, vision problems can lead to eye fatigue, discomfort and headaches and in children it can also lead to developmental delays, eye-hand coordination problems and their literacy skills may lag,” said Barry Malinowski, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio. “Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Foundation are committed to improving the health and wellness of communities across the country and that’s why this partnership with OneSight was so important to us because it allowed us to provide quality vision care and eyewear to those who need it most.”
In the United States, 25 percent of students have an undiagnosed vision problem. For some, the issue has been unrecognized due in part to a lack of access to vision care and affordability, two significant barriers that exist for children in vulnerable communities. For adults, clear sight enables them to find, commute to, and perform better at their jobs, increasing their productivity and empowering them to earn more per year.
Funded by a charitable grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, OneSight operated clinics for three weeks in March to help address these unresolved vision care needs for those in Cincinnati who may otherwise lack access.
The event included a mobile, state-of-the-art van equipped with a vision center and optical lab, and a stationary vision clinic. Leveraging OneSight’s proven clinic model and manufacturing capabilities, most participants in need of glasses received their newly prescribed eyewear on-site.
“Clear vision unleashes potential—improving long-term educational, professional and social prospects,” said K-T Overbey, president and executive director at OneSight. “Thanks to our generous partner, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, we were able to make a tremendous impact in Cincinnati. Enabling access to vision correction improves quality of life, especially for individuals in need.”
Locally, OneSight partnered with UpSpring, Su Casa, The Care Center, Northstar Community, Urban League, City Gospel Mission, Cincinnati Union Bethel, and Strategies to End Homelessness, to serve Cincinnati kids and adults in need of vision correction.
According to a study by OneSight and Deloitte, there are more than 1 billion people globally who need glasses, but don’t have access to get them. Studies show that clear sight can dramatically impact learning in children, job performance and earning potential.
To learn more about OneSight, their mission, and vision care, visit www.onesight.org.
To learn more about the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, please visit www.anthem.foundation.