As part of the World Games Healthy Athletes program, the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program will offer vision screenings administered by MBKU’s doctors and students of the Southern California College of Optometry, as well as volunteers from peer institutions and the community.
Through a sponsorship from Essilor, eyewear will be provided to athletes in need. Since 2002, Essilor has been an exclusive global distributor of corrective lenses to the Special Olympics-Lions Club International Opening Eyes program, which aims to meet the visual correction needs of athletes in the Special Olympics.
The Healthy Athletes program includes volunteer health care professionals that will provide athletes with free exams and services in seven clinical areas. Athletes will receive referrals for follow-up care, prescription eyewear, hearing aids and other life-changing care. Medical volunteers return to their schools and medical practices with the experience and desire to better treat people with intellectual disabilities.
“MBKU’s Southern California College of Optometry has been a proud partner of the Special Olympics for over 15 years,” noted Eunice Myung Lee, O.D., Assistant Professor at SCCO and Lead Clinical Director for the 2015 World Games. “This year, the World Games is in our backyard and we’re excited to participate in a significant way. We’re bringing over $79,000 worth of equipment, 22 doctors of optometry and 75 students from our school who will put in over 1,232 hours. We also have 40 additional doctors from the community and 3 other optometry colleges, 20 additional students, and many local and international volunteers. With all of these resources, we’re looking forward to providing the World Games athletes excellent patient care.”
Volunteers will administer free vision screenings to the athletes at the University of Southern California clinical location from July 26 – August 1. Screenings will take place between 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and the volunteers expect to see over 2,000 athletes.
“The mission of Marshall B. Ketchum University is to educate caring, inspired health care professionals who are prepared to deliver collaborative, patient-centric health care in an interprofessional environment,” said University President, Kevin Alexander, O.D. Ph.D. “When our faculty, students and staff participate in volunteer opportunities, like the World Games, we are furthering our mission. Events like this one also give our students an opportunity to treat people with intellectual disabilities, which will make them better primary care providers in the future.”