TARPON SPRINGS — A Holiday optometrist is donating his time to provide free vision care at the Shepherd Center, an agency that provides services for the needy.
Dr. Ed Huggett, who operates the Huggett Vision Institute, has set up equipment at the Shepherd Center to perform complete eye exams and identify all possible diseases of the eye.
Huggett has been on staff at St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs for the past 20 years and has established access to many resources for donated eye care treatment and supplies.
The Lions Club of Tarpon Springs collects used prescription glasses, refurbishes them and provides them to Huggett. Their collection includes eye glasses for most standard prescriptions.
Huggett has a source for deeply discounted eyewear for special needs prescriptions and donors to sponsor purchase of these prescriptions. He participates in a program with JVC Vision Quest Lab of Orange City, which provides free eyeglasses to those under age 18. Free prescription medication for glaucoma is donated by Alcon Pharmaceuticals in Texas.
Huggett will be at the Shepherd Center on the second Monday of each month. Sandra Rogers of the Lions Club of Tarpon Springs will be on site every Thursday to prepare clients and schedule them for a full eye exam by Huggett.
Wanda Weber is thrilled to add vision care services to the existing free health care services that are already available at the center. The Pinellas County Mobile Health Unit is on site on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Susan Traylor, a nurse, is on site every Monday to provide blood pressure screenings, review of medical history, assistance with medications and referrals.
"Isn't it wonderful that now clients can come in to the center and have their medical vitals checked downstairs and then go upstairs to receive a complete eye exam," Weber said.