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Operation Sight: Chippewa Valley Ophthalmologists Give Big for the Holidays

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Coat drives, toy donations – many give what they can for the holidays. This season, Chippewa Valley ophthalmologists are giving the gift of sight to several patients in need.
Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic (CVEC) has partnered with The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic in Eau Claire to provide eye care to those in need in our community. For several years, CVEC doctors and staff have volunteered their time at the Free Clinic and given eye exams free of charge. Now they are able to perform several cataract surgeries.

Ernesto Geroy and his wife, Jocelyn moved to the United States from the Philippines. They were both greatly in need of cataract removal, but had not been able to receive surgery because they could not afford the medical care.

Dr. Lee Hofer, Ophthalmologist at CVEC and volunteer at the Free Clinic, reached out to surgeons and facilities willing to meet this need. Dr. Hofer’s partners at CVEC, Dr. Thomas Harvey and Dr. Heidi Jarecki, both graciously agreed to perform the operations, as well as Dr. Terry McCanna in Chippewa Falls.

“The goal in providing eye care at the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic is to offer examination, treatment, and care for any person in need, free of the usual financial obligation,” Dr. Hofer says.
“Through the combined generosity of CVEC surgeons, the Independent Surgery Center in Hallie, and Oakleaf Surgical Hospital in Altoona, we are now able to fulfill our commitment by providing some of the surgical services commonly needed in eye care.”

Now Ernesto, Jocelyn, and several other Free Clinic patients are able to undergo surgery and regain their sight.

“Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic has a long tradition of helping those with fewer resources,” says Dr. Harvey. “We believe this gift of sight restoration will allow great contributions by these patients in the future and we are pleased to make this happen for them.”

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From left to right: Dr. Thomas Harvey, Ernesto Geroy, Jocelyn Geroy, and Dr. Lee Hofer


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Each year, more than 40 thousand athletes suffer from an eye injury. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable with protective eyewear, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

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