It’s a record. The Missouri State University Vision Screening Program provided more than 10,000 free vision screenings to the community during the fall 2017 semester.
Origins of the program
The MSU Vision Screening Program began in fall 2013. To date, its volunteers have screened close to 32,000 children and adults throughout southwest Missouri.
More than 300 MSU students from biology, biomedical sciences, nursing, social work and education majors have volunteered in the program since it started.
“The students are grateful for their roles as volunteers in this program,” said MSU provost Dr. Frank Einhellig. “They know that every time the screening identifies a child who may need eye care, there is a chance to improve the life of this person, their family and the community.”
The program has formed partnerships with the Vision Rehabilitation Center of the Ozarks, MSU Care Clinic, Dr. Jon Treadway, Lift Up Springfield and Ozark Valley Medical.
Making an impact
The southwest Missouri community, particularly school districts, has benefited from the program’s outreach.
Clista Nunez, school nurse at Miller Elementary, has more than 300 students requiring screenings. Her first year on the job, she could not complete the tests on her own.
With the help of the MSU team the past two years, all of them have been screened in a fraction of the time.
“The MSU team can complete two months of my work in four hours,” Nunez said. “That saved time allows us to pursue a child’s care more aggressively.”
Nunez believes the program is invaluable in a rural area like Miller.
“I get so excited when the volunteers come,” Nunez said. “To me, they are heaven-sent.”
The reception will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. March 26 in the Union Club on the fourth floor of the Plaster Student Union at Missouri State University.
Speakers include Einhellig, Nunez, MSU President Clif Smart and more. Remarks will begin at 5 p.m.
Visitors can park for free in parking lot 14, 1144 Bear Blvd. Use code number 18085901 at the pay station.