Providing Free Eye Care to the Navajo Nation

The Utah strip of the Navajo Nation is one of the most isolated and neglected areas in the Lower 48. The unemployment rate is around 50 percent. Approximately 25 percent of the population lives without running water or electricity.

Access to specialized health care is extremely limited and there is an urgent need for eye care. Common eye conditions that are curable or preventable include: 

  • Unnecessary blindness from cataracts.
  • Lack of vitamin A during pregnancy, affecting millions of women and children worldwide, and a leading cause of blindness in children.
  • Diabetic retinopathy.

The Moran Eye Center, in partnership with Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. (UNHS), has been providing free pediatric and adult eye care to this population since 2013—including vision screenings, glasses, and sight-restoring surgery.

UNHS also has an affiliation agreement with University of Utah Health to expand the availability of specialty care on the Navajo Nation.