What is the Donor Docs Program?

Prevent Blindness North Carolina is a nonprofit that works to screen the vision of children and adults using evidence-based methods and connect them to appropriate diagnosis and treatment when vision problems are suspected. The screening services we provide will be ineffective if people are unable to access follow-up care. PBNC created the Donor Doc’s program to help meet that need.

We ask Doctors across the state to:

  1. Offer in-kind eye exams and glasses, if possible, for a few children or adults referred from PBNC screening in your community
  2. Read retinal screening images remotely (via Citrix Sharefile) following PBNC adult screening events

If you'd like to become a "Donor Doc" today, please fill out this short online form to register.

In-Kind Eye Exams and Glasses

PBNC’s Donor Docs program is available to children screened in the school systems and adults screened either by PBNC or trained individuals at partner agencies. It is designed to provide vision care vouchers to those North Carolinians that are most in need: low-income uninsured and/or undocumented children and adults. Many patients are unable to speak English or do not have a social security number making it even more difficult to navigate the medical system. 

All donor doc assignments are sent to both the doctor and the recipient. If the recipient is a child, the assignment is emailed to their school nurse. If the recipient is an adult, their doctor assignment is mailed to them at the address they provided on their application. Doctors receive the assignments via the email address provided on their donation form.

PBNC makes an effort to match recipients to doctors in or as close to their area as possible. However, this is dependent upon doctors in their area donating. Assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. This program runs from August 1st – July 31st, meaning more donations are available earlier in the school year than towards the end.

PBNC Donor Docs Services:

• Eye exam performed by a participating eye doctor in the Donor Docs Program.

• In some cases, glasses (not contacts), if prescribed.

• Specified services, as indicated by the volunteer physician, will be provided at no cost to the patient.

Retinal Image Readings

As Prevent Blindness NC continues to expand free retinal screening services at partner community health centers, free clinics, and the North Carolina State Fair we also need more doctors to read images using our innovative telemedicine model. The doctor will receive images via encrypted email (HIPAA compliant) along with a corresponding spreadsheet for results. The doctor can mark the patient as a Pass, Refer or Unreadable. If the patient needs to be referred the doctor will include a brief explanation of why the patient should be referred.

Patient Eligibility Criteria

  • Total gross annual household income from all sources is no more than 250% of federal poverty level (see chart below).
  • Patient is not enrolled in Medicaid or Health Choice (for children) and is not covered by any other policy that includes vision coverage (whole or partial).
  • Patient has not used the Donor Docs Program during the past 12 months.
  • Patient does not qualify for the VSP Voucher Programs.
     

Success Stories

Guilford County

When a young student moved here after living with her Mom in Virginia, she had not had vision care in quite a while.  Her teacher requested a vision screening by the school nurse because she was observed squinting and couldn’t see the board.  The vision screening results indicated a possible vision problem and the girl was referred to a doctor for a complete eye exam.  She did not have insurance to cover the eye exam costs.  After applying for a PBNC voucher, the student was able to obtain an eye exam through PBNC’s Donor Docs program.  She was given glasses within a month of being identified and now has better social skills and is doing better academically! 

New Hanover County

Two students who were born in US to undocumented parents no longer had glasses because their families did not have insurance or other means to secure an exam or replace their glasses. Through PBNC’s Donor Docs program, both students were able to receive an eye exam and glasses.  Each student showed significant improvements in their grades after their glasses were replaced. One of the students even greatly reduced how frequently he visited the nurse’s office for odd complaints because he was no longer having as much difficulty in the classroom!

Doctor Recognition

PBNC would like to thank the following doctors for donating to the program in the 2019-2020 year:

  • Dr. Tammy Hawks – Charlotte Optometric Eye Clinic
  • Dr. Tim Jameson – Town Center Vision Optometrists, PA
  • Dr. Donald R. Bergsma Jr – Eye Associates of Rowan
  • Dr. May Naji - Carolina Eye Clinic
  • Dr. James Kernodle - Nova Eye Care
  • Dr. Cory Partlow - Black Mountain Family Eye Care
  • Dr. Tamara Williams - Carolina Optometric Eye Center
  • Dr. Jon Lutz - Wendell Eye Care and Office Park Eye Center
  • Dr. David Harper - Cabarrus Eye Center
  • Dr. Cynthia Rohm - Eye Care Center
  • Dr. Kenneth Bonfield - Morganton Eye Physicians
  • Dr. Philip Kath - Morganton Eye Physicians
  • Dr. William Porfilio - Alamance Eye Center
  • Dr. Cathy Doty - Special Eyes Pediatric Vision Clinic
  • Dr. Douglas Hauschild - Weaverville Eye Associates
  • Dr. Kiarash Bassiri - Fusion Eye Care
  • Dr. C. Rick Gillian - Triad Eye Associates
  • Dr. Peggy Wike - Optometric Eye Clinic
  • Dr. Timothy Saunders - Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Associates
  • Dr. William O. Young - Pediatric Ophthalmology Associates
  • Dr. Eugene E. Benfield - Patty Vision Center
  • Dr. Karen Jones - F.Y. Eye Care Associates
  • Dr. Carlyle D. Haywood Jr. - Dr. Haywood OD
  • Dr. Stephanie Cartwright - Family Vision Care
  • Dr. Robert C. Monson - Vision Center of Lake Norman
  • Dr. Melanie Kiser - Kiser Eye Care
  • Dr. Erika Brown - My Eye Dr
  • Dr. Sarah Barts - Summerfield Family Eye Care
  • Dr. LaSheta P. David - Invision Family Eyecare
  • Dr. Richard Mackowsky - Richard Mackowsky, OD, PA
  • Dr. Nicholas Reid - Reid Family Eye Care

Sign Me Up!

We're excited you want to help in our mission to prevent blindness and preserve sight.

Please fill out this short online form to register.

Thank you!