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Healthy Holiday Freebies

During the Economic Slump, EyeCare America Wants Everyone to Take Advantage of its Healthy Holiday Freebies

National Campaign Provides a Way to
Give the Gift of Sight at No Cost to Loved Ones

October 23, 2008 - (San Francisco, CA) – The U.S. is in the midst of an economic crisis that is leaving many people struggling to find thoughtful yet affordable gifts for friends and family members.  This year, EyeCare America® has launched its National Give the Gift of Sight campaign! As a part of the campaign, the organization is offering two gifts: free downloadable certificates with information on their no cost medical eye exams and eye care offered through its Seniors EyeCare Program and a free downloadable cookbook filled with eye healthy recipes created by celebrity chefs.

In these tough economic times, the Give the Gift of Sight certificate* makes for a unique stocking stuffer or holiday card with a message. The certificate provides the gift recipient with information on EyeCare America’s no cost eye exams as well as the toll free number to call to see if they are eligible. The colorful recipe book, called Feast Your Eyes on This!, makes for a wonderful gift filled with eye healthy dishes that are sure to become family holiday favorites. The cookbook and the certificate can both be printed out at And, best of all… they are Eye Health Holiday Freebies that everyone can afford!

“Unfortunately, when the cost of living goes up our senior communities on fixed incomes are hurt the most,” said Richard P. Mills, MD, ophthalmologist and chairman of EyeCare America. “Sharing both the EyeCare America Give the Gift of Sight certificate and the Feast Your Eyes on This! Cookbook this year will provide someone you care about with vital information that could save their sight.”

EyeCare America’s award-winning Seniors EyeCare Program will match eligible callers with an ophthalmologist in their area who will provide a comprehensive medical eye examination and up to one year of treatment at no out of pocket cost to the patient for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam.  EyeCare America is able to provide this no cost care through its network of more than 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists across the U.S. who waive patient co-payments and accept Medicare as payment in full for their services.  Patients without insurance receive care at no charge.

EyeCare America's Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for people who:

  • Are U.S. citizens or legal residents
  • Are age 65 and older
  • Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years
  • Do not belong to an HMO or the VA

To determine if you, a family member of friend qualify for the Seniors EyeCare Program, call 1.800.222.EYES (3937) toll free. The Seniors EyeCare Program help line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.

*The certificate does not guarantee eligibility for the no cost eye exam and up to one year of care. Those interested must call to see if they are eligible for the program.

Eyeglasses, prescription drugs, hospital services, and fees of other medical professionals are not included in this program.

The Seniors EyeCare Program is co-sponsored by the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. and Alcon Laboratories, Inc., and endorsed by state ophthalmological societies. 

About EyeCare America

Established in 1985, EyeCare America, the public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education.  EyeCare America provides eye care services to the medically underserved and for those at increased risk for eye disease through its corps of 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. More than 90 percent of the care made available is provided at no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. EyeCare America includes programs for seniors, glaucoma, diabetes, AMD and children, and is the largest program of its kind in American medicine. Since its inception, EyeCare America has helped more than 1 million people. EyeCare America is a non-profit program whose success is made possible through charitable contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. More information can be found at:

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MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Neves, Director of EyeCare America Communications – 415.561.8518,

NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: High-resolution images and interviews with EyeCare America spokespeople, physicians and patients available upon request.