Area lawmakers support funding for Saginaw County’s Special Needs Vision Clinic

LANSING, Mich. — State Sens. Kevin Daley and Ken Horn recently supported a fiscal year 2021 budget plan that included funding for the Special Needs Vision Clinic located in Saginaw County.

The Special Needs Vision Clinic has been in operation for nearly four decades and is the only one of its kind in Michigan. The clinic operates as a nonprofit vision clinic and is specifically dedicated to the care of developmentally disabled and handicapped patients. The clinic has served thousands since its inception in 1982 and continues to reach 700-900 patients each year.

The staff also travel to lesser served areas to provide care to individuals who are unable to travel or do not have the means to attend the clinic in Saginaw.

“The staff at the clinic possess an extreme dedication to helping meet the needs of their patients,” said Daley, R-Lum. “They provide vital services to patients in the Great Lakes Bay Region and throughout the state. This funding ensures that this deserving population can continue to receive appropriate care that meets their unique needs.”

Daley and Horn, along with other lawmakers, worked with the Special Needs Vision Clinic to include $100,000 in funding that would allow the clinic to continue providing optometric services to Michigan’s developmentally disabled and handicapped population.

“I had an opportunity to tour the clinic along with Sen. Daley in 2019 and the commitment these folks have to their patients is nothing short of amazing,” Horn said. “The unique, personalized care they provide at the clinic is beyond admirable and I was happy to work with Dr. Kowalski to ensure this much-deserved funding was included in the budget. I’d also like to thank Sen. Daley for his lead on this legislation.”

Daley said the idea was brought to his attention by the Bay City Lion’s Club, which organized a tour and an opportunity for the senator to meet with the director of the clinic.

“I’m still on cloud nine about this funding being secured for the clinic,” said Special Needs Vision Clinic Director Dolores Kowalski. “I appreciate the hard work and support from our legislators in Lansing — this funding will allow us to continue to provide essential services to this most-deserving population.”

The budget, including funding for the clinic, was signed into law and finalized by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ahead of the Oct. 1 start to the new fiscal year.

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