Dr. Ruth Shoge treating a patient at The Eye InstituteDuring the 2014-2015 academic year, The Eye Institute (TEI) of Salus University collaborated with school nurses from the School District of Philadelphia, the Norristown Area School District (NASD), and local area schools to provide comprehensive vision care services and eyeglasses to disadvantaged children throughout the Philadelphia area.

From early September through the beginning of June, The Eye Institute’s doctors and student interns conducted over 2,100 vision screenings to students in Philadelphia’s public schools. Over 850 children failed the vision screening. Approximately 300 of the students who failed their vision screenings were transported to one of The Eye Institute’s three locations and received comprehensive eye exams. When a prescription was given, each child received two pairs of glasses – one for home and one for school. Over 450 pairs of glasses were distributed to students who required a prescription.

“The Eye Institute’s school vision program is invaluable to public school students, their parents, teachers, and nurses,” said Margo Owen, nurse at Franklin S. Edmonds School in Philadelphia. “This program affords students the ability to obtain much needed vision care during school hours, provides transportation, and includes two pairs of glasses. It serves our valuable future assets very well.”

Nurse Patricia Niescier and student Andrew Miller from Cole Manor Elementary School.For the third consecutive year, The Eye Institute established a school-based vision clinic in the Norristown Area School District (NASD) that moved from school to school according to the district’s need. During this academic year, over 230 students were examined in five schools and approximately 416 pairs of glasses were dispensed.  “Our medically uninsured or underserved students have an opportunity that may level the playing field for them,” said Linda DiMartini, nurse at Whitehall Elementary School. “Thorough vision care and learning go hand in hand. I view this program as the conduit between a child and their basic eye care health.”

The Eye Institute is committed to providing vision care services to underserved children in local communities, and will continue to grow the program. “As the Certified School Nurse at Whitehall Elementary School, I get so excited when I see a student put their glasses on and can see so much better,” DiMartini said. “The difference to the child is palpable.”

Learn more about the Looking Out for Kids vision care initiative.