Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief (OFDR)

AOA Foundation extends helping hand to damaged practices

Aid is available to doctors who have experienced property damage to their home or business, including damages as a result of civil unrest. To apply for aid or to donate to the cause, visit aoafoundation.org/ofdr.

While the AOA closely follows news reports describing the damage that's been inflicted on businesses, including optometry practices, in several cities, Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation and Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief (OFDR) are lending a hand to doctors in need.

OFDR can provide support to doctors who have experienced property damage to their home or business, including damages as a result of civil unrest, so they can return to providing eye and vision care in their communities

To apply for aid or to make a donation to help those affected, visit aoafoundation.org/ofdr.

"Through involvement with OFDR, the family of optometry can again join together in united and immediate action to aid impacted doctors of optometry and the communities they serve," AOA President Barbara L. Horn, O.D., says. "It's long been a priority to deliver disaster relief support whenever and wherever it's needed by doctors of optometry, and that's the mission today."

Since 2005, OFDR has helped doctors through disasters such as fires, floods and hurricanes.

On edge

News reports from coast to coast detail the damages some optometric practices have suffered due to civil unrest, reaching from the Birmingham, AL practice of Juanakee Adams, O.D. to the family business of daughter Kimberly Haw, O.D., and her parents Eddy Haw, O.D., and Katherine Harano, O.D. They have practiced in the San Francisco Bay area for 30 years.

About 10:30 p.m., Sunday night, after putting her children to bed, Dr. Kimberly Haw's phone rang. The call was from her alarm system company. She jumped in her car and drove the 10 minutes to her family's San Leandro practice, one of four locations they operate in the Bay area.

Arriving there, she found neighbors fending off vandals, who had tried to break through the practice's front windows made of laminated glass. The hard-to-shatter glass and her neighbors, she believes, minimized the damage. She stayed until 2 a.m. Monday, after they boarded up the windows with plywood they had scrounged up.

"We ended up taking all of our inventory down, boarding it up and getting out of there," says Dr. Haw, who described the scene Sunday as scary. "I had never been in a situation like that before."

Dr. Haw says she is grateful for her neighbors and that damage to her property wasn't worse. The San Leandro location reopened Wednesday, but, as a precaution, they boarded up the windows at their other practices though they continue to see patients.

Still, she's eager to return to normal, for the sake of patients, staff and family.

"It's difficult with the blow of COVID-19 and having to shut your doors for at least two months, then coming back," Dr. Haw says. "And now this. How much more can you sustain?"

June 1, 2020

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