MILTON — People with low or fixed incomes who have no insurance can call Dr. Gene Terrezza and Associates beginning Feb. 6 to see if they qualify for a free eye exam and a pair of eyeglasses for the Feb. 14 "Doctors With A Heart" Valentine's program.
Terrezza gave these additional details about the program.
Tell us about Doctors with a Heart.
The original "Doctors with a Heart" program was founded by a dentist in Iowa to help people receive quality dental care who could not afford it otherwise.
Have you done this before? What impact have you seen?
31 years ago, I recognized members of the community on low income, fixed income or no income with no insurance needed help to receive quality eye care. I decided to bring the "Doctors with a Heart" tradition to the local area of Milton and Pensacola for quality free eye exams and free eyeglasses. Our Milton and our Fairfield office in Pensacola schedule this tradition in the month of February each year around Valentine's Day.
The applicants receive quality eye care and free eyeglasses to be able to have better vision for a better quality of life. They are also screened for any possible medical eye condition they may not realize they have such as glaucoma, cataracts or retina issues, and wouldn't know because they don't have the resources to get the care they need.
If the applicants have a medical issue, they are referred out to organizations that might be able to help with their medical needs.
What are the qualifications to participate?
A person with a specific amount of income can qualify with no insurance. Applicants go through a screening process by answering questions to see if they qualify.
How do vision costs affect low-income residents’ budget?
There are budget eyeglasses and places to obtain cheap eyeglasses but it depends on the assets of the individual. Those who come to see me have no assets for eye exams and eyeglasses, so all costs are prohibitive.
The applicants receive quality eye care and free eyeglasses to be able to have better vision. Some are able to do better at their jobs; some are able to function better at home. Each individual will determine the impact with what their lifestyle may be.
What kinds of glasses do you offer?
Standard basic items that are used in our Medicaid program and low-cost insurance programs are offered to the applicants.