Imagine you’ve struggled with vision problems throughout your life—whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or somewhere in between, it’s been a constant problem. Now, imagine that you’re also unable to afford prescription lenses to correct the problem, or cannot afford insurance to adequately cover these costs. Maybe the difficulties don’t stop there—perhaps you also have an untreated medical problem, or require dental work.
In 2001, the Fresno Medical Team stepped in to assist families and individuals facing these problems. After holding its first clinic event that same year, the Fresno Medical Team joined the Tzu Chi International Medical Association in 2003. The Tzu Chi International Medical Association follows the principals of the Tzu Chi Foundation, which was founded by Buddhist Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966 under the belief that an immense force of love would benefit society.
The Tzu Chi Mobile Clinic’s mission is to provide free medical services for low-income and underprivileged populations across the Central Valley. Each week, the mobile clinic provides medical, dental, and vision care, acupuncture, pediatrics, and numerous other services free of charge to Valley residents. Medical professionals and others volunteer their time to provide treatment to underserved communities.
Recently, the Fresno Medical Team took its Tzu Chi Mobile Vision Care Clinic to Marshall Elementary School in Fowler. Along with volunteers to sign in patients, the mobile clinic team consisted of licensed optometrist Dr. Shannon Dehesa and “Power Couple” Steven and Olivia. Vision screenings were provided by Dr. Dehesa, while clinic operations were overseen by Steven and Olivia.
In addition to vision screenings, patients were also provided with free, custom prescription lenses. The Tzu Chi Mobile Vision Care Clinic has the capability of creating lenses and frames in about 15 minutes to suit the unique vision needs of any patient. Two patients attending the Tzu Chi Clinic that day were middle schoolers Jennifer and Jeanette, who were thrilled with their new glasses. “It’s our first time getting the right prescription glasses,” they beamed.
After 15 years of serving the Central Valley, the Fresno Medical Team has no plans to stop now. The Tzu Chi Mobile Clinic will continue to provide free, weekly services to families and individuals across the Central Valley, ensuring each patient is treated and served with compassion.
One Pair of Glasses Can Change a Child’s Life: Watch the video here
For more information about the amazing work of the Fresno Medical Team and the Tzu Chi Mobile Clinic, including their 2017 schedule of services, please visit their website at: fresnomedicalteam.org.
The Central Valley Community Foundation is proud to highlight community partners including Cradle to Career and the Tzu Chi Mobile Clinic who are working to make a difference in the Central Valley.