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Serving At-Risk Communities

L-R, Michael Penn, Sr. and Bill Stewart
L-R, Michael Penn, Sr. and Bill Stewart

Glaucoma Research Foundation’s “At Risk Population” initiative guided by Board members Michael L. Penn, Sr. and Bill Stewart provides outreach opportunities that feature free eye screening, with an emphasis on screening for glaucoma, and services that include but are not limited to communities of high-risk populations (Asian, Latino, and African American).

Essential to this success is a coalition of care providers, organizations and institutions that are committed to increase awareness of vision health and to raising funds that underwrite these efforts.

March 18, 2012: Jones Memorial United Methodist Church

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San Francisco, CA -- With Prevent Blindness Northern California and the Health, Exercise, and Abundant Living (“H.E.A.L.”) Wellness Project of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, the team served over 60 congregants and residents from multiple San Francisco neighborhoods in their first collaborative eye health outreach event.

By invitation of Reverend Staci Current, and led by Health Minister Angela Berry, eye screening was scheduled to follow Sunday services. Super-volunteer Stephanie Handler (featured on the Glaucoma.org home page) united with volunteers from UC Berkeley’s Foresight Pre-Optometry Club to screen 30 Sunday school children, followed by as many adults. Participants picked up free educational information about eye health and risk factors for eye disease.

One participant from the Lower Haight shared, “I’ve had this eye-screening on my calendar since I first saw your flyer six weeks ago. This is the first time I was able to find a free eye screening. Thank you.”

April 7, 2012: Mills Peninsula Health Center

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In an inaugural health event focused on Hispanic women and diabetes in San Mateo County, Gloria Brown, Chair of the African American Community Health Advisory Committee (AACHAC) invited Glaucoma Research Foundation and Prevent Blindness Northern California to provide eye screening and educational information to event attendees.

Participants began lining up at 7:30 am, and at 9:00 am doors opened to dozens of registrants eager for the free services provided by all the organizations represented, including the American Diabetes Association. Ms. Brown, in her invitation to the eye health team, emphasized that a diabetes outreach event would provide an ideal platform for eye health awareness.

eye screening photo by Max Williams

The target audience was women in the local Hispanic community. More than 100 participants included family members and local residents. Bi-lingual volunteers helped with forms, screening and general information.

Over 60 attendees had their eyes screened, and almost half received supportive services in the form of free eyeglasses. Volunteer physicians from Glaucoma Research Foundation reviewed eye-screening results. Prevent Blindness Northern California and AACHAC provided recommendations based on the results.

“The attendance at this event surpassed our expectation,” Gloria Brown stated. “Our hope is that we will be able to repeat this success in the future.”

In addition to booths and tables, a well-attended presentation in the Hendrickson Auditorium featured guest speakers selected by the American Diabetes Association.

Last reviewed on October 29, 2017

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