In 2018, Tzu Chi USA’s Las Vegas Chapter participated in Tzu Chi International Medical Association’s (TIMA) annual convention in Fresno, California. During this event, Las Vegas volunteers visited a Tzu Chi Vision Mobile Clinic and were deeply moved by what they saw.
Individuals and families across the United States may delay or forgo medical care due to affordability concerns, barriers in transportation, and limited resources. As a result, Tzu Chi USA’s Las Vegas team raised funds to purchase portable vision care equipment to support community health. In September 2019, the Las Vegas chapter held its first free vision outreach event at The Salvation Army Activity Center to serve people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Karen Hsueh’s team was invited to facilitate the activity, marking a new milestone for Tzu Chi USA’s Las Vegas service missions. During the vision outreach event, Las Vegas medical volunteers produced 21 pairs of eyeglasses, sending them back to Las Vegas within 48 hours after the event. In addition, the Las Vegas branch began pursuing opportunities to promote eye services in schools.
In February 2020, a three-person team from Las Vegas traveled to Fresno for further training on operating the Vision Mobile clinic. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, outreach activities were temporarily suspended.
In 2023, Tzu Chi USA’s Las Vegas team will launch its first Vision Mobile Clinic event on May 21. In June, the Las Vegas branch will begin its summer service, starting with services for veterans and students.
As a result of their ongoing missions, the Las Vegas Mobile Clinic successfully secured an agreement with the government to provide monthly services to schools in underserved communities starting in September. Looking ahead, Tzu Chi USA’s Las Vegas Chapter will continue contributing to community vision health and is committed to boosting access to medical care.