FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: JJ Scarbrough
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY ST. LOUIS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE OPTHALMOLOGY PROVIDES VALUABLE FUNDING TO KIDS VISION FOR LIFE ST. LOUIS
ST. LOUIS (February 19th, 2020) – Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine Ophthalmology recently provided funding to equip 1,000 students with prescription eyeglasses through Kids Vision for Life St. Louis (KVFL) mobile clinic program. Research indicates, upwards of 67% of children never see an eye doctor after the parent or guardian is notified of a vision impairment through an initial screening—despite the school districts' continued efforts to follow-up. Barriers that prevent follow-up often include: 1) family economics, 2) lack of transportation, 3) loss of work to take a child for appointments, and 4) lack of awareness of the importance of being able to see well in order to read and learn well.
KVFL provides free vision services and eyeglasses for elementary students in low-income areas. Over 60,000 screenings are conducted annually at 175 schools in the St. Louis area.
“I appreciate you coming to my school. I have been having a difficult time seeing in class. I can’t wait to get my glasses! Thank you.” Lily (Lift for Life Academy)
Many schools struggle with the burden of providing vision screenings to students as well as ensuring students receive the proper follow-up care. KVFL bridges the gap between the need and the solution, assisting an underserved population at school with no cost to those served; thereby providing direct services while reducing the most common barriers. Ninety percent of children who need glasses do not have them. Twenty five percent of all school children have a vision problem significant enough to affect their learning.
In addition to the meaningful funding provided to KVFL, Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine Opthalmology will treat patients referred to their facility for definitive diagnosis and necessary medical treatment.
“Washington University is proud to support KVFL in its mission to provide free vision services and eyeglasses for elementary students in low-income areas. “ John F. Hardesty, MD Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
“Kids Vision for Life St. Louis would not be successful without the invaluable support of Washington University St. Louis. They have committed their time and financial assistance to kids in need of comprehensive vision care. An effective way to improve children’s learning is to address their uncorrected vision issues. Kids Vision for Life St. Louis is a solution to overcome inequality and improve education outcomes.” said JJ Scarbrough, Executive Director - Kids Vision for Life St. Louis
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