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Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada announces the 2021 Eye Van Tour

Toronto, ON, August 12, 2021 – After being sidelined for the first time in 48 years in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit (Eye Van) is heading back on the road, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) announces today.

The Eye Van is a medical mobile eye care clinic on wheels that delivers eye care in remote communities where ophthalmology services are not available. This year’s tour will run for 12 weeks, commencing on August 23 and ending on November 5.

To ensure the health and safety of patients and ophthalmologists during the COVID-19 pandemic, Eye Van 2021 will stop in fewer towns this year. The Eye Van will instead travel to 10 different communities – or hubs – across Northern Ontario. This hub-based model means patients from surrounding communities can travel to one of the towns where the Eye Van is providing a clinic.

“We are thrilled to be back and delivering patient care in the West and East areas of Northern Ontario,” said Lisa O’Bonsawin, the General Manager of the Medical Mobile Eye Care Program. “While we wish we could travel to as many towns as we have in the past, we are pleased to still be able to offer this hub-based option for the patients who rely on Eye Van to help maintain their eye health.”

In the Eye Van, ophthalmologists conduct vision exams, treat eye conditions, perform minor surgeries, and offer much-needed medical advice and information about eye health. Nearly 90 per cent of the patients screened on the Eye Van are monitored for eye conditions that could lead to blindness, if left untreated.

“This is a critical service for thousands of people in rural and remote communities,” O’Bonsawin said. “Our dedicated Eye Van team and ophthalmologists have worked tirelessly in collaboration to make this year’s tour possible – with many choosing to temporarily leave their own practices to go on the road to provide this service and care.

“Their unwavering passion to provide patient-centred care makes a world of difference for the people we see in the Eye Van.”

Eye Van appointments are by referral and are booked in advance. Patients should see their family doctor, optometrist, or nurse practitioner to be referred for an appointment. For more information about the Eye Van, including its 2021 tour schedule, please contact Lisa O’Bonsawin at 1-888-675-2468 ext. 5446.

About Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada

Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada is a provincially funded, accredited health care organization staffed by a passionate team of certified professionals. The organization provides professional, high-quality and sustainable rehabilitation to Canadians with vision loss now and into the future. Learn more at visionlossrehab.ca.

About Eye Van

​The Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit, known as the Eye Van, is a unique health service in partnership with the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (Ontario's Ophthalmologists), a section of the Ontario Medical Association, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The program was established in 1972.

The Eye Van is a fully equipped, medical mobile eye-care clinic on wheels that travels more than 6,000 kilometres annually to provide service in Northern Ontario. With a commitment from more than 25 ophthalmologists, the Eye Van serves 4,500 patients.

Media Contact

Alison Byczok, Director, Marketing & Communications
alison.byczok@cnib.ca
(416) 272-0464

Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit, Eye Van 2021 Tour Schedule

The Eye Van is a fully equipped mobile eye care unit, providing critical medical eye care to remote areas of Northern Ontario, where these types of services are not typically available.

Eye Van appointments are by referral and are booked in advance. Please contact your family doctor, optometrist or nurse practitioner to obtain a referral. If you require more information, please contact Lisa O'Bonsawin, General Manager of the Eye Van Program at 1-888-675-2468 X5446.

Town

Cochrane, Englehart & Iroquois Falls Lady Minto Hospital, 241 Eighth St - Aug 23-27

Kapuskasing & Smooth Rock Falls Centre de santé communautaire de Kapuskasing et région 27 Kolb Av - Aug 30-Sep 10

Hearst & Hornepayne Notre Dame Hospital, 1405 Edward St - Sep 13-17

Longlac & Geraldton NorWest Community Health Centre, 99 Skinner Av - Sep 20-24

Red Lake, Ear Falls, Pickle Lake, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Kenora & Ignace Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital, 51 Hwy 105 - Sep 27-Oct 1

Atikokan, Fort Frances & Rainy River Family Health Team, 101 Zuke Rd - Oct 4-8

Manitouwadge, Schreiber/Terrace Bay & Nipigon General Hospital, 1 Health Care Cres - Oct 12-15

Wawa, White River & Dubreuilville Lady Dunn Health Centre, 17 Government Rd - Oct 18-22

Chapleau Medical Centre/FHT, 2 Broomhead Rd - Oct 25-29

Little Current, Gore Bay, Mindemoya & Wikwemikong Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177, 15 Vankoughnet St E - Nov 1-5