Established in 1975 by an anonymous donor, UMEC is a community outreach program of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute. UMEC and its staff of ophthalmologists, ophthalmology residents, technicians, and volunteers make visits to hundreds of Southern California community locations annually to deliver free vision care to medically underserved communities.
Ophthalmologists perform basic eye examinations and eye health screenings to determine the need for eyeglasses and to rule out the need for further treatment of any eye condition or disease. All services, including eyeglasses, are provided free of charge.
Who We Serve
Medically under-resourced and vulnerable communities of Los Angeles County — locations include schools, free clinics, and social services agencies serving children of all ages, families, and individuals experiencing housing insecurities.
Mission and Goals
To preserve and restore vision through global programs in innovative research, quality patient care, and multidisciplinary, integrative education, all with community outreach. UMEC helps provide high-quality vision care at no cost to individuals in underserved communities, who lack access to healthcare because of financial, cultural, and language barriers.
UMEC has been in operation for over 40 years and is the longest continuously operating eye clinic on wheels in the nation. UMEC has given high quality vision care to over 400,000 patients in neighborhoods where poverty and vision disabilities intersect and has a long history of working closely with homeless, uninsured, and low-income communities.