UAB Eye Care sees 1,000th patient at Gift of Sight

UAB Eye Care’s fifth annual Gift of Sight event helped hundreds of in-need patients this year.   

gift of sightUAB Eye Care provides free comprehensive exams and glasses to those in need. During the fifth annual Gift of Sight event, the clinical operation of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Optometry — UAB Eye Care— served nearly 300 patients throughout the four-day event, including caring for its 1,000th patient in the event’s tenure. 

Established in 2014, Gift of Sight provides comprehensive eye exams and glasses for low-income or underinsured patients who may otherwise not receive vision care or services throughout the year. The event takes place at both the Western Health Clinic in Midfield, Alabama, and the UAB School of Optometry. 

“Seeing our 1,000th patient at Gift of Sight was a testament to the needs of our community members and how we can truly impact the lives of others through providing a simple service,” said Scelelar Jefferson, clinical coordinator in the UAB School of Optometry. “To be able to have served 1,000 patients through this event speaks volumes about how profound the event is and why we do what we do.”

The event is a great opportunity for both faculty and students to get hands-on experience serving a large volume of patients. 

“Gift of Sight is always a fantastic event because it really shows the power of community and what we can do to help others,” said Janene Sims, O.D. “We see patients who cry and say, ‘Oh, my goodness. I haven’t had glasses in years, and my vision is now great. I can see.’ That makes this experience worthwhile and rewarding for all involved.” 

 In addition to the patients seen at Western Health Clinic during the week of Gift of Sight, patients from homeless shelters, outreach centers, re-entry programs, and women and children’s shelters received care at the School of Optometry.