By Maureen Schriner*
For families living at Dakota Woodlands, getting an annual eye exam is one of those things that can get moved to the back burner, so Eagan Eye Clinic offered to make it easy.
Dr. Ben Stout and the staff at Eagan Eye Clinic set aside blocks of time for Dakota Woodlands residents to receive exams and, for those who needed, to get eyeglasses. “We know those families have a lot going on, and our clinic wanted to make sure they were receiving good care,” Dr. Stout says, especially school-age children, because poor vision can hinder their ability to learn.
The families are insured through public programs, which pay for exams and basic eyeglasses. The Eagan Eye Clinic offered free upgrades, with non-glare, scratch-resistant lenses and a much wider choice of frames. It’s important, especially for kids, to be able to choose eyeglass frames they are comfortable with, says Dr. Stout. “A kid isn’t going to wear glasses if they don’t like them.”
Among the Dakota Woodlands residents who received exams, six children and adults needed glasses, which the clinic got for them within a couple days, says Kris Haffner. More importantly, the families who provided emails will receive reminders to come back in a year, and the Eagan Eye Clinic plans to make sure the families receive quality care again.
“It really made a difference for our families to have easy access to an eye exam and to get a choice of glasses,” says Shelia Mason, Dakota Woodlands volunteer coordinator who arranged trips to Eagan Eye Clinic for the residents. “We want our families to feel they are cared for and receive respect. The clinic came through 100 percent. It also gave the kids a boost in confidence.”
Eagan Eye Clinic is one of a number of local businesses who donate services and goods to Dakota Woodlands to support families. “For our families to succeed, it takes a village,” says Beth Bromen, Dakota Woodlands executive director. “Our village has businesses, along with individual volunteers and donors. Every outreach effort helps.”
* Maureen has volunteered at Dakota Woodlands as a tutor, piano teacher and communicator.