Building on the successful Vision of Hope program, which launched initially with grants from the State of Illinois and the Washington Square Health Foundation, the Vision of Hope Health Alliance is a network of partnering agencies that identifies uninsured people in need of primary eye care and refers them to the Illinois Eye Institute. Through gifts and grants from philanthropic sources and an in-kind commitment from the IEI, people who qualify for the VOHHA program receive–at no out-of–pocket cost–examinations, health education, follow-up care/testing, diagnosis/treatment of eye disease, glasses, and other medically necessary materials. These individuals are treated with the same respect and attention provided to all IEI patients. The IEI then links those in need of medical services to partnering Federally Qualified Health Centers who accept VOHHA patients for primary health care.

Established in 2005 with start-up funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the VOHHA has served more than 6,000 uninsured adults and provided eyewear to more than 85 percent of them at no charge. A majority of patients visit VOHHA partner sites when vision is already compromised by systemic health issues such as diabetes and hypertension. VOHHA helps coordinate the treatment and management of both ocular and systemic health disease, and includes a referral program to connect patients to primary healthcare providers if necessary. Through collaborative support and program expansion funding, the VOHHA has grown to represent a unique model of health care delivery.

VOHHA partners
Access Community Health Network
Alivio Medical Center
American Indian Health Service of Chicago
Chicago Family Health Center
Chicago Uptown Ministry
Chinese American Service League
Circle Family Care
Haymarket Center
Heartland Health Outreach
Inner Voice
Interfaith House
Renaissance Collaborative
Salvation Army
Teen Challenge
Vision House, Inc.
Lawson House YMCA

The Washington Square Health Foundation has generously supported the VOHHA program and helped to secure matching funds through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Local Initiative Funding Partners Program. Other funding partners include:

Alcon Laboratories
Bowman C. Lingle Trust
Essilor of America
Field Foundation of Illinois
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
Michael Reese Health Trust
VNA Foundation
W.P. & H.B. White Foundation

The VOHHA also welcomes support from individual donors.