The Illinois Eye Institute is involved in numerous community outreach programs to support the needs of citizens throughout Chicagoland and beyond.
Chicago Vision Outreach
The Illinois College of Optometry launched this community-focused initiative in 2010 to advance students’ training by connecting them with a wide range of clinical experience beyond the IEI. Students treat patients from under-served and uninsured populations in three Federally Qualified Health Center satellite clinics and at the IEI’s Princeton Elementary clinic, established in conjunction with the Chicago Public Schools.
Community Advisory Board
ICO has established a Community Advisory Board that includes representatives from local organizations, schools, churches who gather as needed to discuss community-related information. Pilgrim Baptist Church, the Mid-South Planning & Development Commission, the Greater Chicago Neighborhoods, the Near South Planning Board, and Olivet Baptist Church are just a few of the organizations that participate.
Developmental Disabilities Service
The DDS is committed to serving developmentally disabled patients with the fullest extent of services possible, as well as training future doctors to meet the multiple eye and vision care needs of special populations. Services are provided at the IEI and at the Neumann Family Services. IEI faculty and students also coordinate and participate each year in the provision of vision and eye health screenings as well as eyewear for Special Olympians.
Illinois School for the Visually Impaired
Twice a year, IEI faculty and residents travel to Jacksonville, Ill., to provide low vision services to the children at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. The Lions Club provides children with any low vision devices required to assist them with their education and daily activities.
The InfantSEE initiative of the American Optometric Association ensures that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness to improve a child’s quality of life. Comprehensive infant eye assessments are provided as a public health service within the first year of life at no cost to the patient/family.
The IEI sponsors sports vision screenings for the Junior Olympic games each summer. IEI students and faculty evaluate each athlete’s visual system in relation to his or her particular sport.
The IEI has long been the official provider of eye care for the Special Olympics. IEI students and faculty attend the Opening Eyes and Medfest vision screenings each year and, working with several sponsoring ophthalmic organizations, provide protective eyewear and glasses to athletes free of charge.
Vision of Hope Health Alliance
VOHHA provides comprehensive eye care to uninsured, low-income adults—largely referred to the IEI by partner agencies—and helps to connect these patients, as needed, to primary healthcare providers. VOHHA patients receive comprehensive examinations, follow-up care including diagnostic testing, personalized health information, and eyeglasses and other vision aids. For more information, please contact Dr. Janis Winters.
The IEI provides free vision screening services at schools and events in the Chicagoland area. For more information, please contact Dr. Katie Foreman.