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August News Release - Passport 55 presents "Kids Eye Health"


NEWS RELEASE  -  August 5, 2015  -  Contact:  Betty S. Weemes,  787.5117

Did you know that nearly 80% of a child’s learning comes from their vision? Children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life; academically, socially, and athletically.  High quality eye care can break down these barriers and help enable your children and grandchildren to reach their highest potential.

Come join us on Thursday, August 20th at 10 a.m. in the Roby Adult Center Auditorium when John Hicks of the Greeneville Lions Club presents an informative session on Kids Eye Health. 


Photo:  John Hicks

The Lions of Tennessee have teamed up with the Department of Ophthalmology at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, committed to a goal of providing quality eye care for children statewide. From the beginning, an important part of this unique partnership has been the Tennessee Lions Eye Center Outreach Program, the “clinic without walls,” a program of free screening of young children in their own neighborhoods, with evaluation and follow-up by professionals at TLEC.

Trained Lions Club volunteers screen children from 12 months up to 72 months of age in their own neighborhoods at nursery schools, day care centers, kindergartens, Head Start and similar programs.  The purpose of the screening is to detect eye disorders that can lead to serious eye problems and/or blindness, at an early age when treatment is most effective.  The process is very non-invasive which makes it ideal for use with young children.

Lions use an instrument that detect a range of vision disorders, including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (misaligned eyes), anisometropia (unequal refractive power), media opacities (cataracts, etc.), myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (curved lens, light not sharp on the retina).  The instrument’s readings are attached to parent consent forms and sent to Vanderbilt for evaluation by physicians, after which results are transmitted to the parents.  Those screened who have potential eye problems are referred to ophthalmologists or optometrists in their area for a more detailed examination, and TLEC staff follows-up with parents to help ensure those children get care.

The free TLEC Outreach Program has received international recognition, and has been well-received by Tennessee communities from its beginning in June 1997.  This service project resulted in over 200,000 children being screened by Tennessee Lions through 2006, with 4.8% of those children being referred for further evaluation.

Passport 55 is a health-related, free program, open to the public as a community service.  It is presented the third Thursday of each month at Roby Adult Center, 203 College Street by Laughlin Memorial Hospital in partnership with the Center.

For additional information, contact the Laughlin Health Care Foundation at 787.5117.