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Hope in Sight: Eye Care Clinic to Provide Exams, Eyeglasses, and Surgery Referrals for Resettled Refugees

While thousands of refugees resettled in Utah have endured the difficulties of their past forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or disaster they often need medical help to access a promising future.

Physicians from the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah will restore vision to support employment, independence, and education for former refugees at the second Hope in Sight Refugee Eye Care Clinic on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The clinic, made possible by sponsor Grandeur Peak Global Advisors of Salt Lake City, will provide free vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, and eyeglasses. Physicians will also identify candidates for Moran's twice-yearly Operation Sight Day, which provides charity cataract surgery to Utahns in need.

The event is the result of a cooperative partnership between Moran's Global Outreach Division, RIC-AAU, the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Community Services of Utah, and the Utah Refugee Services Office.

"Our Global Outreach Division is expanding local outreach efforts to assist underserved Utahns with the support of donors and medical volunteers who are taking this opportunity to strengthen our communities," said division Co-Medical Director Craig Chaya, MD. "This clinic is an example of the partnerships needed to meet a desperate need for eye care. We are committed to this work, and to being a part of the solution."

The inaugural Hope in Sight Refugee Eye Care Clinic, held April 7, 2018, assisted 126 people resettled from countries, including Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Somalia, and Bosnia. Physicians provided comprehensive eye exams, 68 pairs of eyeglasses, and referred five people for sight-restoring surgery.

Moran providers donating their time to the Nov. 10 clinic are:

  • Brock Alonso, MD
  • Arwa Alsamarae, MD
  • Craig Chaya, MD
  • Alan Crandall, MD
  • Sophia Fang, MD
  • David Meyer, OD
  • Mark McKay, OD
  • Dix Pettey, OD

About the John A. Moran Eye Center Global Outreach Division

Of the world's 39 million blind people, more than 90 percent live in poverty in developing nations without access to modern eye care. They have lower life expectancies, and for every blind person, 2.5 people leave work or school to become caregivers. The Moran Eye Center's Global Outreach Division works to eliminate curable blindness by sustainably expanding access to eye care around the globe. In more than 20 countries, the division trains doctors, nurses, and other eye care professionals, and restores sight to hundreds of patients during week-long medical camps. In Utah, the division provides charitable eye care to thousands of people across the state and on the Navajo Nation.

About the Refugee and Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah
The Refugee and Immigrant Center, Asian Association of Utah has been serving Utah's refugees and immigrants since 1977. We are a local, private, non-profit entity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for refugees, immigrants, and victims of human trafficking in Utah. We serve over 3,200 clients each year and focus on providing holistic, wrap-around services that increase the success and self-sufficiency of some of Utah's most vulnerable populations.

About Catholic Community Services of Utah

Since 1945, Catholic Community Services of Utah has been empowering people in need along the Wasatch Front to reach self-sufficiency. By giving strength to the weakest in our midst, CCS is able to lovingly serve and provide hope to those with the greatest need in our community regardless of race, religion or personal circumstance.

About the International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity, and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home. The IRC in Salt Lake City opened its doors in 1994 and has since resettled over 10,000 refugees, offering resettlement, economic empowerment, community integration and legal services.