TLC Laser Eye Centers Take on Third-World Eye Care with Pujols Family Foundation
By Kristina Oneill on June 24, 2014
ST. LOUIS, JUNE 10 – The Pujols Family Foundation (PFF), founded by Albert and Deidre Pujols has joined forces with North America’s most experienced LASIK provider, TLC Laser Eye Centers®, to send a team of eye doctors with thousands of glasses and optometric equipment to treat and prevent eye diseases in the Dominican Republic.
The trip will take place January 2015 with 10 eye doctors and 10 support staff selected from across the United States and Canada. This international team of optometrists will distribute eyeglasses, perform eye exams and diagnose and treat eye diseases to as many as 1,000 impoverished Dominican Republicans.
The Dominican Republic is home to Pujols, who made his name playing professional baseball in the United States, first with the St. Louis Cardinals and currently with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Dominican Republic is among the poorest countries in the world with limited to no access to optometric care.
“If we don’t bring the doctor, they don’t see the doctor,” PFF CEO and Executive Director Todd Perry said.
Poor vision in an otherwise healthy individual can mean the difference between a life of poverty and one of opportunity in the Dominican Republic.
The 10 eye doctors and their support team will spend a week seeing and treating adults and children in need of primary eye care. During previous PFF medical trips, Dominican citizens walked for miles and waited for hours to take advantage of optometric care. The volunteer care providers stayed all day, making every effort to treat those who seek care. The PFF-TLC trip will be the largest of its kind, to date, in this part of the world.
“TLC is committed to changing people’s lives, whether that means providing high-quality LASIK to someone in the United States or Canada, or providing something as basic as eye drops and glasses to a child in the Dominican,” TLC CEO George Neal said. “We believe sight is precious, and that when vision is not limited, life is enhanced. As a North American leader in eye care, we feel a professional and moral obligation to help those in need of better vision.”
This trip is made possible through the PFF’s commitment to providing health care to the Dominican Republic, TLC’s 20-year-old relationship with affiliated eye doctors, and support from organizations including Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity International (VOSH). TLC is funding the project with substantial technical assistance from these non-profit partners.
About Pujols Family Foundation
The Pujols Family Foundation is an IRS recognized national 501(c)3 charity that provides extraordinary opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome, as well as extensive humanitarian efforts to the impoverished people of the Dominican Republic. The Foundation was established in 2005 by Major League Baseball Player, Albert Pujols, with his wife, Deidre, to honor their daughter who lives with Down syndrome and provide relief in Albert’s native country, the Dominican Republic. The Foundation’s mission has been built upon the three principles of Faith, Family and Others.
About TLC Laser Eye Centers®
TLC Laser Eye Centers is North America’s largest and most experienced provider of laser vision correction and related procedures. Surgeons at TLC have performed more than 2.2 million laser eye surgeries since TLC’s founding 20 years ago. To learn more or to find a U.S. or Canada center near you, visit www.tlcvision.com. To learn more about laser vision correction in general, visit www.LASIK.com.