Unruh participating in national drive for eye exams for low-income families

Paul Unruh, O.D., will be joining optometrists across Kansas to provide eye care through the nationwide Vision USA 2000 program.

The program provides free eye exams for low-income workers and their families who are without health insurance.

Unruh said they have been providing free eye exams all along through different organizations, such as the Lions Club. Last year, he joined the Vision USA program.

?We?re just providing a service to people who need the service,? said Unruh.

They provide one eye exam per month.

More than 250,000 people nationwide have received examinations during the first nine years of Vision USA. Among the 19,000 individuals examined last year, more than nine out of every 100 had eye health conditions and nearly three out of four needed a new eyeglass prescription.

?There?s no doubt in our minds that many people in low-income families are being held back because they can?t see well enough to do their jobs or to learn in school,? said G. Derril Gwinner, Ellsworth optometrist and Kansas Vision USA coordinator. ?We want to help by giving these people access to professional eye care.?

To qualify, persons must have no eye-care insurance, have income below an established level based on household size and have had no eye examination within one year.

Applicants can be screened for eligibility by phone by contacting the local Salvation Army Coordinator, calling the service extension department at the regional Salvation Army Headquarters at 816-756-1455 or by calling 1-800-766-4466. The toll free number will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekdays through Jan. 31.

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