Volunteer Vision Screening Identifies Large Number of Children Who Need Help

The Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO) coordinated free pediatric vision screenings in Miami Saturday, resulting in more than 15 percent of children screened requiring follow-up care.

Eagle Eye, Florida Society of Ophthalmology's mascot, joined Miami Dade County District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, local volunteers and Ophthalmologists, Hilda Capo, MD, Howard Freedman, MD, Stacey Kruger, MD and Laura B. Sims, MD, in a recent free vision screening event at Olinda Park in Miami.

Eagle Eye, Florida Society of Ophthalmology’s mascot, joined Miami Dade County District 3 Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, local volunteers and Ophthalmologists, Hilda Capo, MD, Howard Freedman, MD, Stacey Kruger, MD and Laura B. Sims, MD, in a recent free vision screening event at Olinda Park in Miami.

The screenings took place at the annual Miami-Dade County District 3 Fun Day to recognize August as Amblyopia Awareness Month. 93 children were screened and 15 require additional care.

“We’re excited we made a real difference,” says Stacey Kruger, MD, a Miami pediatric ophthalmologist, FSO board member and coordinator of the event. “Amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye,’ is treatable if detected early. No state mandate for vision screening exists despite this fact, so we’re hoping these events during Amblyopia Awareness Month encourage parents to get their kids screened.”

Kruger offered to see the children at her Miami office who couldn’t afford necessary follow-up treatment.

The FSO also brought its mascot, Eagle Eye, to entertain and teach children and their parents the importance of early-age vision screening.

“Screening is a painless and vital experience. Our furry friend, Eagle Eye, helps kids see it as a fun one too,” says Laura Sims, MD, a Miami ophthalmologist and FSO member who helped coordinate screenings. “A special thanks to the Lions Club, Florida Kidsight Foundation and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute for participating Saturday and in Amblyopia Awareness Month.”

The FSO will attend similar community events in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach later this month to coordinate more free screenings.

NOTE: Dr. Kruger and Dr. Sims are available for interview at request.

The Florida Society of Ophthalmology is the state’s leading advocate for providing Floridians the highest standard of eye care. The FSO’s mission is to promote and protect the medical specialty of ophthalmology through active participation in legislative advocacy and providing continuing  medical education and responsible information to its members, physicians and the citizens of Florida. FSO approached and successfully motivated the Florida Senate to designate August as “Amblyopia Awareness Month” in Florida. Please visit www.mdeye.org for more information.


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