Because November is Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Awareness Month, we would like to highlight our dedicated partner, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation. For over 30 years, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and Wisconsin Lions Clubs have offered vision screenings and sight-saving services for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites.
The Wisconsin Lions Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Wisconsin Youth and Adults through vision and hearing programs, their Wisconsin Lions Summer Camps, diabetes education, and their eyeglass recycling program. The Wisconsin Lions’ 10 districts statewide contain over 500 clubs to service communities and counties throughout Wisconsin. While this year may look different for screening services, the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and clubs still remain dedicated to offering sight-saving services throughout the state. This year alone, 234 Lions club members have been certified as children and adult vision screeners.
Clubs are also conducting their own outreach and vision health education to further their mission to protect and save sight. Deb Freeman, vision screening chair of District 27-A2, reports that multiple clubs in their district are continuing to offer vision screening services for children in an effort to help them with their school year. The Allenton Lion’s Club, Hartford Kettle Moraine Lions, and the Richfield Lions were able to offer some pubic and school-based screening for children this fall. Efforts to work with the Wisconsin Lions Foundation as a joint unit to increase public education statewide on children and adult vision health is currently being discussed and planned for 2021. Awareness is one of the first steps to healthy vision, and being able to offer vision health education on multiple platforms with the Wisconsin Lions Clubs will allow us to reach more children and adults in need of vision care services.
“As a Lion Club member, one of our global causes is vision- Prevent Blindness of Wisconsin has been a great partner in offering our members training in vision screening. This has allowed our members to make a difference in our communities by finding children and adults that need professional evaluation. Thanks for helping us help our community!” Dan Tekippe, Phillips Lions President
In addition to aiding PBW with vision screenings statewide, another major area Wisconsin Lions focus on is raising awareness of diabetes as it relates to vision health. In Wisconsin, 40% of adults are expected to develop Type 2 diabetes sometime in their lifetime. Additionally, 75% of adults with diabetes will form some type of retinopathy in their lifetime. With diabetes-related retinopathy being the number one cause of vision loss in working-age adults in the U.S., efforts to decrease severe rates of retinopathy is a primary focus of Prevent Blindness Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Lions Foundation.
Over the past 2 years, the Wisconsin Lions Diabetes Task Force has aided PBW with its new programming, the Vision of Diabetes and the Diabetes + the Eyes program. This programming helped raise awareness of diabetes-related eye diseases and educated those most at-risk for vision loss. Prevent Blindness Wisconsin partnered with Bread of Healing Clinic in Milwaukee and formed new partnerships with COTS Inc. in Appleton and Hope Clinic & Care Center in Menasha to deliver this programming.
As a result of this programming alone, we trained and educated 21 healthcare professionals and collectively reached over 1,400 adults with diabetes-related vision health education. One participant from the programming explained the impact of this education, “After your presentation, one of the residents at COTS talked about how much he learned. And he actually wants to try to quit smoking now. That is huge! Thanks for making a difference!” –Amber Price, COTS Inc. Health Advocate.
Additionally, as a vast majority of patients being served at these sites have no insurance and are of low socioeconomic status, the resources provided increases the availability of tools and information needed to help adults gain access to vision care. Bread of Healing Clinic has this to say about the Vision of Diabetes Program, “The information you provided our clinic through this program is incredible. This will help our patients—there are many with diabetes who are not being seen regularly. These resources will help us so much.”
We would like to thank the Wisconsin Lions Foundation and all the clubs for your continued support and effort to help us fulfill our mission for every Wisconsin resident to have healthy vision. We couldn’t do this without you!
Upcoming Web-Based Vision Screener Training
Children’s Vision Screener Training – Charts, Spot, PlusOptix WEB BASED
December 1, 2020
8:30 AM- 11:00 AM
Weblink Available After Registration Register Here!
Audience: All Participants Welcome
November is Diabetes-Related Eye Disease Awareness Month! Did you miss our past Diabetes + the Eyes Workshops? No problem! Check them out on our Facebook under Videos. Don’t miss out on learning about diabetes and your vision health.
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s Text-2-Give Program
It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Text VISION to 243725 to support our mission and services to promote healthy vision for all ages!
Our Mission: Founded in 1958, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin improves the lives of children, adults and families through early detection of eye conditions to prevent blindness and preserve sight. On-going vision screening activities and state-wide public health education lead to a lifetime of healthy vision.
Our Vision: Our vision is for each Wisconsin resident to have healthy vision at every stage of life.