DETROIT (WXYZ) — “Getting my eyes checked for type 2 diabetes, getting new glasses prescribed is cause for 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 Malta Medical and Dental Clinic is creating.
WXYZ’s Glenda Lewis asked, “Why come here and why do you think it’s such a help to the community?”
“Well, I was here volunteering, and they said they were going to open a clinic. I was like, well I want to be the first,” Anderson said.
Anderson was patient No. 1 on the first day of this new free eye exam clinic on Woodward Avenue. Now open the fourth Tuesday of each month here inside the Mercy Center works of the Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.
“And why is it important?” Lewis asked.
“Because it’s important, not everyone is blessed with the resources to take care of their eyes,” said Dr. Joel Pelavin.
Dr. Joel Pelavin is the on-site ophthalmologist. He is now retired after a career spanning around 40 years in private practice, but devotes his time to using his expertise to help those who need it most.
“Obviously we know how important sight is to daily life and independence and it’s a sad thing that a lot of people have to starve themselves because they can’t afford it,” said Dr. Pelavin.
So what do you think of how it’s going? Lewis asked.
“I’m very excited about it. I think it’s gonna be awesome. This is going to fill a very useful need in the community, and I think it will be very rewarding for me and the volunteers helping out,” said volunteer Anthony Mrocko.
Anthony Mrocko, a freshman at Wayne State Medical, is one such volunteer. He is on the board of the medical clinic upstairs and helped open the eye clinic. Now available to any area resident earning $24,000 per year or less.
“I feel good, I mean just helping the community. Underinsured or uninsured persons. I still think they deserve the opportunity to receive adequate health care, that’s the mission in Malta and the mission in Wayne State, which is why I think this partnership is so organic,” Mrocko said.
Organic and as authentic as the heart and feeling behind a better view.
“The dental clinic. We are open at least four days a week, the medical clinic at least once. We have only just started the eye clinic,” said Thomas Larabell, President of Malta Dental and Medical Clinic.
“So what does this mean to you, do you put your heart and soul into this?” Lewis asked.
“For me, this is the culmination of a dream. I was running the soup kitchen for a while and wanted to treat people more broadly,” Larabell said.
Everything to say to passers-by can be hesitant. What can you say to bring them here? Lewis asked.
“Stop, if you’re curious and want to know, go ahead, they’ll open the door,” Anderson said. “They’ll explain everything you want to know and that’s why they’re here for you.”
“You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to say I’m not good enough or that I don’t need it. You never know what you need until you ask for help. and they’re right here around the corner,” Anderson said.
For more information: Malta Medical and Dental Clinic.