The goal of Salus University’s Looking Out For Kids (LOFK) program is to provide high quality, free to low-cost services, including expanded vision screenings, comprehensive ocular health and vision care exams, and two pairs of prescription eyeglasses, as needed, to under-insured, uninsured, and economically disadvantaged children in K-12 public schools in the Greater Philadelphia region. LOFK also provides high-quality supervised training for participating future optometric professionals.
Early vision care is arguably the most essential basic service young school students need — the majority of scientific and education researchers agree that approximately 75 percent of learning is through vision. Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the US and the most prevalent disabling condition in childhood. If undiagnosed and untreated, such disorders are major contributors to poor academic, social, and economic success, from early life through adulthood. Targeted students are often unable to receive eye care because of poverty, unemployment, travel and childcare issues, limited access to healthcare, and limited/no insurance.
LOFK addresses these barriers by bringing care to underserved communities, and serving students at their schools. Further, operations are tailored to the distinct needs of each school, as prioritized by school nurses.
With support from AHE's grant, LOFK will offer an array of quality vision care services, including vision screenings, comprehensive exams, and corrective lenses, for students at two public schools in low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods: General George Meade and Kennedy C. Crossan elementary schools. Salus University will conduct interviews to understand if this program properly meets the needs of the community it serves.
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