Advanced Eyecare Professionals honored for being finalist for a Wood TV8 Connecting with the Community Award.
On Thursday, January 22, 2009, Advanced Eyecare Professionals was honored, along with 7 other finalists, for programs that had great positive impacts in their communities. Advanced Eyecare Professionals was nominated for their Community Eyecare Day event, which was held in each of their office locations in Hastings, Ionia and Lowell in 2008. Among the 16 nominees, Advanced Eyecare Professionals was selected as 1 of 8 finalists to be honored at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids on January 22. Wood TV8 met with all 8 finalists prior to the awards ceremony and put all their stories down on paper and on video. Each finalist had a short segment air about their program during a Wood TV8 news broadcast. Advanced Eyecare Professionals segment along with the other finalists can still be viewed by going to www.woodtv.com and typing in the search bar "Community Eyecare Day".
A panel of judges made up of Wood TV8's Connecting with the Community partners, -- Grand Rapids Community College, Huntington Bank, and Metro Health - made the selection of finalists from four distinct areas. The four areas were: One, the collaborative effort of multiple resources to come together for a common good. Two, the community outreach, or how the community effort solved a problem or addressed a need. Three, the measurable results or success of each. And four, the positive impact each program had on the community.
During the awards ceremony, hosted by Wood TV8, President and General Manager of WOOD TV8, Diane Kniowski, started with a memorable quote, "Right here, in this room, is what America is all about -- business to business, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, walking along side...helping."
The Community Eyecare Days were held in Ionia on April 12th, Hastings on July 19th and Lowell on November 1st, 2008. The number of people in need was high, but, with the help of donated funds from local businesses, clubs/organizations and individuals, the Community Eyecare Days were not only able to give a complete eye exam donated by, Advanced Eyecare Professionals, but also provide new eyeglasses to individuals in great need of them. The raised funds go toward the purchase of the new eyeglasses. Advanced Eyecare Professionals' ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Flohr also matched the raised funds to make sure that every person that came to the Community Eyecare Days got the glasses they needed.
Between all three Community Eyecare Days, Advanced Eyecare Professionals saw over 160 people for a free complete eye exam, ages ranged from 2 - 81 years. 95% of the people seen needed glasses and recieved brand new frames and lenses. All of the lenses were safe polycarbonate lenses with scratch and UV protective coating. Many of these people were in desperate need of glasses. In fact, some had never had a pair of glasses while others had been self-repairing old glasses that were 10 years old. The sponsors and volunteers should be very proud of supporting such a wonderful and helpful event for the community.
Several medical eye diagnoses were found at the three Community Eyecare Days as well. For some, detecting an eye disease at this stage meant the difference between sight and future vision loss.
A few medical diagnoses that were made:
• Glaucoma/Ocular Hypertension-6 • Cataracts-43 • Diabetes-6 • Type II Diabetes-2
• Retinopathy of prematurity-1 • Macular Degeneration-1 • Anophthalmos-1
• Amblyopia-7 • Congenital Nystagmus-1 • Blepharitis-9 • Trichiasis-1 • Exotropia-1
• Pseudophakia-4 • Keratoconus-1 • Retinoschisis-1
The Community Eyecare Days were not only an outreach for these three communities in Michigan, but also a help to the Lions Club who aid vision needs throughout the world. During each Community Eyecare Day, individuals were asked to bring in their old glasses to donate to the Lions Club's "Recycle For Sight" program. In total, 238 pairs of used glasses were collected and donated to the "Recycle For Sight" program, which provides recycled eyeglasses to children and adults throughout the world. "Recycle For Sight" donation boxes are always available at all three of the Advanced Eyecare Professionals offices. You can stop by any time during business hours to donate your old glasses and/or sunglasses; even if they are broken.
Advanced Eyecare Professionals is a family owned and run eyecare practice with services that range from: glasses/contacts, complete dilated eye exams, medical eye surgeries and care/management of eye diseases by certified doctors and staff.
Because of the continuing need, Advanced Eyecare Professionals has decided to have Community Eyecare Days again in each location in 2009. Please call their offices for more information if you would like to donate funds to help supply glasses or if you are in financial need, and would like to see if you qualify. Hastings office (269) 945-3866, Ionia office (616) 522-1000, Lowell office (616) 897-7000.
Ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Flohr Quote:
"It was wonderful to give back to the community and to see our staff and other community volunteers work together to help others. We saw many people that were beyond due for an eye exam and it was wonderful to help them. We even had one patient that hadn't had their eyes examined in 28 years! This event not only helped to aid vision with glasses, but in some people allowed for early detection of eye diseases that if undetected could have led to their vision loss or even blindness. I'd like to extend a special thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers that made this event possible for the people in our community."
Optometrist, Dr. Chad Kresnak Quote:
"Community Eyecare Day was very successful. Aside from providing many people with new glasses, we also diagnosed many eye diseases including cataracts, amblyopia, and glaucoma. We also saw a few patients with diabetes and we educated them on the importance of yearly dilated eye exams. Providing glasses is great, but helping change one's attitude towards the care of his or her eyes is where the real benefit of community eyecare day can be found."
Optometrist Dr. Katherine Selleck Quote:
"Community Eyecare Day is a chance for each person at our office to help someone in need. When asked how many people we helped that day, I believe we helped only one person and one person and one person… We helped individuals regain vision and integrity. We learned about each of our patients - many of whom have fascinating stories to tell. Community Eyecare Day is learning about and helping one person at a time using our skills and talents - that one person deserves the best. "
Joy Fountain, Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Quote:
(Founder & Organizer of Community Eyecare Day)
"The most rewarding aspect of the CED was knowing that the patients walked away with more than just a pair of glasses-they also got some information on other organizations in Lowell that are there to help. In fact, we were able to point some patients in the right direction to get insured for future help."