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A woman sits in the driver's seat of a van while a smiling man gives through the passenger door behind her.

Mobile Clinic Brings Essential Eye Care to Children in Rural New Mexico

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico’s (BCBSNM) donation of one vehicle will help thousands of children across the state.

In July 2023, BCBSNM donated a Ford E450 Chassis, complete with a custom body and interior, to New Mexico Lions Operation KidSight, a nonprofit that provides eye screenings to children in New Mexico. The vehicle was part of the Care Van mobile health clinic program before BCBSNM retired it in April 2023.

For many years, BCBSNM has collaborated with Operation KidSight to provide vision screenings in rural areas through BCBSNM’s Care Van program. Now the program will have a mobile clinic of its own.

Operation KidSight tests the vision of approximately 40,000 children every year. “If students can’t see, they can’t learn,” said program manager, Brenda Dunn. “This wonderful donation from BCBSNM allows us to have the very first mobile eye clinic service available to students in New Mexico.”

The mobile eye clinic will travel to schools across the state offering vision screenings during school hours and testing for potential vision concerns such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. Eventually, Operation KidSight hopes to travel with an optometrist who will offer eye exams and prescriptions.

“Without this donation, it would be another five years at least, before we could purchase a vehicle to provide these needed services,” said Dunn. “We can’t even begin to express our gratitude to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.”

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association