By Gregg Jones
Union Missourian Editor
Central Elementary students had the first glimpse of a mobile eye clinic that will make the rounds in Franklin County.
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile eye clinic made its inaugural visit to this area.
This is the first time a vision clinic like this has been to the county, said Carol Generally, supervisor of Union R-XI District Health Services.
“We have been trying for a long time to get this to the community,” she said. “Everything went beautiful.”
On Wednesday, Dr. Ryan Hill tested eligible elementary students to determine their eye care needs.
The glasses help children perform better in school, and gives them a boost in self-confidence.
The 40-foot-long eye clinic was at Central Elementary Wednesday and Thursday, and will be at Clark-Vitt Elementary next week, Generally added.
Following its stop in Union, there will be appearances scheduled at schools in each Franklin County school district.
The clinic is a joint effort of Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis and the Eye Care Charity of Mid-America. There are other Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles in the country, but this is the only clinic that focuses on eye care.
The vehicle is a fully equipped for optometry that will work in conjunction with school districts.
The goal is to deliver 2,500 comprehensive eye exams, free of charge, in its first year of operation.
Students, who already have been screened the past year, can pick out a frame and glasses can be made on the spot.
Most of the staff who work on the mobile clinic are volunteers, and local optometrists volunteer to work at the clinic during visits to schools in the county.
Generally said there were local Lions Club and Kiwanis Club members who volunteered their time. Other organizations, as well as the Union Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s office, also assisted.
She added that the children were with a volunteer or Generally during the entire process.
The mobile clinic will travel to schools located in areas where the need for eye care is greatest. This will include city schools, rural schools and social service agencies.
It will serve a 11-county area in metro St. Louis, including Missouri and Illinois.
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will enable early diagnosis and treatment, which are important for maintaining good vision, eye health and the prevention of vision loss.
The St. Louis Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will depend on grants and donations for operating expenses and ongoing vehicle upkeep
For more information about the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, please visit www.eccoma.org, people may contact Lora Mather, executive director for the Eye Care Charity of Mid-America, at 636-778-1022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.