By Jim Donovan: Uninsured and underinsured children can receive free eye screenings and, if needed, two free pairs of eyeglasses at “Give Kids Sight Day” on Saturday, April 12th, 2014. The event will take place at the Hamilton Building at Thomas Jefferson University located at 10th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia.
All children, 18 and under, will be examined on a first come, first served basis from 8:30am until 2:00pm. No insurance or appointments are necessary. Children from Philadelphia and the suburbs who have failed an eye screening at school or have not had their eyes examined in the last year are strongly urged to attend.
Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), Wills Eye Hospital, Eagles Youth Partnership, Thomas Jefferson University, Visionworks and the First Hospital Foundation are teaming up for the fifth annual event.
“Too many children in our area are dealing with eye problems that are going untreated,” said Alex V. Levin, MD, MHSc, Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics at Wills Eye Hospital. “This affects their ability to learn. Through Give Kids Sight Day, we are able to give these children the vision care they need to improve their chances of succeeding in the classroom.”
After a comprehensive screening and exam from area eye doctors who are volunteering their time for the event, Visionworks will provide two free pairs of eyeglasses to each child that needs them.
“One of the many challenges uninsured families face is that even if they are able to receive vision care, they cannot afford eyewear for their children who need glasses. Because we believe every child deserves healthy sight, we are proud to partner with these esteemed Philadelphia organizations to help meet this important need in the community,” Jim Eisen, President of Visionworks, said.
“We know because of budget cuts, many schools in our area have had to lay off nurses, making it harder for children to have their eyes properly checked at school,” said Colleen McCauley, Health Director for PCCY. “At Give Kids Sight Day, hundreds of volunteers and health professionals will be on hand to give our children the proper care they deserve, free of charge.”
Parents should note that registration, screening and selecting glasses can take several hours. Families are encouraged to plan ahead for food, transportation and parking. Also, thanks to a donation from Visionworks, every child participating at this year’s Give Kids Sight Day will receive two free SEPTA tokens. While waiting for eye care, families will be invited to participate in a health fair featuring blood pressure screenings and assistance with applying for health insurance.
Interpreters in Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese and several other languages will also be on hand to assist families. For more information, call 215-563-5848, ext. 21 or visit www.pccy.org/sightday.