TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Health Services have created a voucher program to help more Cherokee citizens purchase new eyeglasses regardless of their age, income or health diagnosis.
The Eyeglass Program is designed to help Cherokees who have been examined by a Cherokee Nation Health Services optometry provider to purchase new eyewear with a $200 voucher beginning August 17.
Though an eyeglass program has been in place for more than a decade, it previously had more restrictions. The eligibility requirements have been updated so that more Cherokees will have the opportunity to get the eyewear they need to see more clearly.
“Cherokees, no matter their age, income or where they live should have access to quality prescription eyewear. Eyeglasses can be expensive, and Cherokees shouldn’t have to choose between seeing clearly and purchasing food or other emergency needs for their families,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “By opening this program to all Cherokees, we hope it will help ease some of the financial burden during these difficult times as our citizens continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.”
Cherokee Nation’s Eyeglass Program will provide an allowance of up to $200 toward a new pair of eyeglasses. Add-ons such as transitions, anti-glare and progressive lenses can be purchased by the participant if the cost exceeds the voucher amount.
Eligible participants must be Cherokee Nation citizens and must get their prescription and examination from an optometrist working in a Cherokee Nation Health Services facility.
“We are proud to announce this update to our eyeglass program, that provides Cherokees with greater access to care. This is, and has been, our mission from the beginning,” said Executive Director of Cherokee Nation Health Services Dr. R. Stephen Jones. “By removing obstacles, we are able to increase access and serve more communities. Better vision means better health and quality of life for this and future generations.”
The program is funded through revenue generated by Cherokee Nation Businesses. To receive an eyeglass voucher, make an appointment at any Cherokee Nation Health Services optometry department.
Since its inception, the Cherokee Nation’s Eyeglass Program has provided over 10,000 pairs of new eyeglasses to Cherokees each year.
For more information on the Eyeglass Program, visit health.cherokee.org.