Free eye care for tornado victims rolls into town

The Alabama Vision Alliance has mobilized an emergency eye care bus for those affected by the storms.

The sight of the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes that ripped through the Southeast April 27, 2011, is shocking for most. But some may not be able to see it well at all because their eyeglasses or contact lenses were lost or damaged. Now, a bus rolling into hard-hit towns will help restore that vision.

tornado_2011-04_siteThis relief is sent by the Alabama Vision Alliance, comprising the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital at UAB, Sight Savers America, Lions Clubs of Alabama and Vision Service Plan.

VSP, the nation’s largest vision insurance company, has provided a bus — a traveling clinic — that is enabling alumni and faculty of the UAB School of Optometry to provide free eye exams and make replacement lenses on-site.

The bus will be in the Pratt City area until May 12, and then it will travel to Pleasant Grove until May 14. The Lions Clubs are working to identify and secure additional sites and more mobile facilities to provide them. For more information on the mobile eye-care unit, call Sight Savers at 205-991-4878.

In Birmingham, Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital and Optical Prescription Lab will conduct refraction services and provide replacement lenses at no cost to qualified individuals through the Alabama Lions Eye Clinic, located in the Callahan Eye Hospital, 1720 University Blvd.

Next week, more Alabama Vision Alliance members, including Cahaba Valley Health Care, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology and Alabama Optometric Association will assist. The bus was in Tuscaloosa County the week following the tornadoes.