Letter to the Editor:
Forty-five years of the CNIB Eye Van
In recognition of World Sight Day (October 12), the CNIB Eye Van is celebrating 45 years on the road in Northern Ontario. In partnership with the Ontario Medical Association and the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the CNIB Eye Van was established in 1972 as part of the Prevention of Blindness program. Staffed by two ophthalmic assistants and ophthalmologists, the fully-equipped medical mobile eye care clinic on wheels travels more than 6000 kilometres each year, visiting 30 communities to provide service for more than 4500 patients.
The on-board ophthalmologists conduct vision exams, treat eye conditions, perform minor surgeries, and offer much-needed medical advice and information about eye health. Ninety per cent of the patients screened on the CNIB Eye Van are diagnosed with an eye condition that could lead to blindness if left untreated. While this is a milestone year for one of CNIB’s jewels, it wouldn’t be the successful program that it is without the phenomenal support of our partners, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ontario Medical Association, the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Royal Canadian Legions, Sun Life Financial, Goldcorp Inc., and other corporate and individual donors, and community groups.
And, CNIB has always been an organization of people helping people – nowhere is that more evident than in the incredible work of more than 300 volunteers. Thank you for welcoming the CNIB Eye Van into your community year after year.
To learn more, visit cnib.ca/eyevan.
Submitted by Lisa O’Bonsawin, Manager, CNIB Eye Van