Drs. Spencer Luke and Sam Kimball, local optometrists, gave a presentation of the Community Eye Clinic to La Grande Rotary on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. In collaboration with the Center for Human Development, the Clinic serves those in the community who are unable to pay for a regular eye exam. Operating two half days a month, the clinic is located in a room provided by the CHD with equipment donated by local optometrists and staffed by Luke and Kimball, as well as Drs. Glabe and Beckner. Over 500 patients identified by the CHD have been served over the last two years providing eye exams, and where needed, glasses donated at no charge through labs and frames manufactures.
The free eye exams not only detect vision problems that can be corrected with lenses, other more serious medical problems have been screened. One woman was discovered to have cataracts—a medical issue that her health coverage could support. Without the free screening, she had thought she just needed glasses. Luke and Kimball noted that without this service, several of their patients would not have been diagnosed with medical rather than vision correction problems.
Dr. Kimball explained how the Clinic needs better equipment to compliment the donated exam machinery. They have applied and won a Lion’s Club grant for up to $16,000 that will need a match of at least $10,000 from local fund raising. Kimball reported that they have thus far raised $8,000 and hope to meet the match in the next few months. If community members are interested in helping, they can contact Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org