October 5, 2009
Contact: Laura Dyer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 516-827-6770, 516-236-5908) for Davis Vision, Jamie Arehart (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 267-350-7669) for PHMC

Davis Vision & PHMC Partner on October 7 for International World Sight Day

PHILADELPHIA – On October 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., national vision insurer Davis Vision, a Highmark Company, partners with Public Health Management Corporation’s (PHMC) Mary Howard Health Center to provide Philadelphia’s homeless women with free vision care in recognition of World Sight Day. Mary Howard Health Center is the City's only comprehensive primary care health center exclusively for homeless adults.

A day of awareness held annually, World Sight Day brings attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. This year’s theme: “Gender and Eye Health: Equal Access to Care” focuses on the disparities of eye care by gender – women and girls account for nearly two thirds of blind people worldwide. “By evaluating the vision and eye health of women, we can initiate care for those in need immediately, helping to correct or prevent conditions that might negatively affect their vision, general health or educational abilities,” said Laura Dyer, Davis Vision's assistant vice president of community outreach and media relations.

Through Davis Vision, Mary Howard Health Center offers free vision care including glasses and contacts to all of Philadelphia’s homeless population one Friday per month. Since the partnership began in November 2008, 83 people have been served. Elaine Fox, PHMC’s vice president of specialized health services who oversees the Mary Howard Health Center said, “Many of our patients have lived on the street or in shelters for many years and have many serious health conditions such as uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes that affect their vision.”

The partnership between Davis Vision and Mary Howard Health Center has been a successful one, serving one of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged populations. “Our free vision care days are booked solid each week,” Fox said. “Vision services are invaluable for restoring health to people in need. Additionally, for many homeless people, receiving eyeglasses at Mary Howard represents the first time they can actually see clearly.”


About Davis Vision
Davis Vision is part of the HVHC Inc. group of companies, which also includes Viva International Group and Eye Care Centers of America. Davis Vision, one of the nation's premier managed vision care companies, has been providing comprehensive vision benefits for nearly 45 years and ranks among the nation’s largest managed vision care companies.

About Mary Howard Health Center
Mary Howard Health Center is the only comprehensive primary care health center in Philadelphia exclusively for homeless people. A program of Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Mary Howard is based on the premise that all-inclusive, continuous health care for homeless people is achievable. Services include primary care, psychiatric services, family planning, assistance with benefits, physical exams and now free vision care. The center also partners with PHMC’s Health Care for the Homeless project and many other area providers to address the health and social services needs of the region’s homeless population.