Inside Education S20 Ep 3 Clip | How Eye Care 4 Kids serves CCSD students in need

It is difficult
to do well in school if you have
problems seeing what the teacher
is writing on the board. It’s even more
troublesome for students whose families
may not be able to afford a trip
to the eye doctor or to pay for
the glasses they need, but that need not
be an issue thanks to
Eye Care 4 Kids. Joining us
is Stephanie Kirby and also Sonya Kalia. Both are with
Eye Care 4 Kids. We appreciate you
being with us today. You’re providing not only
eye exams but eyeglasses, and you’ve been doing
this for a while, a long time, right?
-We have. -How many years? -Locally about
seven years. -Well, that’s great. So many children in
school may not know they even need an eye
exam or need glasses. How often do you
run into that? I know you go
all over to schools within the Clark County
School District and probably
beyond as well. How often are you
running into or finding a kid that needs
glasses, is it daily? -Daily.
-Really? Okay. (Stephanie Kirby)
Multiple times a day,
absolutely, and we say that kids don’t know
what they don’t know. Unless they’re
talking about it with somebody else,
a family member, a teacher
or another student, they don’t know
that everybody doesn’t see the board
a little bit fuzzy or you have to be this
close to see somebody. So once they get
into our clinics, whichever of our clinics
they happen to come to, take the exam and then
they actually are looking through and getting
the exam and it looks really clear to them,
it changes their world. -Yes, it’s amazing. Sonya, most of the
children that you see, you’re an optometrist
with Eye Care 4 Kids. Most of the kids
that come to you, are they just this is
their first exam or does the nurse
at the school say I think we may
want to give this child an eye exam? (Sonya Kalia)
I would say a majority
of the time they’ve been screened by nurses
and it is their first experience with
an eye care provider. We do have our
established patients because we’ve been
doing this now for six or seven years,
and then sometimes the younger siblings,
it’s their first time. But I would say the
majority of the time it’s the nurses that
have done the screening, or the parents or the
teachers have noticed there’s some
deficiencies. -And you said
you do this annually, so you’re going back
to these schools maybe a year later
to follow up? -Yes.
-Why is that important? -Well, you need an
eye exam every year, and there’s
a reason for that especially in the
school-age-kids group. They grow,
so as children grow, their eye care
needs change. Some grow out
of a prescription and some grow into
a stronger prescription, so that always has to be
checked every year. -And I know I’d
asked you this earlier, you can also screen
for other eye issues or conditions as well;
what would those be? -Some of the things
mainly that we see are amblyopia
and lazy eye. Amblyopia is
an eye condition where the eye does not
correct to 20-20 even with its full
refractive error, and if you don’t correct
an amblyopic eye and give it
the proper therapy, you can end up with
permanently reduced vision. -So you have
a mobile clinic as well as
school-based clinics. Why the difference? -Well, with the
mobile vision clinic, the beauty about that
is we can travel from school to school
every single day that CCSD is open. We can go to a different
school and see anywhere between 25 and 40 kids
in that one school alone. So when we’re
out of school it’s just for
those students, it’s not open
to the community. And then our
stationary clinics, our school-based ones,
are open to the community. -We should point this out
when these children have the eye exam,
if they need glasses, they get those glasses. Is there a cost
involved? -If they’re in CCSD,
no, and we serve Title I schools where
it’s a high percentage of free
and reduced lunch. So we’ll go back
once a year, and they can receive
the screening, an exam and
a prescription pair of eyeglasses
at no charge. -And it even applies
to their parents as well. That’s incredible.
-Right. So for $50 we can give
them the same service with a single vision
pair of glasses. If they need bifocals
or something– -As we get older,
we all need it. -Then it’s
a slight charge, a slight fee
on top of that. But we’re finding that
so many of these kids need our services,
but the parents are in the exact
same boat. -Right. The question is
how are you funded? How are you
able to do this? -Just some really
generous, amazing supporters in the
community and donations. -And locally, who are
those supporters? -Elaine P. Wynn and
her family foundation have been
incredible supporters and the Engelstad
Foundation. We also work closely
with other community organizations
just to make sure we’re serving as many
kids as possible like Communities
in Schools, Future Smiles
and Three Square. So it just takes
a lot of us to serve that
same population. We’re kind of a wheel
and we’re all different spokes
on that wheel. -And you’ve had
an incredible– I just want people
to know that you served during last school year
10,251 CCSD students that you saw or served, and 7,600 of those
received glasses and 5,300 of those
were uninsured. So there’s a real need.
-A huge need, so about half of those
kids were uninsured and then a little over
4,000 were insured, but that same amount
were Medicaid. So if a student or
anybody on Medicaid receives that vision
service one time and a month later they
break those glasses, Medicaid will not pay
for that service again. So we’re a great safety net
for a lot of people who do have Medicaid or
some type of insurance. -Absolutely.
Before we go, what’s the best way
for parents to get in touch with you
if they think their child
may have an issue? -Sure, really by phone
which is 702.727.3525, and come to our Brinley
Middle School clinic. We’re a portable
right in front of Brinley Middle School on Smoke Ranch
and Jones, and that one is open
five days a week. We’d be happy to see
anybody come in. -Okay. And finally
if they want to go to your website,
what would that be? -Thank you very much. We appreciate it.
(both) Thank you.

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