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Eye Mobile to provide vision screening at the Fair

The Kirby Puckett Eye Mobile will be at the Pierce County Fair Thursday, Aug. 7. (Submitted photo)

Phillips Eye Institute, part of Allina Health, will bring its Kirby Puckett Eye Mobile to Ellsworth for the Pierce County Fair.

Free vision screening for kids and adults will be provided on Thursday, Aug. 7, from noon to 6 p.m.

The Eye Mobile is the first and only mobile eye clinic in the region. With two fully-equipped exam rooms on board, it’s like an eye doctor’s office on wheels. It is owned, operated and staffed by Phillips Eye Institute.

"Poor vision is a roadblock to student learning. It also affects quality of life, threatens the ability to live independently and contributes to costly and life-changing falls in the elderly," said Dan Conrad, MD, president of the institute.

"Many people do not have access to good vision care because of cost, lack of transportation or other challenges. By providing free vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams to those in need, the Kirby Puckett Eye Mobile can help address all of these problems," Conrad said.

The Eye Mobile will help Allina improve access to vision care across the region:

--Visiting communities to provide free vision screening for children and adults, along with eye health information and referral as needed to local eye care resources;

--Partnering with community organizations, schools and health care providers to serve those with unmet vision care needs;

--Providing onsite follow-up services at Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools for children who are referred through Phillips Eye Institute’s Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E.) Program, which provides free vision screening in these schools.

The Eye Mobile is an extension of the institute's Kirby Puckett Education Center, which was established in 2008 to provide the community with eye health information and resources. Puckett, who died in 2006, was a center fielder with the Minnesota Twins until his major league career was cut short by vision loss.

The Eye Mobile was made possible through the Phillips Eye Institute Foundation’s $10 million campaign, investing in sight, changing lives and in partnership with the All-Star Game Legacy Giving, Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins, the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation. Their generous support helped to purchase and equip the vehicle.

Additional support is needed to fund the ongoing operations of the Eye Mobile. Donations can be made online at