MAR 2020

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Issue link: https://digital.eyeworld.org/i/1215009

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Page 108 of 118

O UTSIDE THE OR by Vanessa Caceres Contributing Writer was even more glaring when we looked at our local, school-aged children who were often not receiving the eyecare they needed," Ms. Boling said. For instance, if they did a vision screen- ing at school, there was typically a gap in the referral process between the children failing the screening and actually being seen by an eyecare professional for a follow-up dilated exam or to get glasses. Oftentimes, this group of children ends up being mislabeled as "behaviorally at risk" or "learning disabled" when what they actually need is just better vision, Ms. Boling said. There also were financial considerations. It cost $250,000 to get the 45-foot mobile RV unit set up, including equipment, dilating drops, electronic medical records, tablets, furniture, and decorations. The practice also needed a vehicle that had towing capacity to take the mo- bile unit around. Ms. Boling was able to achieve some cost reductions by partnering with local RV companies. In addition to local partners, national partners have donated items such as frames and lenses. "It's difficult to quantify the generosity of our donors, but it's safe to say that this pro- gram wouldn't have been within financial reach without them," Ms. Boling said. T he staff at Boling Vision Center & INSIGHT Surgery Center had big plans in mind when they conceived of a mobile examination unit to serve those who needed it most in their community. While the mobile unit has turned into a philanthropic endeavor, it's also been a business booster for the practice. In the 1960s, practice founder Richard Boling Sr., MD, was committed to serving the underserved through mission trips, com- munity outreach days, and free care, said Hayley Boling, MBA, COE, who oversees Boling Vision Center now. With that mindset passed on to Ms. Boling's father, Rich Boling, MD, they decided to pursue what she calls a mega-ex- pansion of their already-established, internal Kindness to Prevent Blindness initiative. The mobile unit plans took about 5 years of research, planning, and preparations before any patients were served. Staff first identified service gaps within the community, researched nonprofit organizations with whom to partner, and decided if the mobile unit would be a sus- tainable endeavor long term. One big consideration was the community's needs. "The need we saw here was a notable percentage of our community that was un- derserved when it came to eyecare. The need Mobile unit provides eye exams and unexpectedly boosts business About the source Hayley Boling, MBA, COE Chief executive officer Boling Vision Center & INSIGHT Surgery Center Northern Indiana continued on page 108 106 | EYEWORLD | MARCH 2020 Mobile unit used by Boling Vision Center Source: Boling Vision Center

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