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Press Release


Media Contact: Cheryl Monkhouse
(404) 842-8516
cheryl.monkhouse@bcbsga.com

Hundreds of Georgia School Children to Receive Free Eye Exams and Glasses
 
Unique Community Collaboration by OneSightSM and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Gives the Gift of Sight to Children in Need

(Atlanta, GA) — March 22, 2010 —Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) and OneSight®, a Luxottica Group Foundation have teamed to bring a regional clinic to Georgia from today, Monday, March 22, through Friday, March 26. Clayton County, Henry County and Spalding County Schools pre-selected approximately 600 students from kindergarten through high school based on their financial and vision needs to receive free vision care, including full vision exams and new eyewear. Held at the Luxottica Retail Distribution Center (100 Greenwood Industrial Pkwy, McDonough, GA 30253), local doctors, community partners, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia associates, as well as employees from LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and Target Optical will provide services and assistance during clinic hours (8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily).

According to the Vision in Preschoolers Study, the National Institutes of Health, the National Eye Institute and NEI Clinical Studies, vision problems are the fourth most common disability in the United States, and one of the most prevalent conditions in childhood. In addition, the American Public Health Association (APHA) recently reported that one-in-four children in kindergarten through sixth grade has visual disabilities that affect their ability to learn. Some studies indicate that 80 percent of learning in children occurs visually; yet 86 percent of children do not receive a vision exam during these formative years.

“This ongoing collaborative effort to bring the Vision Van back again this year to the greater Atlanta area continues to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children who might not otherwise have had their vision needs met,” says Monye Connolly, president, BCBSGa.  “Our hope is that this service will provide these children with improved self-esteem and a better opportunity to live life to the fullest.”

“OneSight provides important opportunities through clear vision that enable children to succeed in school and ultimately, in life,” said Jane Walters, OneSight captain. “We have seen many cases where a pair of glasses has made the difference in helping a child accomplish greater scholastic success or simply see clearly for the first time. Watching a child’s face light up as the world comes into focus is something I will never forget.”

“An eye exam is one of the best forms of preventative medicine today. Good vision health is connected to overall health and well-being. Supporting OneSight’s regional clinic helps these children to more clearly experience the world around them,” said Jeff Spahr, staff vice president, Vision and Voluntary Services.

In addition to serving children in communities throughout the country with the regional clinic, OneSight also performs two-week Global Clinics designed to hand-deliver eye exams and recycled, donated eyewear to underprivileged individuals in developing countries. To date, nearly 3 million people have been helped during Global Clinics.

About OneSight:
OneSight, a Luxottica Group Foundation and a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, is a family of charitable programs dedicated to improving vision for those in need worldwide through outreach, research and education. OneSight’s outreach programs include the hand-delivery of vision care and eyewear to those in need. Since 1986, OneSight outreach efforts have helped more than seven million people around the world see more clearly, and has granted millions of dollars towards vision preservation and thousands of dollars in scholarships to students pursuing a degree in Optometry. Luxottica Group (a global leader in eyewear manufacturing, distribution and retail) employees, Luxottica-affiliated and independent doctors, vendors, donors and other charitable partners worldwide, work together to give the gift of sight to those in need. Luxottica Group provides inspiration for OneSight and it is the foundation’s main sponsor. For more information visit www.onesight.org.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association® . The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.

 

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