Visionary and VOSH Illinois held an incredibly successful first clinic at Broadway Youth Center through Howard Brown Health Center in April. I am incredibly proud of the VOSH and Visionary crews, and grateful to Howard Brown and BYC for having us. In fact, we will have to do another clinic in the fall in order to meet the demands of the all the patients we saw, with more being turned away.
I have thought about doing a local clinic for a while, and this blasted right past all of my hopes and expectations – especially since this was the first clinic I’ve ever organized. We work with HBHC regularly at Visionary, seeing patients at no cost to them. Through some amazing connections and generation of ideas, we were able to make this a reality.
Dr. Tracy Matchinski, president of VOSH/International, has long had the goal of increasing local outreach, and we knew this was the way to do it. The Broadway Youth Center could not have been more supportive. Not only did they donate their space, but they helped manage patient flow and even bought pizza for the patients and volunteers. They promoted the clinic it at the BYC, at the HBHC clinics, and on their Facebook page.
We met at 9:00am to pick up equipment, and got right to work with setup as soon as we arrived at 10:00am. We were seeing patients by 11:00 and went all the way to 3:00pm.
We modified our exam forms in order to offer expanded preferred name and gender options (something we would like to incorporate into our regular practice) so patients were able to register easily. There were students and doctors from both CCO, the newest school of optometry, and ICO, the oldest school of optometry, on hand for patients. The doctors and students had four examination stations set up in a room with a skylight, which made the room brighter and hotter than was optimal for exams. They persisted, and the docs and students sweated their way through with no complaints.
The frames and lenses provided to the patients were provided by National Vision.
We expected 50 to 60 people. We helped 85.
78 patients were examined, 7 already had a valid prescription and went straight to optical.
We requested 81 pair of glasses.
The youngest patient seen: 3 yo. The oldest patient seen: 74 yo.
Finally, a huge thank you to all of our workers for the day, making this incredible experience possible:
Mandy Maddox (Visionary): Optical
Brian Estep (Visionary): Optical
Nathan Krivo (Visionary): optical
Dr. Daniel Deligio (Chicago College of Optometry – CCO)
Dr. Tracy Matchinski (Illinois College of Optometry – ICO)
Mark Christnacht (Visionary): Registration
Bill Frantz: Patient flow
Randall Jackson (my husband): Visual Acuities
Megan (ICO): Examination
Sabrían D’Haiti (ICO)
Amandeep Kaur (ICO)
Marina Sostaric (ICO)
Tekerra Humphrey (ICO)
I am thrilled to expand our mission of helping others see, and I cannot wait to find out what’s next.