The Culmore Clinic, a free health clinic serving uninsured adults in northern Virginia, has realized its long-held dream of adding vision care services for its patients. Generous donations from Lion’s Club chapters, vision health organizations, doctors, and community members have allowed the clinic to open an on-site vision suite. Complete with examination equipment and staffed by volunteer ophthalmologists and optometrists, the new suite will provide critical eye exams and vision care to this underserved population beginning November 16th.
The initiative emerged when Drs. George Patterson, Sarah Merrill, and Bill Baer approached clinic leadership about volunteering if the optometry equipment could be secured. This sparked a fundraising campaign that ultimately raised the $35,000 needed.
At an October open house, executive director Lynette Sappe-Watkins expressed gratitude for the collective effort to fulfill this vision and address a major gap in care for residents facing barriers like lack of insurance. She remarked, “A vision suite is something that free and charitable clinics like ours only dream of.”
Now patients have access to comprehensive health services under one roof, improving continuity of care and community health outcomes. This locally-funded clinic exemplifies the power of providers, philanthropists, businesses and neighbors uniting around a common goal — quality care for all.