Beacon of Hope Vision Screening

Beacon of Hope Vision ScreeningMarch 30, 2017

Atlanta Lions were busy this morning vision screening preschool children at the Beacon of Hope Renaissance Learning Center in the Old Fourth Ward. Lions Gary Martin, Jotham Reubel, Carolyn Pace and Wes Gifford screened 102 children from two to six years old using three PlusOptix screening devices.  Of the 102 children screened 24 (or 23.5%) will require a full eye examination by a professional eye care specialist.  This screening is the fourth year the Atlanta Lions Club have provided vision screening services for the BOH preschool.  Over the four years of screening at BOH the club has found a significantly higher than normal referral rate for children requiring a full eye examination.  Typically, national referral rates for preschool age children range between 8-11%.  For BOH screenings the referral rates have been between 20-25%.  Like many of the other low income urban schools where the Atlanta Lions screen the club is finding a disproportionate number of children who are requiring eye health services.  In the case of BOH almost all of the children screened were African American and Hispanic descent.  The Atlanta Lions Club believes eye health is a major issue for certain low income preschool and school age children within the City of Atlanta.  Children who will be referred to an eye care specialist by the BOH preschool may qualify to receive a voucher for a free eye examination and eyeglasses under the VSP Sight for Students voucher program.


Atlanta Lions Have a Busy Week

Atlanta Lions Cleaning & Sorting Recycled Eyewear @ Ga Lions Lighthouse

Atlanta Lions Cleaning & Sorting Recycled Eyewear @ Ga Lions Lighthouse

March 11, 2017

Members of the Atlanta Lions Club together with volunteers from Hands on Atlanta helped clean and sort recycled eyewear and prepare boxes for shipment for the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation’s Eyewear Recycling Program.  Volunteers enjoyed fellowship, conversation and community service and then some culinary treats at Chamblee’s new Hopstix Brewery.  In 2016 this recycled program provided 21,396 perscription eyeglasses to 16 countries on 51 medical missions.  In fact, since 2013 this program has provided over 130,700 recycled eyeglasses to impoverished nations.  In keeping the club’s long history of innovation and leadership, Atlanta Lion Al Coxe began a pilot program with the Georgia Department of Corrections where inmates receive used readers from the Lighthouse inventory.  So far, Al has delivered 750 readers but the corrections system greatly needs more, perhaps up to 16,000 glasses per year, so keep on donating to the Lighthouse. 

March 9, 2017

Earlier in the week Commander Derek Ehrhardt, Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service spoke to members of the Atlanta Lions Club during their luncheon.   Derek currently serves as the lead for the Eastern Mediterranean Region Polio Eradication Team in the Global Immunization Division and has been with CDC since 2006.  During his work at CDC he has deployed on over 40 missions to 10 countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, and Jordan while working on polio eradication.   Prior to joining the CDC CDR Ehrhardt was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and lead in the building of emergency departments in West Bank and Gaza from 2002 – 2005.

rotary-polio_0Derek spoke to the Atlanta Lions about the CDC’s immunization effort to eradicate polio and rubella (measles) worldwide. Through partnership with the Red Cross he described the challenges of negotiating and administering immunization programs in countries controlled by ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Shabab, and Boko Haram.  After many years Polio only remained in Pakistan and Afghanistan until the more recent outbreaks in Syria and Iraq adding to his responsibility.  Derek noted some the recent spotlight on immunization and the impact it has had in the field.  He noted the methods used to find Osama bin Laden and how deadly this was to fellow healthcare workers.  The Club is very grateful to have fellow Lions who work at the CDC and serve the world for public health initiatives.