Optometrists donate time for screenings at Families First
Five optometrists and several other volunteers spent a recent Saturday providing comprehensive eye examinations to 19 diabetic patients at Families First Health and Support Center, at no cost to the patients.
Dr. Rinita Trahan coordinated volunteers from both organizations. She was joined by fellow optometrists Shirlie Dowd, David Hartenstein, Sabrina Mayo and Amy Pruszenski in providing eye exams at Families First. This was the eighth annual clinic held at Families First, and some of the doctors have been volunteering since the first clinic in 2010.
Jordan Family Eyecare, Harbor Eyecare Center, Hampton Eyecare Associates and the NH Opthalmic Association donated use of equipment for the day, and optometrist Jamie Belanger organized equipment setup.
Portsmouth Lions Club members Susan Therriault, Ken Moebus and Sandi Lane and Hampton Lions Club member Mary Tremblay helped to keep appointments on schedule and facilitate care throughout the event.
After being evaluated, three patients were found to have visual abnormalities that require followup, which Families First will help them obtain. All patients were offered help obtaining glasses if needed.
“People with diabetes are at increased risk for blindness, so regular eye exams are critical for them,” says Mary Malloy, RN, certified diabetes educator at Families First. “Many of our patients can’t afford to pay for the exams and would go without them if not for the generosity of the optometrists, Lions Club volunteers and others who came together to make this day of free eye exams possible.”