I was heartened to read your editorial last Sunday about improving access to glaucoma care (“Approve the glaucoma bill”). I began my social work career 30 years ago in the glaucoma clinic of a major Harvard teaching hospital downtown. I remember walking into the waiting room every day — a room overflowing with patients who were generally older and lower-income, many of them also people of color. Many looked downtrodden, as if they had experienced a few too many hardships in life. And now many were going blind.
I knew at that point that glaucoma was not just an issue of an eye disease, but one of social and economic justice. Life had been really unfair to this group of people. So that is why I applaud the Globe for publishing an editorial supporting a bill that would turn things around for a newer generation of glaucoma patients, opening up access to care, and hopefully re-establishing some social justice and equity in their lives.
The writer is an associate professor of social work at Salem State University and is a licensed independent clinical social worker.