Missouri State service-learning students conducted 250 vision screenings for Springfield’s homeless population as part of this year’s HOPE Connection event. A total of 182 were referred for follow up care to the Jordan Valley Community Health Center, MSU Care Clinic or Vision Rehabilitation Center of the Ozarks, where they were scheduled for a further examination by an optometrist or fitted for corrective lenses.
HOPE Connection is an annual day-long service event coordinated by Community Partnership of the Ozarks, hosting a consortium of agencies and volunteers from the region that provide essential services to the impoverished, including “enhanced direct services” for veterans as part of Veterans Stand Down.
This is CASL’s third year at the event, but the first in which service-learning students were able to screen clients before visiting the health clinic. This provided subsequent vision professionals more precise information about a client’s vision health than in years prior.
Service-learning students used Welch/Allyn’s SPOT Screener, digital imaging cameras that quickly determine basic vision health data. Screeners are able to detect for visual acuity and potential problems, such as astigmatism (blurred vision) and anisocoria (unequal pupil size). The Vision Screening Program is valued as a signature project by CASL, dispatching Missouri State students from a variety of departments to area schools, day-cares and shelters for the purpose of improving vision health in the southwest Missouri community.
For more information, visit: https://www.missouristate.edu/casl/vision.htm or email firstname.lastname@example.org.