Columbia, SC – The Lexington Medical Center Board of Directors has awarded a $15,000 Community Outreach Grant to Lions Vision Services for eye care services to low-income families in Lexington and Richland Counties for its 2023 fiscal year. Funds will be used to provide an array of eye health programs including eye exams, eyeglasses, eye surgeries, and vision technology to families living at roughly 200% or below of Federal Poverty Guidelines in the Lexington and Richland County communities.
Vision and eye health sit at a pivotal intersection of social determinants of health and serve as an insightful bellwether of other health conditions within a population, including mental health. Addressing vision health first will empower the individuals we serve to more confidently and effectively take control of their overall health and wellbeing.
Without immediate and ongoing action to address our community’s vision health needs, the coming decade will create an unprecedented strain on a fragile public health system through the developing spike in vision loss, which will impact the most vulnerable among us most severely. This grant from Lexington Medical Center is providing the intervention necessary to begin countering these trends.
To provide these eye care services LVS will partner with an array of local partners across Lexington and Richland Counties to assist in delivering and publicizing eye health resources, including Columbia Eye Clinic, Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia, Palmetto Retina Center, Prisma Health, and The Eye Center, P.A. These eye care partners provide a significant discount on eye surgery services for LVS, allowing us to leverage every $1 raised into $4 in the value of services provided. The LVS Eye Surgery program is currently the most comprehensive and inclusive program of its kind in South Carolina, addressing over ten eye conditions for all ages, gender, and ethnic demographics with the principal goal of the program being to save and/or restore vision for each client.
This program is an especially important partnership for the Midlands as it expands health services not currently available to the community through the Lexington Medical Center network while increasing access to those healthcare services for underserved populations. On average LVS clients show an 81% increase in their understanding of vision health following participation in an LVS program and experience a 58% increase in their quality of life.
“We are grateful for the support of Lexington Medical Center’s Community Outreach grant program as we continue expanding access to essential vision and eye health services for those who need in most in Lexington and Richland Counties,” said Daniel Prohaska, President & CEO of Lions Vision Services. “Through this partnership with Lexington Medical Center we are expanding sustainable, collaborative solutions for sight that address social determinants of health and ultimately create healthier communities for all.”
Individuals interested in inquiring about financial assistance with eyeglasses, eye surgeries, or vision technology can contact LVS at (803) 796-1304.
Lions Vision Services (LVS) was created by the Lions Clubs of South Carolina in 1969 and exists today to empower the under-served blind and visually impaired in South Carolina to live safe, meaningful, and fulfilling lives. LVS offers a range of programs and services to low-income South Carolina residents who apply for need-based financial assistance with obtaining eye exams, eyeglasses, affordable eye surgeries, and vision technology. Free vision screenings are provided to promote early detection and correction of vision impairments. Each spring the organization hosts a Blind Fishing event and manages quarterly meetings of the Palmetto Vision Alliance. To learn more about LVS’s services, visit www.lionsvisionservices.org.