February 10, 2010

Iowa National Guard "Sight for Soldiers" Program

Wolfe Eye Clinic physicians and staff are proud to announce participation in the Iowa National Guard "Sight for Soldiers" program.

Although the program officially launched in February 2010, Wolfe Eye Clinic began providing the service to Iowa National Guard soldiers on December 1st, 2009, shortly after being contacted regarding participation. To date, over 25 soldiers have been assisted in our offices across the state including Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, West Des Moines, Ames, Marshalltown and Fort Dodge.

The goal of the statewide program initiated by the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology is to provide discounted LASIK laser correction surgery to the 3500 Iowa National Guard soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between July and October 2010. It is estimated that more than 200 of the soldiers wear corrective lenses and will be candidates for LASIK surgery. Wearing contact lenses in these areas is impossible due to the "moon dust" type substance that permeates everything; and glasses are inherently dangerous in combat due to possible loss or breakage. There is no Guard benefit to provide this surgery and they are asking soldiers to try and have surgery completed by April 30th, 2010 to insure appropriate healing time prior to deployment.

"Allowing access to LASIK eye surgery for as many of these individuals as possible is our number one goal. They encounter dangerous situations which present very real eye-related safety and health concerns, all while providing an incredible service for their country. It is an honor to assist them in any way we can."
– Todd Gothard, MD.