Grant makes vision-saving eye care available to Galveston County's working poor

Posted: March 2013

More working poor in Galveston County will be able to receive free vision-saving eye care thanks to a recent $25,000 grant from the Alcon Foundation. The grant was awarded to the UTMB Health Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, which staffs the St. Vincent's House eye clinic on Galveston Island as part of its community outreach.

Dr. Bernard Godley, department chairman and retina specialist, said, "Continued support from the foundation allows us to expand our eye care services at the clinic, including cataract surgery, diabetic retinopathy treatment, retina surgery, contacts/glasses and patient education."

In 2011 the foundation awarded a grant to provide cataract and glaucoma surgeries to an estimated 30 patients unable to afford such care.

For more than a decade UTMB eye specialists have volunteered their time to help hundreds of patients at the only free eye specialty clinic for the uninsured in Galveston County.

The clinic is staffed by ophthalmology residents under the direction of UTMB ophthalmologists.

Godley said, "Through our partnership with St. Vincent's House, a non-profit social services agency, we're able to directly address an unmet need in the Galveston County communities and provide UTMB ophthalmology residents the opportunity to learn in the context of meeting that need."

For more information about the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and how to make a donation to the St. Vincent's eye clinic, click here.

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