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Memphis, Tenn., November 5, 2014 – Southern College of Optometry (SCO) today announced that it has officially acquired a mobile eye exam unit from S.A.V.E. (School Advocates for Vision and Education), a nonprofit organization founded by Henry Lindeman in 2008 to increase access to services for children failing to follow-up for needed care following in-school vision screening failure.
Prior to the acquisition, the unit was funded by support from The Plough Foundation and other sponsors. SCO provided doctor coverage through a collaboration with SAVE.
“S.A.V.E.’s mission has always been to provide access to eye health and vision care services for schoolchildren in Shelby County,” said Christine Weinreich, director of corporate and foundation relations at SCO. “SCO has enjoyed a working relationship with S.A.V.E. since its inception, and our dynamic, expanding community outreach programs have enabled us to absorb the operation and expand its potential.”
The mobile unit, a customized recreational vehicle with two exam rooms and a children’s optical dispensary, has provided on-site vision care in conjunction with the clinical programs of SCO at Shelby County schools since 2009. SCO plans to continue the work of S.A.V.E. and further increase the number of Shelby County residents benefiting from the mobile unit by expanding its reach to additional schools, public health fairs, senior and other programs.
For the next several months, SCO will send doctors out into the community with the unit three days per week to provide eye health and vision care to residents who need it most. SCO anticipates increasing the mobile care unit’s use to five days per week beginning in 2015.
"The transition, one supported by The Plough Foundation, will continue these much needed services to area children and to the additional people who will be served by the increased capacity brought on by SCO’s amplified involvement," said Dr. James E. Venable, SCO's Vice President for Clinical Programs.
For more information on S.A.V.E. or to inquire about bringing it to your site, contact Bailey Gurley, Coordinator of Mobile Vision Care Services, at 901-722-3274/ [email protected]
About Southern College of Optometry: Southern College of Optometry was established in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1932. SCO is an independent, not-for-profit institution of higher education with more than 500 students and residents from 40 states. The Eye Center at SCO serves nearly 60,000 patients annually, helping make the college one of the top in the nation for clinical optometric education. SCO’s Community Outreach Program reaches more than 12,000 children through vision screenings provided annually to Shelby County students in public, private and charter schools. Additionally, SCO opened a second clinic, University Eye Care, on the campus of The University of Memphis in 2013 and TearWell, a Dry Eye Center of Excellence, on its Midtown Memphis campus in 2014.
About S.A.V.E.: S.A.V.E. (School Advocates for Vision and Education) was founded in 2007 by Amy and Henry Lindeman after their son was diagnosed with vision-related issues. The organization provides vision screenings and comprehensive follow-up care to schoolchildren throughout Shelby County, Tennessee, through a mobile unit funded by the support of organizations like The Plough Foundation and operated by doctors from Southern College of Optometry. As of October 2014, the mobile unit has officially been acquired by SCO as part of an expanded community outreach program in the Mid-South. For more information, visit http://memphisvision.org. # # #