• How It Works

    • Potential patients fill out a short referral form on the EyeCare America website.
    • Eligible patients are matched to the nearest volunteer by ZIP code.
    • To keep referrals even among volunteers, patient referrals rotate to the next available ophthalmologist. You’ll see an average of two to four patients a year, a maximum of 15 per program per year. Program volunteer FAQs

    What You’ll Do

    You can volunteer for any or all of the following EyeCare America programs: 

    1. Seniors Program: Provide a comprehensive medical eye exam to an eligible senior (65+) and care for up to one year for any condition diagnosed during the initial exam.
      • You accept Medicare and/or other insurance reimbursement as payment in full.
      • With EyeCare America’s federal waiver, you can also waive co-payments and/or unmet deductibles.
      • The few patients without insurance receive this care at no charge.
    2. Glaucoma Program:Provide a one-time glaucoma eye exam at no cost to those who are eligible and uninsured. For those who are eligible and insured, you bill the normal office procedure and the patient covers any co-payments. You may initiate care, if deemed necessary. This awareness program provides a baseline glaucoma eye exam to those who are at increased risk, determined by their age, race and glaucoma history.
    3. Retina Re-referral Program: Provide care for Seniors Program patients who need retinal care that the original EyeCare America doctor could not provide.

    Enroll Today or email your questions to eyecareamerica@aao.org.

    Why Your Colleagues Volunteer

    Help us provide continued coverage: About 1,000 of our long-time volunteers are retiring, leaving shortages in their communities.

    • We all feel the need to give back. Being an EyeCare America volunteer helped me achieve my goal of helping those who need it right here in my community without having to cross oceans.” Oluwatosin U. Smith, MD
    • There are so many great things about EyeCare America! “To me, the greatest thing is to see the immense gratitude from the patient after an examination.  It is such a privilege to be an ophthalmologist, that whenever we are given the opportunity to help someone who would otherwise not receive care, we should take it. By eliminating some of the most significant barriers to care, EyeCare America helps us to protect sight.” Christie L. Morse, Chair, EyeCare America.
    • Providing care for those who slip through the cracks. "I truly appreciate providing access to the working poor, as well as creating awareness for those who actually have insurance but may never seek care otherwise.” John D. Sheppard, MD

    You could even save a life!

    EyeCare America receives hundreds of thank-you notes from grateful patients. Read two stories here:

    EyeCare America volunteer Michael R. Feilmeier, MD (Omaha, Neb.), likely saved an elderly man’s life when the patient complained of partial vision loss. During a comprehensive medical eye examination, Dr. Feilmeier detected troubling signs of a blood clot in one of David J. Hibler’s eyes. He immediately sent Mr. Hibler to his primary care physician for an ultrasound, which revealed a large clot obstructing 95 percent of his left carotid artery. “Had this condition not been quickly diagnosed and treated, this patient would have had a major stroke,” said Dr. Feilmeier.

    “My mom lost her sight from glaucoma and continued to remind me to get my eyes examined,” said Ms. Kleinstever (Los Angeles, Calif.). “I had limited medical insurance and tried for 6 months to get an eye exam. Finally, I felt so frustrated, I searched online for help and found EyeCare America. I received a letter from EyeCare America and saw Julie Song, MD, who diagnosed me with narrow angle glaucoma. She said I needed surgery right away. Dr. Song referred me to a physician who could provide the surgery. If I would not have seen an EyeCare America doctor, I may have lost my sight. I was so grateful to have found EyeCare America. Thank you.” 

    Become a Volunteer Today

    Program Support

    The Academy recognizes the following partners for their EyeCare America support

    • Knights Templar Eye Foundation Inc.
    • Alcon
    • Regeneron

    Contact EyeCare America

    eyecareamerica@aao.org

    877-887-6327 (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – Noon Pacific Time)

    Enroll Here