Illinois Eye Institute delivers donated glasses to 95-year old Chicago woman
in time for Obama inauguration
January 27, 2009 (CHICAGO)— With the Obama inauguration fast approaching, Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) student and Chatham native Bethany Ward joined Vincent Brandys, O.D. of the Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) to deliver donated glasses to a patient in need. Georgia Thomas, a 95-year old woman from Englewood, graciously accepted the donated glasses in time to watch the historic inauguration of Barack Obama.
"It was an honor to be able to help Mrs. Thomas, who has seen so much in her life, witness one of the biggest moments in world history,” said Bethany Ward, who will graduate from ICO in May.
Recently, Thomas’ daughter, a patient of the IEI, reached out to the eye center to find out if an optometrist would consider a house call for her 95 year-old mother. The daughter explained that her mother was immobile and needed an eye exam.
“While this was a unique situation, we were happy to get involved and help,” said IEI Director of Professional and Governmental Relations Dr. Vincent Brandys.
When asked how this type of service was made possible, Dr. Brandys pointed to partnerships and the importance of giving back to the community as explanation for ensuring that someone in need received the appropriate care. The IEI was able to partner with local optometrist Keith Lavallee, O.D., an alumnus of the Illinois College of Optometry, who visited Ms. Thomas in the comfort of her own home to conduct an eye exam. At the conclusion of the donated eye exam, Dr. Lavallee determined that Thomas would benefit from a new prescription. Dr. Lavallee donated the frames and the IEI was able to donate the lenses due to funding that State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3) helped secure for the IEI’s clinical programs.
For more information about the Illinois Eye Institute, visit www.illinoiseyeinstitute.com.
About the Illinois Eye Institute
The Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) is a multi-specialty eye center primarily serving patients from the Chicago metropolitan region. With nearly 90,000 patient visits each year, the IEI is one of the largest providers of vision and eye care services in the United States. The IEI is also the onsite clinical training facility of the Illinois College of Optometry and is affiliated with the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Chicago and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.