The Ohio Optometric Foundation partnered with Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron Public Schools to offer free eye exams and glasses to 75 students on January 29-30 at Akron East High School. In addition to East, students seen were from Bridges, Seiberling Elementary, Robinson, Forest Hill, Roswell Kent Middle School, and Barber.
“Recognizing the link between health and academics is essential,” said Michele Wilmoth, nurse manager of school health services at Akron Children’s Hospital. “If students cannot see clearly they cannot learn. Akron Children’s Hospital and Akron Public Schools want every child to reach their full academic potential.”
The non-profit Ohio Optometric Foundation began the iSee (In School Eye Exam) program, in 2008, and volunteer optometrists have examined more than 650 students in 10 school districts across the state. The two-day project is coordinated with the school nurse, whose screenings identify children with vision problems and financial need.
“Many students do not follow up with the school nurse’s recommendation to see an eye doctor,” said Dr. Tracey Needham of Toledo who coordinates the event for the Foundation along with Dr. Cheryl Archer of Lima. “These children are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to learning and succeeding in school. The iSee program brings the eye examinations and eyewear directly to the students and by doing so promotes the importance eye care.”
Akron area optometrists, Dr. Rose Dickerhoof, Dr. Drusilla Grant, Dr. Katie Greiner, Dr. Sheri Miller, Dr. Tim Miller, Dr. Bruce Manning, Dr. Don Murphy, Dr. Larry Roth, Dr. Scott Sedlacek and Dr. Lisa Testa volunteered at the event. Classic Optical Laboratories of Youngstown donated frames and lenses. Latham and Phillips provided the necessary equipment.