Access to eye care important

Though much of the rest of the nation might not think of Ohio this way, more than a third of the Buckeye State is part of Appalachia. Those of us living along the Ohio River know quite well the similarities in communities on either side of that boundary. In those communities there are needs that simply do not exist in Ohio’s more urban and midwestern regions.

Among them is a challenge being tackled by a Foundation for Appalachian Ohio proposal, which has just been deemed “Pay for Success Appropriate and Ready” by state Treasurer Robert Sprague’s office.

We know our schools have become much more than just places for academic learning a few hours a day. They are the heart of many of our communities — places where even some forms of health, dental and vision care can be provided. The foundation plans to develop a mobile vision clinic by partnering with Vision to Learn and the Ohio Optometric Foundation’s iSee program to serve students at Title I schools in the state’s 32 Appalachian counties.

Access to an eye exam, and perhaps parents being pointed toward resources for getting corrective lenses or other treatment could be life changing for students who might not have understood why they were struggling in the classroom. Kudos to both Sprague’s office, for giving the program a chance through ResultsOHIO; and to those in Nelsonville’s Foundation for Appalachian Ohio who have their ducks in a row and the confidence in measurable success to seek out the funding.


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