Lions Support Low-Vision Service at UTHSC Hamilton Eye Institute

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The Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, the Memphis Downtown Lions Club, and the Lions Club International Foundation have donated $150,000 to fund a Low-Vision Center at the UT Health Science Center Hamilton Eye Institute.

The Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, the Memphis Downtown Lions Club, and the Lions Club International Foundation have donated $150,000 to fund a Low-Vision Center at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Hamilton Eye Institute.

The Lions Low-Vision Service Center will expand care to the underserved and uninsured in the metropolitan Memphis area, Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri and will improve the availability of affordable low-vision aids and devices, as well as raise awareness about low-vision services.

“Our goal for the first three years of the service is 7,500 patient visits per year for low-vision care,” said Barrett G. Haik, MD, UTHSC Hamilton Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. “Our strong relationship with both St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center, makes Hamilton Eye Institute a resource for children with serious visual impairment. We are grateful to the Lions Club for the support that allows us to reach out to these children who require assistance coping with the consequences of visual loss.”

“Most of the people who will be served at the Lions Low Vision Center have no other medical or financial alternative. They have no resources to acquire this type of care,” remarked Mid-South Lions CEO, Brad Baker. “Our collaboration on the Low Vision Center with area Lions Clubs, Lions Clubs International Foundation, and the UT Health Science Center Hamilton Eye Institute will bring the gift of sight to hundreds of those in need.”

Low vision results from many causes. The leading eye diseases among adults in the United States are macular degeneration and glaucoma. In children, congenital eye disease is a primary cause of low vision. Once a portion of sight is permanently lost, the goal of the Lions Low-Vision Center is to provide patients with aids and instruction that will allow them to function with their remaining vision.