TEI’s School Vision Program Continues to Make an Impact

McCloskey-NBC-(27).jpgFor many years, The Eye Institute (TEI) of Salus University’s School Vision Program has provided comprehensive vision care services to underserved, uninsured and underinsured students in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties using three different modalities.
Along with the School District of Philadelphia’s nurses, vision care teams from TEI provided state-mandated vision screenings for students, kindergarten to 12th grade. For those students who failed the vision screening, TEI made arrangements to transport the child, along with the school nurse and chaperone, to one of TEI’s clinical locations in Oak Lane, Chestnut Hill or East Falls to receive a comprehensive vision and eye health examination and two pairs of glasses - one for home and one for school if necessary. During the 2018-2019 academic year, TEI provided vision care services to more than 4,200 students in Philadelphia, conducted 240 comprehensive exams and dispensed over 400 pairs of glasses.
In the Norristown Area School District (NASD), TEI provided eye care through a school-based vision clinic. The school nurse initially screened the children and identified a space within the school where a full examination lane was set up, which enabled the optometrist, ophthalmic technician and optometric interns to conduct vision exams within the school. Using this model, TEI’s vision care team provided 132 comprehensive eye exams.
In Montgomery County TEI also provided eye care to children in Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Abington and Souderton school districts with the University’s Mobile Vision Care Unit. The mobile unit also known as the vision van included all the essential equipment needed to complete a comprehensive vision exam along with an optical area where the children chose and were fitted for glasses. Using the mobile unit, 149 eye exams were performed in these four districts.
School Vision Program InfographicThe Mobile Vision Care unit also made its way to Delaware County this year, where TEI’s team conducted eye exams for children in the William Penn, Chester-Upland school districts as well as Delaware County Charter School, which resulted in 278 eye exams.
Students who required a prescription through these school districts, were given two pairs of eyeglasses, one for school and one for home. Thanks to the School Vision Program, more than 1,350 pairs of glasses were dispensed to children in need during this academic year.
“Everyone benefits when we take care of our children”, said Dr. Brandy Scombordi, pediatric optometrist and coordinator for the School Vision Programs. “When a child can see properly at a distance and near, they perform better in school. Children who perform better in school are more successful in life and that leads to a better life for them and our community”.
Funding for the program comes from the University’s “Looking Out for Kids” (LOFK) initiative and charity fundraiser which initially launched in 2007. The charity funds all glasses provided to the students, along with transportation for the Philadelphia school children to TEI in addition to  the mobile unit/vision van. This year’s fundraiser will be held Saturday, November 2 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue Hotel. Donations can also be made any time of the year online.
Listen to our podcast with Dr. Scombordi.