As many of you already know, I am extremely passionate about an organization called OneSight. The goal of this organization is to provide comprehensive eye exams, care, and glasses to people in need. OneSight works globally and locally. From October 7-13, 2018, I had the opportunity to serve as the Lead Optometrist for the 3rd OneSight clinic held in Omaha. This clinic was extra special to me for several reasons:
SERVING RESETTLED REFUGEES RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD
First, this exam was focused on serving the resettlement community of Omaha. These are people who came to Omaha after being refugees from their home countries. Most of the people we served have been in the United States beyond the timeframe where they have coverage for eye exams and glasses. Many of these people come here with health issues that are more pressing than an eye exam, so their eyes get put on the back burner. Due to issues like transportation, language barriers prioritizing urgent health matters, and trying to adjust to life in the United States and trying to find a job, many of these people run out of time to have their eyes checked. However, it’s difficult to get and maintain a job if you can’t see or have significant eye health problems. This clinic worked to address those gaps and was the first of its kind in the United States for OneSight. We hope that this model will be expanded to other communities with large resettlement populations.
SERVING AS A FAMILY
Second, in addition to getting to give back to people in my community in need, I was able to spend clinic with my husband, Josh, and our new baby! Landon was born on September 20, 2018, weighing in at 8 pounds 7 ounces and 21 inches long. He was a trooper being held, worn, and around the chaos of a weeklong clinic. Our older son, Brayden, even got to come hang out for clinic on the last day with us. It was fun having our new family of four participate in a project that means so much to all of us.
A NEW WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS
Third, I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the United States and the world. Our clinic team consisted of approximately 30 people from across the United States, plus Great Britain, Canada, Portugal, and Italy were represented. I was even reunited with my friend Dean (from Great Britain) from my very first OneSight Clinic to Xi’an, China, a few years ago. Through OneSight, I can travel to almost any developed country in the world and have OneSight family there to visit. It’s a pretty cool network of people to be part of. The bonds we share feel much like a sorority or fraternity.
THE CLINIC BY THE NUMBERS
Here are some pretty sweet stats from clinic:
Total exams: 873
Total glasses prescriptions: 716 (82% and the resettlement population wasn’t pre-screened like it is on most clinics, so this need rate is extremely high)
Total medical referrals: 114 (13%)
Glasses made on site: 84.5% (the remaining 15% will be made and delivered to the patients in a few weeks).
Even though we were a little below our goal of 1,000 exams, this clinic was amazingly successful. We helped many people who have never had glasses who truly need them, we helped them get further eye and health care lined up when needed. What most people don’t know is the host of challenges that happened behind the scenes to pull this clinic off, ranging from our clinic partners having the wrong dates for clinic, personnel changes with our clinic partners, weather that didn’t cooperate and may have kept people from being able to get to clinic, and more, but we still pulled together and served 873 people. Thank you to everyone who helped make this clinic possible. It’s such a blessing to serve those in need.