Fifth-grade Erick won't sit still long, but eagerly settled to have his eyes tested when UPFH’s Mobile Vision Clinic came to his Title 1 school. Hundreds of kids in Salt Lake Valley struggle like Erick to read or see the chalkboard. These children too often end up with behavior problems, poor grades, and a general sense of life being unfair and hopeless, creating whole neighborhoods who fail to believe in education. Utah children can be given so much more. As for Erick, the benefit of UPFH is simple. "My favorite thing about my eye exam is that I can see!"
Meet Kahlil! UPFH Mobile Vision, in partnership with Charity Vision, is providing Kahlil with glasses that will help him read the board in his 5th grade classroom. That’s good because he doesn’t want to be in one spot too long, preferring to throw an arm around his friends and maybe wrestle around. He says, “Sometimes my sister tells me to look but I don’t know what to see.” He is very excited to get his glasses. In his own words, "So in first grade, I didn’t have any glasses. I couldn’t see nothing so I always have to get a clipboard and go on the rug. And it was so embarrassing. Even with my glasses now I had to get a clipboard. But with new glasses I can see better. You don’t embarrass yourself and you look good. You look like king drip!" You sure do, Kahlil!
Elda prefers Spanish and had big smiles as her blood pressure was taken and even during a blood-sugar-testing finger prick. Although her diabetes makes regular checkups important, Elda does not have a medical home beyond our mobile clinic. That's why David, a native Spanish speaker, made sure to review Elda's dietary restriction in language that Elda understood. Elda was eager to share her story and photos with Utah Partners for Health, and we're proud to help in her fight against diabetes.
In her own words, Kaylynn says, "I can’t see far. My teacher makes you go put your desk in front. It doesn’t work because it is still blurry and you still can’t see it. It’s not easy to learn that way. Glasses makes it easier to see, easier to learn. My favorite thing about glasses is that I can see now." And she has the shy smile to prove it!
Please join Utah Partners for Health in welcoming Doctor Jack Wang to the mission to provide quality vision care to the underserved communities of Salt Lake County! Not only is Dr. Wang a highly skilled optometrist, he has experience bringing eye care directly to patients, having worked at a mobile clinic in Dallas. He loves the engaging nature of mobile care—who wants to be in an office all day anyway? He and his wife, also an optometrist, have two young children starting school for the first time in Utah this fall. Soft-spoken and dedicated, Dr. Wang finds special satisfaction going to shelters to provide care and glasses to displaced parents and kids. "The appeal of working with Utah Partners for Health is that it's fun. It feels good." UPFH and its 2,000 annual vision patients are honored to have an accomplished partner in Dr. Wang.