Oregon Lions partner with schools to bring high-tech vision screening to children

The Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation’s (OLSHF) Mobile Health Screening Program (MHSP) screened over 160,000 people statewide during its 2014-15 program year. Ninety-eight percent of those screened were elementary students at school based events. MHSP partners with Lions Clubs, schools districts and community organizations throughout the state to help children in need of vision screenings. From Nov. 2-5, 2015 Lion volunteers and MHSP staff will screen the vision of Hood River elementary school children.

The schedule runs as follows:

Nov. 2 — Mid Valley, 8:45-11:45 a.m.; Cascade Locks, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Nov. 3 — Westside, 8-11:30 a.m.; Parkdale, 12-3 p.m.

Nov. 4 — Hood River Middle School, 8:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.; Wy’east Middle School, 1-3 p.m.

Nov. 5 — May Street, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

MHSP is part of OLSHF’s 2020 Vision to have all Oregon school-aged children in kindergarten, first, third, and fifth graders screened annually for vision problems, an initiative that involves local Lions Clubs and community volunteers. Approximately 10 percent are referred for follow-up comprehensive exams. MHSP also makes referrals to our eight other sight and hearing assistance programs for access to low cost exams and eyeglasses such as the KEX Kids Fund.

Our SPOT photo screening devices have revolutionized the school-based screening process. The SPOT, an objective and accurate tool, eliminates various barriers in screening children’s vision. SPOT also removes the challenge of screening special needs students, pre-verbal children and non-English speaking students. MHSP screens a full class in approximately 10 minutes. Children stay in class, uninterrupted from learning. MHSP offers high quality, cost-effective screenings for students that school nurses now rely on.

School districts and their nurses around the state seek OLSHF’s help. Twenty-five percent of children have vision issues; of that number less than 10 percent have eyeglasses. Kids that don’t see well struggle to learn well and keep up with daily lessons. Currently, Oregon is ranked 49th nationally for its school nurse to student ratio.

MHSP also provides community event health screenings for sight, glaucoma, blood pressure and blood glucose (with three-hour fast) for adults. In the last two decades, more than 600,000 people in Oregon and Northern California have been screened, and because of it, over 165,000 health problems have been detected. MHSP is the only statewide health screening program of its kind in Oregon.

To see a full schedule of screenings, visit www.olshf.org/mobile-health-screening-progra. For more information, to volunteer or to schedule a screening in your community, please call Mara Steen, MHSP manager, at 503-413-7527 or by email, Mara@OLSHF.org.

About Lions Clubs International:

Lions Clubs International is a service organization with 1.35 million members in 46,000 clubs around the globe. Started in 1917, Lions Clubs aim to provide services to blind and visually impaired individuals, as well as provide other services and humanitarian projects for local communities. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit www.lions-clubs.org.



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