The Columbia Free Medical Clinic’s Board of Directors has presented its Legacy Award to Columbia Eye Clinic. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that significantly help the Free Medical Clinic accomplish their mission to provide free, quality health care to those who can’t pay for services and have no health insurance.
“Many of our patients have eye problems,” observed Dennis Coker, executive director of the Free Medical Clinic. “One third of our patients have diabetes and need to be screened and treated for diabetic retinopathy. Of the 28 specialties available to our patients, ophthalmology is Number Two or Three on the list in terms of need. Columbia Eye Clinic is our Number One provider of ophthalmology care. This award is a small token to recognize the tremendous support provided by Columbia Eye Clinic. Without their support, many patients would simply go without desperately needed eye care.”
“We are truly honored by this award,” said Larry Hiebert, Columbia Eye Clinic CEO. “We know that many deserving people in our community need care but can’t afford it. Providing vision care at no cost to Columbia Free Medical Clinic patients is one of the ways we give back to the community. We are privileged to do it.”
The Columbia Free Medical Clinic opened in 1984. Primarily serving patients from Richland and Lexington counties, the clinic also sees patients from 18 other counties, and specifically targets those residents who do not have anywhere else to obtain their health care. Care is provided by volunteer physicians and nurses, with support from volunteer administrative personnel.
With 13 physicians and three locations, Columbia Eye Clinic is the largest ophthalmology practice in the Midlands and one of the largest in South Carolina. Columbia Eye Clinic’s team of board-certified ophthalmologists has been providing adult and children’s eye care for more than 40 years. A full range of services are offered, including advanced laser vision correction, cataract surgery, glasses and contact lenses. Columbia Eye Clinic, together with Columbia Eye Surgery Center, offers the most up-to-date corrective and vision care surgery.