Since establishing the “Looking Out for Kids” charity, The Eye Institute of Salus University has provided vision care services and eyeglasses to thousands of children from the School District of Philadelphia, and in more recent years, our reach has expanded to include the Norristown, Abington, and Cheltenham School Districts.
For many years, we have had a strategic alliance with the School District of Philadelphia to provide vision care services to their students. Working closely with school nurses, The Eye Institute deploys vision care teams to schools to provide free vision screenings. For children who fail the vision screening, we work with schools nurses to schedule each student at one of The Eye Institute’s three locations for comprehensive vision care and eyeglasses. Each year, several hundred children are transported to The Eye Institute for the care they need.
What we were able to accomplish this past year using the dollars we raised in 2016 was quite impressive. Working collaboratively with The School District of Philadelphia nurses, we provided the following services to children in Philadelphia public schools during the 2016-2017 academic year:
- Vision screenings to 2719 children (794 children failed the screening due to poor vision)
- Comprehensive vision and ocular health examinations to 250 children by transporting the children to The Eye Institute’s pediatric service.
- Distributed over 400 pairs of eyeglasses to public school children.
For the third year in a row, we have worked with nurses in the Norristown Area School District (NASD) to provide in-school vision care services and eyeglasses to disadvantaged children within the district. During this academic year, more than 180 children have been examined in 11 schools and 296 pairs of eyeglasses have been dispensed.
For the second year, TEI has collaborated with the Abington and Cheltenham School Districts for vision care services. School nurses identified children who failed a vision screening and required follow-up care. A team from The Eye Institute, including an optometrist, ophthalmic technician and optometry interns performed comprehensive eye exams in the Salus University Mobile Vision Care Unit at schools in both districts. This year, more than 90 eye exams were performed, and 108 pairs of eyeglasses have been distributed.
Last year, the annual “Looking Out for Kids” benefit raised over $75,000 making it possible to continue offering this important program within our community. We look forward to continuing our work in the following academic years.
The “Looking Out for Kids” charity fund also provides vision care services and eyeglasses to uninsured children referred to The Eye Institute from the Philadelphia City Health Centers, Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc., and the Greater Philadelphia Asian Social Service Agency (GPASS).
Through our work and the generosity of our community partners, we can continue to help change the lives of children and provide them with the vision care that is necessary to ensure academic success.