placed here only to preload the colorbox scripts
Skip to Main Content

The Eye Institute’s Collaboration with Head Start Programs

For over 35 years, The Eye Institute (TEI) of Salus University has maintained a partnership with Head Start programs in the Philadelphia area.

Head Start, a federally-funded program, focuses on offering education, health, and social services to families with children aged three, four, and five. For TEI,  this has meant contributing to a variety of services, including primary eye care exams at Head Start centers and schools in the Philadelphia area. 

“These are typically students that have failed the initial school screening with the nurse. Each student receiving service will be given a pair of glasses along with the eye exam,” said Dr. Luis Trujillo, who has been conducting the eye exams since January of this year at TEI

Dr. Trujillo conducting an eye exam on a boyAccording to Dr. Elise Ciner, a pediatric doctor at TEI, eye exams have only been a part of the decades-long relationship with the Philadelphia prekindergarten Head Start program. “It includes participation in Health Care Advisory committees, attendance at nurses meetings, providing workshops, vision screenings and, most recently, comprehensive vision exams to children in need,” said Dr. Ciner. “In addition, Salus has engaged in research in collaboration with Head Start to empower communities and find the best methods to screen children through the Vision in Preschoolers Study as well as better understanding the relationship between Vision in Learning through the Vision in Preschoolers - Hyperopia in Preschoolers Study.”

The goal of the Head Start collaboration with TEI and Salus is to provide support to preschool-aged children in need of vision care, in the hopes that it may set them up for success in the future. “I think it helps to remove some of the burden from the household as it pertains to the student's eye care needs,” said Dr. Trujillo. “Most importantly, it can help to minimize any academic deficiencies that may arise due to poor vision in the young population.”

The goal for Drs. Trujillo and Ciner, and TEI’s is that this involvement will continue to provide much needed access to vision care for patients in need.  

“My hope is ultimately to see as many patients as we can (within the short period of time given) in order for them to receive whatever eye care is warranted,” said Dr. Trujillo