"NEWSLETTER FINAL VERSION"
Share the Vision Vol. 1, Spring 2009 SIGHT SAVERS OF ALABAMA CHANGES NAME TO SIGHT SAVERS AMERICA EXPANSION BRINGS NEW NAME The name is changed, the mission expanded! Mississippi children receive the same level of In this Issue: Sight Savers of Alabama is now SIGHT SAVERS care which Alabama children have come to expect AMERICA, dedicated to ensuring that even more from Sight Savers, including help setting up appoint- children achieve their best possible vision. ments, appointment reminders, and arranging trans- “The organization’s name and capacity to serve portation, if needed. The Case Specialists follow more children are all that has changed,” empha- through on all aspects of each child’s treatment. sized Linda Long, Sight Savers Director of Com- Sight Savers helps provide eyeglasses, medica- Benefactors making a dif- munications. “Our programs and procedures for tions, surgeries, vision and blind aids, low vision ference p. 3 providing children’s eye health are exactly the clinics and other prescribed treatments to low in- same. Our organization has experienced over a come families at no cost. The program in Missis- decade of evolv- sippi is funded through the Mississippi State Depart- ing and expand- ment of Education. “Mississippi is dedicated to ing,” continued bringing a high standard of vision care to their Long. “The new children,” said Long. Low Vision Clinics: Help, Hope, and New CCTV’s! p. 6 name, Sight Sav- ers America, First pair of glasses! along with our new logo and revamped website, more accurately represent our broader role as the national model Welcome to the KIDS for childhood vision health.” Explaining that the CORNER! p. 7 name Sight Savers America positions the organiza- Tiffany Richardson, Sight Savers Mgr. of Referrals & tion for future growth, Long said, “the stage is set to Schools, shares information at a MS Alliance for School Health meeting. move into other states." Expansion is already un- derway. Since fall of 2008, all Mississippi kinder- SIGHT SAVERS AMERICA invites Mississippi eye care providers to get involved and help garten students who fail their vision screenings are share the vision with Mississippi children. assigned a personal Case Specialist to manage In Alabama, over 400 eye care professionals, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and others in the industry work with the children referred to Sight Savers. We each child’s vision needs. Sight Savers’ Vision have a strong network of providers who volunteer their services to low income families. Rehabilitation Services Department will serve chil- For more information, call toll free 877-942-2627, ext. 205. dren with low vision needs or those who are blind. FROM THE PRESIDENT: PURSUING THE SIGHT SAVERS MISSION When we began Sight Savers should receive eye care at a almost eleven years ago, we envi- young age in order to correct sioned one goal: to ensure that vision loss, and in some cases, every Alabama to save the child from blindness. child attains Sight Savers began with a his or her best belief that all children should possible vision. SSA Case Specialists Kelly Mansel and Joann Cook be able to see. Beliefs are We have largely to prevent children from falling through intangible but numbers are not. We succeeded in that the cracks when it came to vision care, have helped 80,000 children; goal. Our nation- and we have accomplished that through 30,000 of them in 2008. Our Jeff Haddox, Founder & CEO ally recognized our program. Sight Savers’ personal budget has increased from $2000 Sight Savers America program guaran- in 1997 to a current budget of $2.6 Case Specialists work relentlessly to tees that virtually all children in Alabama make sure every child assigned to them million. We are fortunate to have a now have the opportunity for diagnosis, is taken to the doctor, receives the pre- diverse funding base and a wonder- treatment, and correction of their vision scribed medicine, and is following the ful network of vision care profes- problems. doctor’s instructions. sionals with whom we partner. By beginning vision screening and fol- The Sight Savers protocol includes They donate their services and be- low-up eye care services for pre-school managing an extensive database main- lieve in our mission. Sight Savers is children and continuing through the tained at the Sight Savers America Cor- a national model for how to do chil- fourth grade, every child in our state porate Office. Our staff can tell you dren’s vision care the right way. Be- public schools will have his or her vision within seconds exactly where every cause of that, we expanded into Mis- problems corrected. Additionally, we child is in his or her vision care. sissippi last fall. We also have seri- also have thousands of other children We also continue to succeed in the ous interest from 12 other states that referred to us from vision partners. area of public awareness. More par- want to bring Sight Savers to their Eleven years ago, we said we wanted ents know today that their children children. We believe this growth will allow us to provide and coordinate per- sonal comprehensive managed eye CHILDREN SERVED EACH YEAR care to even more children. 30,000 Jeff Haddox 23,157 Sight Savers America ° Total Children Served: 80,000 ° States: AL and MS 14,452 ° Budget: $2.6 Million ° Employees: 27 Full-time ° Offices: Birmingham, Mobile 4,523 1,894 ° Funding: States of AL & MS, Endowments, 436 1,065 1,637 Foundations, Corporations, Individuals and 11 85 88 130 Special Events 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2 Share the Vision I N A PPRECIATION : IN T HE S PO T L I GHT ! We welcome you to a new feature called “In the Spotlight!” This is our opportunity to thank our sponsors and introduce you to those organizations and individuals who consistently MAKE A DIFFERENCE not only for the children of Alabama, but for others throughout their communities. In this issue, it is with gratitude we spotlight the following: EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Hall and Lucy Thompson, and Johnson & Johnson. n consistently The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama (ESFA) recently celebrated a milestone at a tenth anniversary gala honoring the Foundation’s ten years of service. Since this remarkable foundation began, it has awarded more than $36 million in grants to non-profits all over Alabama. Sight Savers was proud to be a part of the celebration and very hon- ored to be named the Foundation’s first Visionary Award winner. Jeff Haddox accepted the award which included a check for $50,000. Sight Savers was chosen in recog- Eyesight Foundation Board Members: Duncan Blair, Jim nition of its efforts to bring eye care to low income/ Davis, Hall Thompson, Felix Drennen, Morris Hackney, Hart- L to R: Hall Thompson, Hartwell Davis. ESFA Board Members present Visionary Award to Sight indigent children throughout the state. Sight Savers is a well Davis; Center - Torrey Smitherman (ESFA Exec. Director Savers Founder & CEO, Jeff Haddox, winner of the “national model for childhood vision health,” said Torrey and Sight Savers Founder & CEO, Jeff Haddox first Visionary Award. Smitherman, ESFA Executive Director. In accepting the award Haddox said, “I can think of no greater honor than to be named the EyeSight Foundation’s first Visionary Award recipient. I have no words to fully express my grati- tude to this group of people for their very generous $50,000 gift which will enable Sight Savers to continue its mission.” Hall and Lucy Thompson define the word bene- factor - “ a person unselfishly concerned for the wel- Thanks to a $150,000 grant fare of others.” The legacy of this couple can be from Johnson & Johnson Com- seen throughout Ala- munity Health Care Program - bama. According to The Crystal Award, Sight Savers Haddox, “Lucy’s and is in its second year of providing Hall’s giving spirits are eye care to sixth graders in the a huge part of our Black Belt. The award is granted community and many, Suzanne Malveaux, CNN anchor, joins Sight Savers many people are in at the Johnson & Johnson Crystal Awards Dinner to resourceful community based in Washington D.C. organizations that consistently their debt, none more so than Sight Savers.” Lucy and Hall Thompson offer unique, innovative solutions to complicated health care chal- lenges. The two-year award of $75,000 per year has expanded Sight Hall Thompson, who served on the Sight Savers Savers’ work in the Black Belt by funding sixth grade vision screenings Board of Trustees, has repeatedly stepped up to pro- and follow-up eye care for the children who fail those screenings. vide encouragement, advice and financial support. “Working together with Governor Riley’s Black Belt Action Commission He started Sight Savers’ work in the Black Belt with a really gave us a feel for what was possible in Alabama’s Black Belt,” personal donation. His latest gift is a match to the said Jeff Haddox. “Working with the folks at Johnson & Johnson helps ESFA’s $50,000 Vision It’s really very simple. Award. “This was an- us to expand the program.” The J & J/Sight Savers partnership is The whole idea is for working so successfully that Haddox was invited to Washington DC other resounding affirma- kids to see, so they can earlier this year as a guest lecturer to new recipients of the Crystal tion of the Thompsons’ learn to read, so they Award. He demonstrated how this grant has helped with Sight Savers’ can live productive belief in the work we do,” program development and expansion, citing Jessica Monroe, J & J lives. That’s what Sight said Haddox. Director of Governmental Affairs, as being instrumental in Sight Savers’ Savers is all about. successful expansion into other states. Hall Thompson 3 Share the Vision N EWS F ROM The Sight Savers America logo is designed to marry the old To help define Sight Savers’ mission, we have produced a with the new, reflective of Sight Savers history while looking to new video entitled “Share the Vision.” The video is an eight the future. “The whimsi- minute state of the art, high definition cal eye glasses and font DVD, written and produced by the suggest our dedication to Sight Savers staff. It gives a history children,” said Linda and description of our organization Long, Director of Communications, “and our new name empha- and a look at future objectives. Most sizes our road to expansion.” Share the Vision Video importantly, it introduces viewers to some very special children who define why Sight Savers is in www.sightsaversamerica.org the pediatric eye care business. You can view the new pro- is our new virtual address. Our home on the information high- duction on our website along with a second video produced way is just that - an up-to-date website filled with the latest by Johnson & Johnson, which showcases our work in the news, pictures, videos, information in Spanish, and an online Black Belt. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of either donation form. We hope you’ll visit us here and we would like video to show to your civic club or other organization please to hear your comments. contact Linda Long at 877-942-2627, ext. 227 or at Please email any feedback to email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. NEWS BRIEFS Sight Savers was honored The Million Dollar Roundtable with a proclamation from the (MDRT) Foundation has awarded city of Pelham. Presented a $2,500 grant to Sight Savers by Pelham Mayor Bobby America. MDRT’s foundation Hayes, the honor recognized was created in 1959 as a means Sight Savers’ work “as an to give back to the communities. advocate helping all “We are thrilled that our grant MDRT Member and Sight Savers Board children.” The document programs provide opportunities to Chairman, William Burrus presents check Mayor Hayes and Jeff Haddox to Jeff Haddox. stated that, “tens of make a difference,” said Brian thousands of children today have a better life thanks to Sight Tarpey, MDRT Grants Chair. Savers America.” Thanks to the Sight Savers Board of Trustees! FRIENDS OF SIGHT SAVERS Sight The Sight Savers Board of Trustees is a voluntary group of A new Volunteer Auxiliary is under- Savers!! people who tirelessly give of themselves to fulfill the Sight way to serve as a fundraising support Savers mission - to ensure all children achieve their best pos- group for Sight Savers America. sible vision. We appreciate your service to the children of These women (men are invited too) Alabama and Mississippi. come from different areas of Alabama and all bring a Board Members William Burrus, Chairman Dexter Reese, Treasurer unique set of skills to the table. Their influence and hard Diane Clower Jim Kennemer work will extend our effectiveness in helping the chil- Jeanenne Morrow James Izer, M.D. dren we serve. If anyone is interested in joining with us, Krista Saari Stancil Handley, O.D please contact Linda Long at 877-942-2627, ext. 227. Kerry Stein 4 Share the Vision S IGHT S AVERS SIGHT SAVERS CONTINUES LEADERSHIP ROLE IN STATE INITIATIVES ARAC, KidCheck, and the Black Belt Eye Care Consortium Sight Savers’ newest initiative, traveling low vision Since the inception of the Black Belt Eye Care Consortium (BBECC) clinics (see page 6), is a collaboration with an initiative in 2004, Sight Savers has led the pediatric arm of the eight organization begun by Gov. Bob Riley called the Alabama Rural Ac- alliance aimed at coordinating eye care services to children and adults tion Commission (ARAC). Its goal is to bring partners An Update from the Black Belt as of March 2009 in the Black Belt. together to improve the quality and accessibility of Children Vision Screenings (Head Starts, Day Cares, K, 2, 4, & 6): The number of health care to rural areas throughout the state. Cur- 41,136 children helped rently, a new initiative called KidCheck is underway. Children Referred After Failing Screening: 8,731 proves that the KidCheck makes sure school children statewide receive Children’s Eye Exams: 7,692 Free Children’s Eye Glasses: 5,125 program is work- complete health screenings. Children failing the vision Children’s Sight Saving Treatments (vision aids, surgeries, treat- ing. The most component of the screenings will be referred to Sight ments for sight threatening conditions): 804 Savers for one-on-one personal case management of recent eye clinic their eye care needs. Jeff Haddox, KidCheck Steering took the children’s team, comprised of UAB Dept. of Ophthalmology Committee member, said, “We’re excited to partner with doctors, Sight Savers staff, and Lens Crafters technicians, to Perry this new initiative which represents yet another way to County. As representatives of the Black Belt Eye Care Consortium, the provide eye care to the underserved.” entourage conducted free eye examinations and treatments for 75 chil- dren who failed prior vision screenings in their schools, head start pro- grams and day care centers. The screenings were conducted by BBECC members Focus First, Vision Research Corporation and Ala- bama Lions Sight Conservation Association. The Consortium holds about eight eye clinics per year in areas lacking adequate local eye care resources. This was the fourth mobile eye clinic offered to Perry County children in four years. Sight Savers in the News 0WSFA 12 We’re on a media blitz! In the last year, both print and broadcast media have discovered our programs and covered our kids! Nine newspapers and six television stations from Huntsville to Mobile told our story. Television coverage translated to 271,000 viewers with total airtime equaling 60,000 advertising dollars. The Huntsville Times told us about Brandy Love- WSFA day, a young lady who got her Sight Savers’ CCTV when she was 13 years old. Today, Brandy is 21, lives in her own apartment and has a fulltime job. Brandy said she owes her independence to Sight Savers. The Birmingham News shared Jared’s story. He Brandy received a donated CCTV from Jake Brakefield, Shelby County Deputy Sheriff. Jared’s Mom called it “an answer to prayer.” Technology Alabama, one of the state’s largest business magazines captured Sight Savers’ history from its humble beginnings through today’s successful expansion. In October, the Entrepreneur segment in Birmingham, a regional chamber publication introduced Sight Savers America to the central Alabama corporate community. Low vision clinics in Mobile and Montgomery; a little girl who saw her Mom for the first time with a Sight Savers’ Jordy; three Jackson County brothers, all dealing with low vision; our work in the Black Belt Counties; and the pre- miere of the Sight Savers video “Share the Vision” - topics like these grabbed reporters’ attention all over Alabama. In the spotlight - Mobile Low Vision Clinic Stay tuned…... there’s more to come. 5 Share the Vision P EDIATRIC LOW VISION C LINICS : S IGHT S AVERS ’ NEWEST BREAKTHROUGH Free Traveling Low Vision Clinics are the new- est team initiative between the University of Ala- bama at Birmingham and Sight Savers America. With this innovative system, CCTVs and other vision aids are distributed to children who must live with the challenges of low vision every day. “This is much like we do with the mobile eye clinics in the Black Belt,” said Margie Haddox, Director of Vision Five year old Zachary from Mobile is being checked for Rehabilitation Services. “The children we see at the optic nerve damage, retinal detachment, nystagamus, and cysts in both eyes, but Dr. DeCarlo said with correct vision low vision clinics have serious conditions such as Seven year old Randi has a rare congenital condition aids, the little boy will be able to see much better. characterized by underdevelopment of the iris and ocular albinism, aniridia, optic nerve damage and retina, preventing normal vision development. This new her congenital cataracts.” She added that specialized eye exams conducted by highly trained otherCCTV should help Dad with school work and many things. Randi’s calls her his “miracle.” and renowned low vision expert, Dr. Dawn DeCarlo (UAB Dept. of Ophthalmology), clearly define the assistive technology needed to provide these children with their best possible vision. Dr. DeCarlo, Director of the UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation, travels with Sight Savers to conduct examinations and evaluations for each child at set appointments. Once their needs are determined, she prescribes vision aids for each child's con- dition. Sight Savers’ Vision Rehabilitation Services Department staff members train both the children and their parents in use of the vision aids, after which the equipment is free for families to take home. “Our clinical goal is to help children make the most of their remaining vision, enhance their independ- ence, and improve their quality of life,” Dr. DeCarlo said. Mason from Mobile is blind in one At recent clinics in Mobile and Montgomery, 25 children ranging in age from 5 to 15 were treated, eye and has retinoblastoma. He was outfitted with a telescope and a evaluated and sent home with their new equipment. Thirteen children went home with CCTVs and 16 pocket magnifier. received other prescribed vision aids. For information on how to help a child with severe vision impair- ments, call the Vision Rehabilitation Dept. at 877-942-2627, ext. 202. Sight Savers helped Jessica and her Mom travel to Mont- gomery by calling Kid One. Students and staff from the Mobile School for the Blind along Jessica is in the 8th grade. She Michael and Hannah, brother and sister team from the Mont- with Sight Savers staff at the two day low vision clinic in Sight Savers’ Brian Garrett has glaucoma and tumors in gomery Low Vision Clinic are pretty happy about their new Mobile. delivers CCTVs and helps both eyes. CCTV. train children at Low Vision Clinics. Sight Savers would like to say THANK YOU to the Mobile School for the Deaf and Blind, to Mobile’s Community Services for Vision Rehabilitation and its Medical Director Joseph Fontenot, and to Frazer United Methodist Church in Mont- gomery for donating space to hold the clinics and for their generous hospitality! 6 Share the Vision The Kids Corner We call them Margie’s kids. As We want to introduce you to a new feature in our Director of Sight Savers’ Vision newsletter called “The “Kids Corner.” Here ... a real treat … some original CCTV artwork created Rehabilitation Services, Margie by some very talented kids. Haddox and her dedicated staff deliver hope, help, and the prom- Jared loves cars and trucks ise of a brighter future, along and just about anything Children from the Mobile County else that has wheels. This with a lot of CCTVs and other School for the Deaf and Blind picture is a piece of his vision aids to children all over original artwork created created this work of art to Alabama and Mississippi. on his new CCTV. The thank Sight Savers for having a low vision clinic at their school. equipment was donated to him by Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Brakefield. If your fam- ily has a previously used CCTV which you no longer need, please Margie Haddox helps a child consider donating it to Sight Savers. with a new CCTV. Recycled CCTVs are a great way to help us help more children. Your donation is tax deductible! Call us After learning to use her new Jordy and at 877-942-2627, ext. 202. CCTV, 5 year old Deya drew this award winning picture of a Christmas Morning. Can you help share the vision? If you would like to make a huge difference in the life of a child, you may “adopt” one of Margie’s Kids. Many children live with the challenges of low vision everyday. Sadly, many, many families simply can’t afford the equipment which could promise their child a brighter future. You, your club, civic group or other organization can team up to share the rewarding experience of watching these children as they see things which you and I take for granted. By pooling your resources, you can give $2,000, the cost of a CCTV, to change a child’s life forever. The donation is tax deductible. For information, please call 877-942-2627, ext. 227 or return the donation form below. HERE’S HOW YOU HELP BRIGHTEN A CHILD’S WORLD Every child deserves to see a sunset, read a book, play a video game, or see the love in his or her parents’ faces. Sadly, not every child can do these simple things which you and I take for granted. Can you help change the odds for kids who need you? ENCLOSED IS MY GIFT: RECURRING? YES___ NO___ ANNUALLY___ MONTHLY____ OTHER_____________ IN MEMORY/HONOR OF__________________GIFT GIVER’S NAME___________________ OTHER OPTIONS: ADOPT ONE OF MARGIE’S KIDS ____ RECYCLE EQUIPMENT____ RETURN TO 169 CAHABA VALLEY PARKWAY PELHAM, AL 35124 OR TO DONATE ONLINE PLEASE VISIT WWW.SIGHTSAVERSAMERICA.ORG 7 Share the Vision Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit # 3246 169 Cahaba Valley Parkway Pelham, AL 35124 THANKS TO ALL WHO HELP US SHARE THE VISION Alabama Patrons Beverly Ellis Lions Optical Shoppe Alabama St. Dept. of Education Jack Brakefield KidCheck EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Noel Stewart Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital Crippled Children’s Foundation of AL Judge Foy Guin Kid One Transport System, Inc. Monday Morning Quarterback Club Hoover Service Club All Kids Johnson & Johnson Susan Luther LensCrafters Gift of Sight Program Thompson Foundation Jim DePriest Schaeffer Eye Center Bradford Foundation Tracey S. Cook Pearle Vision Daniel Foundation American Honda Cahaba Valley Health Care Robert R. Meyer Foundation Compass Bank United Way’s Success by Six Henry G. Sims & Henry U. Sims Memorial Foundation Southern Nuclear Operating Company Pinnacle Optical Hill Crest Foundation Regions Golf Classic Independent Ophthalmologists & Optometrists Autauga Co. Community Foundation Siemens Independent Opticians and Optical Shops Elmore County Community Foundation Advantage Payroll Poarch Band of Creek Indians Community Foundation Of Calhoun Co. Prattville Lions Club Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Central Al Community Foundation Mobile School for the Deaf and Blind Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Alabama Collaborators West Alabama Transportation Service Shelby Co. Community Health Foundation Black Belt Eye Care Consortium The Junior League of Birmingham Alabama Black Belt Action Commission Mississippi Patrons Alabama Power Foundation Alabama Rural Action Commission Mississippi State Dept. of Education Jefferson Co. Dept. of Health Alabama Eye Bank Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation Protective Life Foundation AL Lion’s Sight Conservation Assn. Vistakon Bankhead Foundation Alabama Association of School Nurses MAX4Kids Foundation Alabama Child Caring Foundation Mississippi Collaborators Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology Mississippi School for the Blind Walker Area Community Foundation Alabama Optometric Association Mississippi State University Montgomery-Autauga-Elmore Medical Alliance Alabama County Health Depts. Independent Ophthalmologists Hall and Lucy Thompson UAB School of Optometry and Optical Shop Independent Opticians and Optical Shops Jim Lunceford UAB Dept. of Ophthalmology Independent Optometrists Jim Hayworth Focus First Mississippi Optometric Assn. Janet House Vision Research Corporation Coastal Family Health Center Lane Lambert Lions Eye Clinic MS Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Assn. 8 Share the Vision