A start-up that gives back to the local community

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Q: Most of my professional experience is in health care.  I am most interested in learning about innovative ways of delivering health care to consumers.  I do best in entrepreneurial environments.  However, sometimes it is hard to find roles in start-ups that truly believe in giving back to the community.  Where do I start looking for these employers?

A: Often start-ups are hatched and led by those who are passionate about a cause, an interest or a cure.  Yes, they are for-profit and that’s important in a venture-backed company, but many also believe in supporting the communities in which they work.

One example is 2020 On-site in Boston.  Recently 2020 On-site visited the John W. McCormack School in Dorchester.  The company provides state-of-the-art mobile eye care services to many corporate employees. However, they have demonstrated a commitment to providing the same level of care to young people at a number of middle and high schools.  At last count, 2020 On-site provides access to over 60,000 students in communities where more than 60% of the students are either on government insurance, or not insured at all.  That’s a lot of glasses!  On December 14, 2017, their mobile vision center rolled up to the McCormack School.  Over 30 students were given a comprehensive eye exam.  Some were thrilled to select glasses from the wide selection available within the mobile vision center.

Howard Bornstein, CEO of 2020 On-site, shared “I am deeply passionate about finding solutions to challenges that students face, and not being able to see your teacher’s writing in the front of the class can be an obstacle on the way to graduation. We look forward to continuing this work.”

Diana Carson, New Initiatives Coordinator at McCormack for Trinity Boston Foundation, praised 2020 On-site for their generosity but also for the way in which their team interacted with students.  “We had three team members from 2020 On-site who worked extremely well with our students.  We are grateful to 2020 Onsite, particularly for those students who may not have had vision coverage, as 2020 On-site picked up the cost for both the exams and the glasses.”  Carson said the students as “wide-eyed” when they entered the mobile vision bus, which she described as resembling “a fine boutique, with a whole wall lined with different frames.”  About 75% of the McCormack students required new prescription glasses.  Some students walked into the mobile vision center wearing older eye glasses that were in poor condition.  Others received their first pair of eye glasses.  Carson was excited that 2020 On-site was able to help “several voracious readers,” as well as a strong student who is active in both the astronomy and computer clubs.

There are start-ups who combine a passion for delivering high quality health care services to those who may not have access to such services. We are fortunate that the Boston area is home to quite a few of them, including 2020 On-site.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.