DETROIT (WXYZ) — “Have my eyes checked for type 2 diabetes, prescription for new glasses cause its time and I'm so happy,” said Kathryn Anderson.
If seeing is believing, then Kathryn Anderson is a first-hand supporter of the vision that Malta Dental and Medical Clinicis creating.
WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis asked, “Why come here and why do you think it's such an assistance to the community?”
“Well, I was here volunteer, and they said they was gonna open up a clinic. I was like well I want to be the first,” said Anderson.
Anderson was Patient #1 on day one of this new free eye exam clinic on Woodward Avenue. Now open the fourth Tuesday of every month here inside the Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan's works of Mercy Center.
“And why is this important?” asked Lewis.
“Because it's important, not everybody is fortunate enough to have the resources to take care of their eyes,” said Dr. Joel Pelavin.
Dr. Joel Pelavin is the Ophthalmologist on site. He is retired now after about a 40-year career in private practice but spends his time using his expertise to help the people who need it most.
“Obviously, we know how important vision is for daily living and independence and it's a sad thing that many people have to go without seeing because they can't afford it,” said Dr. Pelavin.
So, what are your thoughts on how it's going?” asked Lewis.
“I’m very excited about it. I think it's going to be great. It’s going to serve a very useful need in the community, and I think it’s going to be very rewarding for me and the volunteers who are helping,” said volunteer Anthony Mrocko.
First-year Wayne State Medical student Anthony Mrocko is one of those volunteers. He's on the executive board of the medical clinic that runs upstairs and helped usher in the eye clinic. Now available to any area resident who makes $24,000 a year or less.
“I feel great, I mean just helping the community. Individuals who are either underinsured or not insured. I still think they deserve the opportunity to receive adequate health care that’s the mission at Malta and mission at Wayne State which is why I think this partnership is so organic,” said Mrocko.
Organic and as authentic as the heart and the feeling behind giving better sight.
“The dental clinic. We are open at least four days a week, the medical clinic at least once. We are just starting the eye clinic now,” said Thomas Larabell, President of Malta Dental and Medical Clinic.
“So, what does this mean to you, put heart and soul into this?” asked Lewis.
“For me, it's a culmination of a dream. I was running the soup kitchen for a while and I wanted to treat people in a broader way,” said Larabell.
Anything to say to people who walk by may be hesitant. What can you say to get them here?” asked Lewis.
“Just stop, if you’re curious and you wanna know just come on it they will open the door,” said Anderson. “They'll explain anything you want to know and it's for you that's why they are here.”
“You don't have to be afraid. You don't have to say I'm not good enough or I don't need it. You never know what you need until you ask for help. and they're right here on the corner,” said Anderson.
For more information: Malta Dental and Medical Clinic.