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Low-Income Minority Patients Will Benefit From $100,000 Grant Made to Marshall B. Ketchum University


Marshall B. Ketchum University has received a $100,000 grant from The Rose Hills Foundation for its University Eye Center at Los Angeles. The Rose Hills Foundation supports qualified tax-exempt charitable organizations for the benefit of the people of Southern California with special attention to organizations based in and serving the Los Angeles County.

UECLA is located south of downtown Los Angeles. The clinic’s primary service area covers 60 square miles, yet approximately 885,000 transients live in the area. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the majority of the population in this geographical area lives below the poverty line. “Beyond shelter and food, residents need access to quality medical care,” said Mark Nakano, O.D., Director, UECLA. “Comprehensive vision examinations will provide opportunities to diagnose and treat developing diseases before irreparable damage has been caused.”

In 2011, President Obama put into law the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, eye and vision care were not included for adults. “Grant funds from The Rose Hills Foundation will allow UECLA to reach out to those adversely affected by lack of vision or eye care. The Latino population, which comprises about 60% of the population surrounding the clinic, has the highest rate of diabetes in the U.S.,” stated University President, Kevin Alexander, O.D. Ph.D. “Uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes often times escalates into diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness. Grant support from The Rose Hills Foundation will give UECLA the ability to make a much needed, positive impact in an underserved area of our community.”

“UECLA is a clinical teaching facility of the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at MBKU. SCCO has been delivering excellent, affordable eye and vision care to the people of South Los Angeles since 1972,” said Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Julie Schornack, O.D., M.Ed. “The doctors and optometric interns of UECLA will be able to assist this high-need population with treatment and management of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, glaucoma, keratoconus and other eye and systemic conditions.”

“MBKU is committed to improving care by addressing social determinants of health that contribute to poverty and unequal access to health care,” said University President Kevin Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. “We are grateful to The Rose Hills Foundation for sharing with us in that commitment.”