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Dr. Messner joined the ICO faculty in 1985. Since that time she has served in a variety of administrative roles, primarily related to patient care education and residency programs. In addition she has been an active teacher in the classroom, laboratories and clinical program throughout her career. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and has served in a variety of professional organizations, including the Illinois State Licensing and Disciplinary Board, the ASCO Residency Affairs Committee and the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education
Students who are interested in getting a superior clinical education should come to ICO. Our students receive outstanding experience in all areas of patient care including ocular disease, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation, binocular vision and primary eye care. Our classroom experience prepares students well for our challenging patient care environment, as evidenced by our students’ exceptional performance on all aspects of the National Board Examinations. In addition, although ICO is a “large” optometry school, we have a very close-knit community. When I first came to ICO as a faculty member in 1985, I thought that I would probably stay for a few years. 27 years later I find that I still wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
More than 5,000 Chicago Public School students benefit
from Illinois College of Optometry program
JANUARY 26, 2012 (CHICAGO) – The Illinois College of Optometry is proud to announce that its partnership with the Chicago Public Schools to open a school-based eye clinic has resulted in treatment for more than 5,000 CPS students in the one year since it opened.
The clinic at Princeton Elementary School on the city’s South Side was established in January 2011 as part of Chicago Vision Outreach, a program that provides charitable eye health and vision care to Chicago’s underserved populations. It is the first known model in the nation to deliver eye care services year-round to an urban school district. CPS estimates that 25 percent of its students fail vision screenings each year, have broken or lost glasses, or fail to get the eye exam mandated by law to enter an Illinois school system.
“During the last year, we have seen a lot of children with significant vision problems. Some children were using friends’ or siblings’ glasses, and some kids had eye health issues that had never been identified or had been identified, but never treated,” says Sandra Block, OD, ICO professor and medical clinic director. “The clinic is part of a solution to address the unmet need of vision care for children within the city of Chicago; it is helping to eliminate one barrier to improved academic performance for many students.”
The clinic is outfitted with 13 professional eye exam lanes and is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ICO students provide much of the clinical care under the supervision of experienced optometrists, and the more complex cases are referred to the Illinois Eye Institute, ICO’s clinical facility, for further testing.
Data gathered from the student visits this past year demonstrate the great need for the clinic. Approximately 75 percent of the treated children needed new or replacement glasses. Strabismus was present in 6.2 percent of the students, and amblyopia was identified in 8.5 percent. Previously undiagnosed glaucoma was found in two cases.
Melissa Coleman, an optician at the clinic, says it has been a very rewarding experience to deliver new glasses to the students. “They've been going so long without being able to see properly," she says. "Most of the time they say 'Wow! Everything looks so big and so close to me!'"
The program is currently funded through state reimbursement and private grants from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, Alcon and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. For a complete list of supporting organizations and individuals, visit www.ico.edu.
For Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago Public Schools Celebrate First Year of Eye Clinic Partnership
WHO & WHAT:
The eye clinic at Princeton Elementary School was established in January 2011 to bring eye and vision care to CPS students identified as needing additional vision testing but who lack access to optometric services. Since then, more than 5,000 students have received much-needed care and follow-up treatment as needed.
ICO and CPS invite you to an Open House to commemorate this first year of providing eye care services to CPS students. The celebration will be joined by Dr. Arol Augsburger, president of the Illinois College of Optometry, and Dr. Sandra Block, ICO professor and medical clinic director. CPS representatives also are expected to attend. There will be interview opportunities onsite, as well as guided tours through the clinic during the open house.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Illinois Eye Institute at Princeton Elementary School
5125 S. Princeton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60609
For more information about the school-based clinic, please visit www.ico.edu.
FEBRUARY 1, 2012 (CHICAGO) – The Illinois Eye Institute welcomed 105 students from Dolton- Riverdale District 148 during the past two weeks for comprehensive eye exams, identifying more than 90 percent who required glasses but might otherwise not have had access to care.
The visits, which took place Jan. 24 and 31, were arranged by the Illinois Eye Institute Foundation, the charitable division of the IEI that supports community outreach efforts to ensure eye and vision care for underserved populations. All of the students had failed school-based vision screenings. At the IEI, they were examined, then selected glasses that will be delivered to them at school in the coming weeks. Most patients were covered by public and private insurance; however, those children without coverage had their visit and glasses covered by the IEI Foundation and VSP Vision Care. The IEIF also provided transportation for the students to the clinic.
“Our work today has enabled children to receive much-needed eye care to improve their daily lives in academics, athletics and other activities," said Vincent Brandys, OD, executive director of the IEI Foundation. "The Illinois Eye Institute Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with community organizations to provide eye care for those in need.”
Illinois State Representative William Davis, whose district includes the Dolton Riverdale schools, accompanied the students who visited the clinic Jan. 24. During Tuesday’s visit, Mayme Buckley, director of external affairs of the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois, observed the clinic in action with Arol Augsburger, OD, president of the Illinois College of Optometry, and discussed possible future collaborations between her organization and the IEI Foundation. The Healthcare Consortium pursues collaborative ventures to improve the quality of life for all Illinois residents.
About the Illinois Eye Institute
Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) is the clinical division of the Illinois College of Optometry. IEI is a nonprofit, multi-specialty eye center that provides comprehensive eye care to individuals of all ages from the Chicago area and beyond, regardless of their financial status. The IEI has over 92,000 visits annually from a largely low-income, medically underserved patient population and provides charitable services and outreach programs through its foundation to assist people in need. For more information about the Illinois Eye Institute, contact Dr. Vincent Brandys at 312-949-7144.
Caption for attached photo: Mayme Buckley, director of external affairs of the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois, and Arol Augsburger, OD, president of the Illinois College of Optometry, watch as a student from Dolton Riverdale School District 148 receives an eye exam during a visit to the Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago on Jan. 31.
The school-based eye clinic at Princeton Elementary School opened in January 2011 and provides needed eye health and vision care to thousands of underserved Chicago Public School students.
The clinic features:
- 13 examination lanes
- Professional staff including a medical director, three ICO faculty optometrists, two case workers, three opticians, as well as 30-50 third and fourth year students performing clinical hours.
- Year-round operation to accommodate varied school calendars
- Partnerships with organizations and individuals to support the needs of the program and expand services
Bridget C. Axelson, OD
Benefits of the Chicago Vision Outreach Program include:
- Providing students with access to additional patient encounters and giving students a broad spectrum of experiences by increasing their annual clinical sessions by one session per week for one quarter.
- Established satellite eye clinics in partnership with Federally Qualified Health Centers including
- Alivio Medical Center
- Erie Family Health Center
- Illinois Eye Institute at ACCESS
- Access to Illinois Eye Institute's school-based clinic at Princeton Elementary, a partnership with Chicago Public Schools to provide eye health and vision care to students