Free Eye-Care Coming to Molokai
Lions Club helps bring free vision screening to Molokai keiki
On March 2nd and March 3rd, all elementary/middle school children and the students of Aka'ula from kindergarten through 8th grade will have the opportunity to have their eyes screened by one of two doctors from Maui! The Molokai Lions Club have been working with Optometrists, Doctors Karsten Lee and Michael Leong, to bring this service to our children. These two doctors will arrive on Sunday March 1 along with a crew of three young women.
The Molokai Lions Club has arranged food, lodging, and transportation for their 3 day/2 night stay. All 4 elementary schools, the middle school and Aka'ula agreed to the proposed screening. The doctors sent their permission form for the schools to use and this has been sent out by the individual schools to all families. If your child has not brought a form home please contact your school…… this form is necessary in order to have the screening. Several Lions Club volunteers will work along side the doctors and crew to accomplish this mission in just two days! The schools have been extremely cooperative in their acceptance of the screening schedule and providing lunches!! If you have any questions please contact Lion Jackie Cushman, Vision Chairperson for Molokai Lions Club @ 553-5006. A short summary of the doctors background and mission statement is as follows:
UC Berkeley classmates Drs. Karsten Lee and Michael Leong have a philosophy in their practice that emphasizes strong community service. The Lion's club shares in their vision that clear vision should not be a privilege but a human right. Also, they understand that it is critical to screen children, who sometimes cannot articulate that there is a vision problem, which could result to vision loss as an adult. Amblyopia is the number one reason for vision loss in children, and the tragic thing is that it is completely avoidable with screenings. Additionally, working with a team of stellar staff allows them to do more in the community. It frees up time to work on projects and allows them to help in an area where they are lucky to have some expertise.
The local Lion's Clubs are always a huge support, especially on their off island screenings. Whether it's setting up the screenings, picking them up at the airport or even housing them, the Lions have been a wonderful partner in vision screenings.
The goal at Drs. Lee and Leong is to screen as many schools as they can. Coordinating school schedules with their clinic schedules can pose challenges, but their staff and partners at the Wal-Mart Vision Center have been flexible. They just finished a successful screening on the island of Lanai, and have their sights set on making Lanai and Molokai annual stops on their screening circuit. Both islands have limited to no eye care. While vision screenings without doctor support are successful, having a doctor on staff provides an added layer of medical expertise. This is a welcome relief on these islands with limited access to eye and health care. The support doctor can make the proper diagnosis, treatment, and/or referral which saves time, which in turn can dramatically affect outcome, especially in these rural settings.
Drs. Lee and Leong have gone on over 13 international eye missions and realized a few years ago that there is a huge need right here where we live as well. They try to balance providing screenings at home with eye care to places like Chile, Nicaragua, Thailand, Honduras, and Mexico. They recently setup a monthly eye clinic at the Hana Health Center to provide care to a community that was without care for over 2 years. These doctors are always looking for ways to better serve the community they live in, and to ensure the eye care needs of community members are taken care of.