Hoover Family Foundation Provides Critical Funding for School of Optometry Community Outreach

Thursday, November 5, 2015

“The support received from the Hoover Family Foundation is so important to community we serve,” explains Dr. Julie Torbit, Director of the IUSOCO (IU School of Optometry Community Outreach) program.  Each year, thousands of Indiana residents find themselves either unemployed or in a job that does not provide health or vision benefits. The IUSOCO (IU School of Optometry Community Outreach) program aims to reduce the financial barriers to vision care services and materials that often keep uninsured and underinsured populations from receiving vision-saving treatment.  In order to serve that population, the IU School of Optometry partners with various funders.  “The Hoover Family Foundation is at the top of that list,” says Dr. Torbit.  “They have been very generous donors and we are extraordinarily grateful.”

In October 2015, the Hoover Family Foundation gave a grant of $10,000 to the IU School of Optometry to support the IUSOCO program.  The money will provide spectacle lenses and/or medically necessary contact lenses for more than 130 patients.  Patients will be seen via the IUSOCO program at the Indianapolis Eye Care Center (IECC), and are eligible for care because their income has been determined by IECC staff and faculty to be at our below 200% of Federal Poverty guidelines and they do not currently have Medicaid or medical benefits that cover eyeglass materials.  The program provides quality vision care through donated and sponsor-supported professional eye care, reduced cost eyewear, and related healthcare referrals to medical partners.  “The grant from the Hoover Family Foundation allows us to help more disadvantaged Indianapolis residents receive comprehensive eye exams and materials,” adds Dr. Torbit.

Founded in 1992, the main objective of the Hoover Family Foundation is to support non-profit organizations that foster the development of individual self-sufficiency. This intent is based on the community interest and volunteer involvement of the founders and major funders. They believed that private sector groups could help the growth of individuals through values-infused education and human service support activities. They felt that improving an individual’s capabilities and circumstances is possible at any age.  The foundation funds programs in the Hoover family locations of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Portland, Oregon.

“We’re glad to support the IUSOCO program,” says David Hoover of the Hoover Family Foundation.  “Rather than exiting the system when they realize they cannot afford glasses or corrective lenses, patients can remain connected to the program and the resources it makes available to them.  This is in direct alignment with the Foundation’s goal of increasing self-sufficiency and quality of life for individuals in the Indianapolis area.”