FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bert Kelly, BCBSGA, 404-842-8516
OneSight® Vision Van Clinics Provide Free Vision Care and Eyewear to Students in Need
Collaboration by OneSight® and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation Brings Vision Care to Atlanta
Atlanta (Sept. 5, 2013) – This week 1,500 Atlanta-area students will receive comprehensive vision exams and new eyewear free of charge at a OneSight® Vision Clinic thanks to a collaboration between the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation and OneSight®, a leading charity committed to eradicating the global vision crisis by providing sustainable access to quality vision care and eyewear in underserved communities worldwide.
The need for vision care among children is especially critical. According to the American Optometric Association, up to 94 percent of children with reading problems have reduced visual skills.
“Eighty percent of what we learn is visual, yet one-in-four students in North America have an undetected vision problem,” said Dr. Jason Singh, O.D., OneSight® executive director. “We believe every child deserves access to quality vision care. Our Vision Clinics enable us to provide high quality exams and eyewear to those that need it most. We appreciate our collaboration with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia whose generous grant makes it possible to help thousands of students see and learn better.”
Since 1996, OneSight® has provided eye exams and new glasses to nearly 7,500 children across Georgia during three annual Clinics. During its upcoming visit, OneSight® doctors will provide care to 300 students daily during the five-day Clinic supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) volunteers. The clinic is being held at Avondale High School in Avondale Estates from September 9 – 13.
Patients will receive comprehensive eye exams and prescription glasses manufactured on site though OneSight’s® production vehicle known as “EyeVan” – a complete manufacturing facility on wheels. Before each Clinic, volunteers work with local community organizations to identify and schedule students in need of the vision care services.
Tuesday, September 10, has been designated “Blue Cross Blue Shield Day” as several of the organization’s employees will volunteer their time helping students through the exam process in partnership with OneSight® volunteers and doctors.
“Supporting the children of the DeKalb County School District through our sponsorship of the Vision Clinic is a valuable way to encourage healthy living at a young age,” said Morgan Kendrick, president of BCBSGA. “Protecting and improving vision is a key to overall health, and being part of this clinic is an excellent way to demonstrate the value of preventative health care.”
Working alongside BCBSGA volunteers are local doctors and associates of Luxottica® retail brands, including LensCrafters®, Sunglass Hut®, Pearle Vision®, Sears Optical?, Target Optical® and ILORI®.
Note: Vision Clinic services are scheduled by community partners; walk-in appointments are not available.
The need for vision care is staggering — 733 million adults and children worldwide suffer from vision loss. For 563 million, a pair of glasses would restore their vision. OneSight, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to solving this global crisis by providing sustainable access to quality vision care, eyewear and sun protection to those in need around the world. Since 1988, OneSight has helped more than eight million people and has granted more than $7 million to fund optical research and education.
Luxottica is proud to be the founding global sponsor of OneSight. Luxottica-affiliated doctors, independent doctors, employees and community partners come together to volunteer their professional skills and expertise to give back to those in need by helping deliver OneSight’s charitable programs. www.onesight.org.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
BCBSGa celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012, and as the state’s largest and longest-standing insurer, serves more than 2.4 million members, offering a variety of healthcare plans, including medical, dental, life and specialty programs. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross 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.