Program Overview


The Vision Project (TVP) provides medically necessary eye care services and surgeries at no cost for uninsured, low-income patients. The program is an effort supported by a team of volunteer surgeons, nurses, anesthetists, and vendors willing to donate their time, expertise, equipment, and supplies.


TVP covers many medically necessary surgical procedures; however, certain procedures may not be available at the time of application.

  • Cataract Surgery
  • Corneal Surgery
  • Glaucoma Surgery
  • Corneal Collagen Crosslinking* (Our 2022 Corneal Crosslinking program through The Vision Project has reached capacity. We will begin reviewing new applications for Corneal Crosslinking cases through The Vision Project starting in 2023.)

In addition to the surgical procedures listed, medically necessary non-surgical treatments may be eligible, depending on the availability of funds. Applications for non-surgical treatments are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and approval is at the discretion of the Program Administrator and participating provider. We recommend applicants or their referring provider speak with the Program Administrator prior to applying.


Approved patients receive the following services at no cost:

  • A medical evaluation with an Ophthalmologist.
  • A pre-operative physical with a Physician’s Assistant.
  • The surgical procedure at Minnesota Eye Consultants.
  • Any post-operative medications (e.g., eye drops) required for the immediate healing period (not to exceed 30 days).
  • The post-operative visits related to the procedure for 6 months.

The patient is financially responsible for any medications and postoperative care required beyond the coverage period. We encourage patients to speak directly with their provider to confirm coverage before receiving any services.


The Vision Project operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. For consideration, the patient must:

  • Have a medical diagnosis causing a significant decrease in vision.
  • Live in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area or can arrange transportation to and from a Minnesota Eye Consultants’ office location. The Minnesota Eye Foundation does not provide transportation or financial assistance.
  • Not have insurance coverage to pay for the treatment or requested service. Patients eligible for Medicaid (Medical Assistance) or Medicare must apply for coverage prior to applying to The Vision Project.
  • Have annual household income of less than 200% of the current year’s Federal Poverty Guidelines.


The following documents are required (incomplete applications will be rejected):

  • A completed and signed patient application; incomplete applications will result in a delay.
  • A copy of one or more of the following documents showing proof of income for all employed or benefits-eligible individuals residing in the same household:
    • Two recent paycheck stubs or a letter from the employer stating average number of hours worked per pay period, wage, and pay frequency.
    • Social security, pension, or railroad retirement statements (SSA-1099 or similar).
    • Pages 1 & 2 of your previous year’s federal tax return (form 1040 or 1040EZ).
    • Wage and tax statements (W-2 forms).
  • A copy of the patient’s most recent eye exam summary (dated within the past twelve months).

Please allow 30 business days for processing. If approved, patients must attend an evaluation to determine the progression of their diagnosis and necessity of treatment. An approval does not guarantee treatment.