Santa Barbara Vision Care Program

Santa Barbara County, CA Residents Make an Appointment Today

Free eye exams and eyeglasses are available for uninsured children and adults of all ages.

For more information or to schedule an appointment,
please contact us at the below information and
a program coordinator will be happy to help you. Se habla español.

Santa Barbara Vision Care Coordinator
SEE International
(805) 963-3303 |


SEE International has a deep commitment to helping low-income individuals in the Santa Barbara, CA area gain access to free eye care. Established in the 1980’s, the Santa Barbara Vision Care Program (SBVCP) provides uninsured local adults and children with free comprehensive eye exams, glasses, medicine, and essential eye surgeries for eye conditions such as cataracts and pterygium.

Eye clinics are held two to three days weekly and each day serves 10-15 uninsured individuals who would otherwise not have access to eye care. Through the generous efforts of participating doctors, we have increased the number of patients we serve from 1,247 in 2012 to over 1,800 in 2016.

The SBVCP also collaborates with the Shepard Eye Center in Santa Maria and the Kendall-Shepard Eye Center in Lompoc to serve residents in Santa Barbara North County.

We pride ourselves on our ability to serve some of the most vulnerable and underserved individuals locally and abroad. The Santa Barbara Vision Care Program addresses the issues of poverty and lack of healthcare for uninsured individuals in Santa Barbara County. People who cannot afford eye care are at great risk of vision impairment and eventual blindness.  The visually impaired, and their families, face many challenges: daily activities become difficult, prospects for employment are significantly lower, and a resulting lower economic productivity is often coupled with a loss of self-esteem.  For children, proper eyesight is essential to doing well in school.  Uneducated, sight-impaired children are likely to grow into uneducated, sight-impaired adults, and the cycle of economic hardship continues. SEE and the Santa Barbara Vision Care Program aim to break this cycle to empower adults and children with sight.


The SBVCP could not exist without our volunteer ophthalmologists and their staff. As well as many organizations and corporations that supply the SBVCP with in-kind donations, enabling patients to receive the glasses and medications they otherwise could not afford.

  • Karen Garrety, OD
  • Michael Young, OD
  • Michael Paveloff, MD, FACS –
    SBVCP Committee Chair
  • Robert Avery, MD
  • Kimberly Breckon, OD
  • Peter Brudner, OD
  • Stephen Bylsma, MD
  • Candy Chan, MD, PhD
  • James Franta, OD
  • Lauren Gonzalez, OD
  • Randall Goodman, MD
  • Doug Katsev, MD
  • Kenneth Kendall, OD
  • Bryant Lum, MD
  • Toni Meyers, MD
  • Tim Nelson, OD
  • Dante Pieramici, MD
  • Mark Sherman, MD
  • Mark Silverberg, MD
  • Pamela Thiene, MD
  • Melinda Thompson, OD
  • Stuart Winthrop, MD, FACS
  • Rami Zarnegar, MD
  • Steven Zelko, MD

A Life Transformed

Michael O'Connell

Michael O’Connell enjoyed his perfect health by playing sports and traveling the world before he suddenly went blind in his sleep one night. After losing his sight, Michael, a very self-reliant man, felt as though he had been reduced to a child-like state because it was nearly impossible for him to perform everyday tasks that are often taken for granted.

“Life without vision is a half-life. You have limited life options and you are constantly missing what you formerly had.”   -Michael, former SBVCP patient

Michael decided to grab ahold of his life and sought out SEE International for a corrective surgery that has given him back his sight. “Life without vision is a half-life. You have limited life options and you are constantly missing what you formerly had. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life. I am making the most of it now. I am eternally grateful to the good people of SEE International, The Sansum Clinic, Dr. Michael Paveloff, Dr. Primbs, Dr. Barry Mast. All of you gave me my life back. I will never forget it.” He is now finishing his college education and getting back into the rhythm of life with sight. These are the people and stories that perpetuate SEE International’s dedication to the Santa Barbara community.


Santa Barbara, CA

Each year the clinic holds at least two major events to serve the community. Primarily Veterans Day in November and Children’s Sight Week in December. Follow us on Facebook for updates!

Need an Appointment Now?

We see patients Wednesday – Friday every week.

Call 805-963-3303 today to schedule an appointment!

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