Mission Vision year in A Year A in review Review 2011 2011
Mission Vision strives to remove barriers that cause undiagnosed and untreated vision and hearing deficits among impoverished citizens in our community and around the world by advocating for those affected through medical services and education.
About Mission Vision Mission Vision, a Southwestern Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization, partners exclusively with area crisis and homeless shelters, soup kitchens, schools, sliding-fee medical clinics and other community service organizations to supply free vision screenings and new, prescription eyewear to those who desperately need but cannot afford them. The program achieves its goals by setting up free, mobile eye clinics where such citizens are already getting their primary needs met by various partner provider organizations. The mobile care unit is staffed by volunteer licensed medical professionals, including state-licensed optometrists, certified opticians, and ophthalmic and optometric technicians.
Mission Vision also aligns itself with organizations providing health services abroad. Most recently, through its partnerships with the Pittsburgh Kidâ€™s Foundation and the Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti (both Pittsburgh-based non-profits), Mission Vision travelled to Haiti to perform vision exams on approximately 400 people and provide 250 individuals with eyeglasses, June 7-14, 2011 (see p. 11).
THE OP PORT
Since October 2008, Mission Vision has served well over 4,000 individuals and provided more than 3,400 pairs of glasses to adults and children in need.
1 | Globally, up to 80% of blindness is avoidable.
â€œMy students could not believe how much clearer the world looked!" - Judy Howe-Adams, Nurse, Pittsburgh Public Schools
pg.23 pg.21 www.mission-vision.org
& CHANGING LIVES
A Year in Review: 2011
Up to 25% of medicines consumed on poor countries are counterfeit or sub-standard. | 2
History William C. Christie, MD, utilizing his medical expertise, along with being inspired by his faith, made his first mission trip to Ghana, West Africa, in the early 1990s. This outreach launched a lifetime commitment to serve those in need. A standard of care was set to reach those who are impoverished and the underprivileged around the world and in this region. With the aid of medical school colleagues, Dr. Christie helped establish Manna Mission Hospital, a freestanding outpatient care center in Ghana. Today, that facility includes 40 beds, two operating rooms and a trained medical staff to make a difference in its region. Every few years, Dr. Christie and his team return there to perform surgeries, train Ghanaians, and transport medical supplies and equipmentâ€”much of which is donated. Mission Vision supports the coordination of and delivery of supplies for these trips and many others around the globe. In 2004, Mission Vision was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to expand its services and training for vision care in Western Pennsylvania. Now, Mission Vision as a mobile unit using a partner provider based model, is setting an example for other nonprofits and programs that aim to provide vision care for underserved communities.
Dr. William Christie and son Andrew
h & Rev. Dr. Seth Ablor Dr. Christie
3 | 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind. 246 have low vision.-World Health Organization, 2011.
Our Vision of Hope A vision of hope is what we create at Mission Vision. Vision of Hope is also the name of our community outreach program, bringing screening clinics to our partner providers—organizations already effectively at work with the individuals they serve as they address the effects of poverty, neglect, mental disability, homelessness and even domestic abuse. Unfortunately, delivery of vision care to our neighbors in need has much more to do with these greater issues than may be at first obvious. As we meet the clients of our partnering organizations—including students at the schools where we hold vision clinics—we see first-hand the role that sight plays in critical ways. For the homeless, clear vision is imperative for safety and survival for living on the street and in shelters. In this often precarious existence, eyeglasses can make the difference between thriving instead of just surviving. For the unemployed, being able to see and complete a job application, and to make a good impression with a quality pair of prescription eyeglasses that contributes to our appearance, is often the difference between finding employment and continuing to seek employment. For children, vision has much to do with the ability to learn. We meet children whose uncorrected vision is so impaired that we wonder how they ever progressed through the system to middle school, or even high school. Through our school and summer camp clinics, we literally provide what might be a last chance for a child to succeed in education, a simple pair of eyeglasses. In our international outreach, eyeglasses and readers are indeed a treasured gift, as so many recipients never knew their vision impairment could be corrected. The joy and empowerment of children and adults receiving this opportunity is only a part of a larger picture; lives change when our partner agencies or classroom teachers personally deliver the prescribed glasses within only a few weeks of our clinics. For many, behavioral, self-esteem and emotional issues improve, so essential are the abilities to see clearly, read and experience the world. Mission Vision seeks innovative ways to expand and deploy its resources to reduce our growing wait list for clinics. The need is tremendous. Our Vision of Hope Program aims to have a greater impact on more lives. We know vision nurtures not only our skills, but our spirits. As we share the stories of our work in 2011, I pray that you will share our vision and join us to bring new hope to those whose sight truly deserves our care. 2255
With Gratitude, 1080
Susan Henault Executive Director Mission Vision www.mission-vision.org
614 139 2008
Total number of patients seen by Mission Vision 2009 2010 2011
Presbyopia, an age-related difficulty of focusing on near objects, will affect over 40% of the world’s population by 2020. | 4
Partner Providers AT-RISK YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS ACAC Youth Ministry Pine Valley Bible Camp Urban Impact Youth Ministry
Mission Vision Addresses Need Mission Vision’s clinic statistics speak for those served in 2011: Total screened
Carrone Baptist Church LifeStone Church Trinity Lutheran Church
Brashear Association Latino-Hispanic American Comm. Ctr. Lloyd D. Hayden Comm. Ctr. North Hills Comm. Outreach Salvation Army – Allegheny Valley Corps.
ALIVE -Living Ministry Crisis Center North East End Cooperative Ministry Jubilee Assocation, Inc. Light of Life Rescue Mission Pleasant Valley Shelter Veteran’s Leadership Program Washington City Mission Womanspace East, Inc.
FEDERALLY QUALIFIED MEDICAL CENTER North Side Christian Health Ctr.
Aliquippa Public Schools Deer Lakes Public Schools McKeesport Public Schools Founders Middle School 6-7 Francis McClure 4-6 Pittsburgh Public Schools Allderdice HS Allegheny K-8 Carrick HS Classical Academy 6-8 Lincoln Technology K-8 McNaugher 3-12 Miller African Academy PreK-5 Northview Heights PreK-8 Obama 6-12 Oliver HS Pioneer K-Age 21 Roosevelt 6-8 Science & Technology 6-12 Sunnyside K-8 Weil ALA PreK-5 Sharon City Public Schools Middle-High School Musser K-6 West Hill K-6 Woodland Hills Public Schools Shaffer K-6
47.9% Eyewear Provided
70.9% Single-vision 1,114
Bi-Focal & Tri-Focal 311
One out of every 5 adults were diagnosed with cataracts or suspicion of glaucoma and referred for follow up medical treatment or surgery. Referrals totaled 206 and 3 persons received eye drops.
More than half of those served were minor children under the age of 18. 58.6% 4.8% 3.5% 5.4%
Through clinic bookings with partner-providers, Mission Vision takes eye care to those already identified as “at-risk”. In preparation for an on-site clinic, the host agency, church or school aims to have those with the greatest need at the event which is promoted and supported by staff, teachers, and volunteers. 5 | The estimated annual global economic productivity loss due to untreated vision impairment is $269 billion.
The Opportunity Everyone Deserves a Clear View
The precious sense of sight is essential to experiencing the wonders and details of daily life and the beauty of our world. Vision is integral to learning and development of life skills as well as confidence and self-esteem. Even as the worldwide problem of vision disability is astounding, this obstacle is both treatable and often curable. The harsh realities of vision loss and inadequate accessibility of health care fuel Mission Vision’s work both regionally and globally. As a hub for outreach initiatives with partner-providers, Mission Vision supports training and education to empower others to effectively deliver care. The efficient delivery of medical services, and the coordination of supplies and equipment supports the expansion and the outreach of other faith-based and educational mission programs. By removing the barriers to care, Mission Vision provides a cost-effective and swift solution for the eye care needs of the disadvantaged. These disadvantaged individuals include the child who cannot view his teacher’s writing on the chalkboard, the homeless veteran who is losing his sight to cataracts, or the single mother who cannot afford new eyeglasses. These are just some of the people to whom Mission Vision brings hope and an opportunity for a brighter future. In addition to providing critical vision related services to underprivileged citizens in Western Pennsylvania, Mission Vision reaches out to those around the world abroad. Experience has shown that lack of access to routine vision care is a contributing factor to blindness and impaired vision in impoverished and developing countries. It is common to see persons who are legally blind simply because they do not have access to eye care that would provide the eyeglasses needed to correct severe near-sighted or far-sighted conditions. And, some more serious forms of blindness are due to untreated cataracts, glaucoma, or other eye related diseases. In 2011, a Mission Vision team travelled to Haiti (see coverage on p. 11 ). In addition to our global outreach, Mission Vision trains and supports other international mission teams to conduct vision screenings along with providing eyewear to those in need. If we helped just one person that day, it has made the trip worthwhile. Bob Means, clinic volunteer
Whatever you did for one of the least of these of these brothers o of mine, you did for me. – Matthew 25:40 | 6
People within the community who feel called to help others often don’t know how they can help or are not connected to those in the community that are in need. Mission Vision through its relationships with service providers and those in need are able to connect people with resources to those that need the resources most; engaging volunteers through clinics, work sessions, and the IMPACT Program.
Clinic Volunteers Volunteer staff makes possible the four or more free clinics Mission Vision conducts monthly in the greater Pittsburgh area. Each clinic requires: • A Patient Coordinator: Checks patients in to the clinic; helps manage patient flow through clinic. • 1 Optometrist or Ophthalmologist: Provides an eye exam and refraction for eyeglasses. • 1 Technician: Completes preliminary testing of each patient, preparing them to see the doctor. • 2 Opticians: Helps patients select appropriate frame; fits frame & takes measurements. Mission Vision welcomes experienced eye care professionals from throughout the Western Pennsylvania/Tri-state area to serve in one of these local, one-day mission trips. In addition, qualified volunteers support Mission Vision by providing transportation for clinic supplies, clients, and IMPACT kits. Volunteers deliver the kits to shelters and other providers. Local business and organizations provide volunteer manpower at quarterly work days to clean and prepare donated eyewear for reuse through international clinics. These gently worn prescription and reading glasses supplement the donation of new eyewear by major manufacturers to fill the need abroad.
7 | Primary open-angle glaucoma affects an estimated 2.2 million people in the US and a projected 3.3 million by 2020. - American Academy of Ophthalmology
How a Clinic Happens
Screenings by Type of Partner-Provider
Before the clinic Clinics volunteers are scheduled: an optometrist, an optician, a technician, and a clinic manager donate their time and talents Patients are scheduled an appointment by a partner provider, and if applicable, any special permission slips for minors or those legally incapacitated are secured. Mission Vision staff and volunteers organize an appropriate selection of eyeglasses for adults and/or childrenâ€”depending on the clinic location.
The mobile eye clinic is comprised of specialized, transportable vision screening equipment to identify near- and far-sightedness, color blindness, eye disease or injuries, and refraction to set prescription needs, as well as all the tools required to properly fit custom prescription eyewear.
Homeless Provider 16.4%
At the clinic Patients are checked in by the clinic manager. By conducting preliminary vision, color, depth-perception and other testing, a trained optometric or ophthalmic technician prepares the patient to be seen by the optometrist.
Community Service 14.3%
A thorough vision screening is performed by the optometrist who also determines if a prescription for eyeglasses is needed. Patients are fitted with new eyeglass frames by the experienced optician.
After the clinic Each pair of glasses is ordered from and custom-made by an optical lab. Upon completion of manufacturing, the eyeglasses are carefully sorted, inspected, labeled by patient name, and prepared for delivery to the partner-provider. Â Glasses are delivered to the clinic host organization (partner-provider), usually two to three weeks after an event. The partner-provider staff personally provideS the new glasses to their client or student.
Federally Qualified Health Center 52 2.8%
More than 1 out of every 12 persons living in Allegheny County falls below the poverty level (2006-10) | 8
Our Community A New Vision to Pittsburgh.s Homeless L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry provides critical support for Pittsburgh’s homeless. The Northside nonprofit held the 9th annual ALIVE festival, the city’s largest event for the homeless, on Nov.19, 2011 when 300 volunteers gathered on a perfect autumn Saturday to directly assist those in need. In the past, Mission Vision was only able to provide over-the-counter reading glasses at ALIVE. For the 2011 event, Mission Vision was able to supply custom prescription eyewear to those individuals who could not be helped with readers. Those identified as needing a customized eyeglass prescription were referred to a free clinic set up inside Bistro Soul, a nearby restaurant. Thanks to the generosity of Nikki Heckman and her entire team at Bistro to Go (who donated the workspace), Mission Vision was able to fit 28 pairs of custom prescription eyeglasses at this clinic.
9 | Anyone who loves God, must also love his brother and sister.-John 4:21
Mission Vision has a lasting impact on lives and is revolutionizing the way services are delivered. —Charles Chapman, Executive Director, L.I.V.I.N.G Ministry, Pittsburgh
Sharing Friendship and a Healthier View Nine years ago, Charles Chapman came to Pittsburgh from Baltimore to pursue what he describes as his life’s calling, which includes his passion to serve the homeless, poor, and neglected. Charles co-founded the homeless ministry, L.I.V.I.N.G. (Love Initiated Ventures Investing In Neglected Groups) Ministry on the city’s Northside in 2002. Approximately five years ago, Chris Lin also came to Pittsburgh, but for a different reason. He left his home in New York City to receive necessary medical attention. Upon leaving a Pittsburgh hospital, Chris entered a residential program called Safe Haven where he has lived since. When Charles began weekly visits to the men living at Safe Haven in 2006, he met Chris, and soon a great relationship formed. Charles noticed Chris’s dilapidated pair of glasses, which Chris admitted he had not replaced in more than 10 years. As Charles had made a connection with Mission Vision, both men signed up for the next available clinic. “Upon arriving, we were met by two of the most wonderful and helpful ladies I have ever met,” Chris says. “They explained the process and showed me more than a dozen frames to try on and took their time to see which one provided the best look. I ended up with two free pairs of glasses. For the first time in my life, I had the freedom to choose which pair to put on for the day and not worry about breaking them or losing them.” Charles marvels at the quality of the service noting that “never once did I feel like a client, but a friend. L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry had to become better partners with such a dynamic and impactful ministry.” “One of the biggest struggles in my life is being around other people, but having these glasses has drastically increased by confidence in public,” shares Chris. “Being on a very limited fixed income, I know the value of saving every penny. I would never have been able to afford these glasses on my own.” Charles adds, “Glasses are expensive, and a good pair of glasses is even more expensive. I have been wearing glasses for almost 20 years, and because I don’t have insurance, getting new and quality glasses is sadly not always a priority. I am glad for organizations like Mission Vision that remind us of the importance of clear vision.” What do the glasses mean to Chris? His faces lights up with a smile. “Having these glasses makes me feel like a normal human being and allows me to enjoy life instead of staying at home and not being able to see. It's like I have been given a second chance in life. I'm very thankful, blessed and appreciative of the way my life has been transformed by Mission Vision. I was blind, but now I can see.” Today, Charles and the team at L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry meets weekly with Chris and the other participants of Safe Haven to study the Bible, play basketball, go out to the movies, or just hang out and enjoy a meal together. And, to date, Mission Vision and L.I.V.I.N.G. Ministry have partnered in four outreach events, reaching several hundred of Pittsburgh’s homeless, nurturing both spiritual and physical vision. www.mission-vision.org
Allegheny County spends about $23 million annually to combat homelessness. -Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | 10
“Volunteers could spend 365 days a year and still never meet all the need. But it is so rewarding to go and serve in an area like Haiti."
From a Distance
Health care is considered a privilege for the citizens of Haiti. Many serious health conditions are left untreated as many hospitals are privately operated and serve only the wealthy.
In Haiti, medical services and supplies are delivered to those in need by non-profit organizations serving a country still struggling from devastation by a massive 7.0 earthquake in January 2010. One of these organizations, The House of David Community Health Center is an initiative of Pittsburgh-based Functional Literacy Ministry (FLM) of Haiti. The center in Thomassin, a town in the mountains southeast of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, is a partner-provider benefitting from Mission training and resources to provide eye care in addition to medical services. FLM and the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation collaborated with Mission Vision which travelled to Haiti and performed vision exams on approximately 400 people, June 7-14, 2011. Mission Vision team members initially visited the EBAC Christian Academy and Orphanage in Cap-Haitien, a small town about 80 miles from capital on the northern coast. There, they performed vision exams on 102 people, mostly children. In addition, the mission team then traveled to the House of David in Fermathe, a tiny community near Thomassin. At the House of David outreach center, they screened and treated another 299 individuals—ranging in age from 8 months to 90 years-old. Of the combined total of 400 people treated at both mission events, nearly 250 individuals (62.50%) needed prescription eyeglasses. Amazingly, the Mission Vision team was able to provide the majority on the spot with eyeglasses brought with them from Pennsylvania. However, 36 required custom prescriptions, which were manufactured upon the team’s return to the United States and delivered by the next mission team traveling to the House of David just a few weeks later. Many clinic patients were diagnosed with surgical needs—mostly due to cataracts, which are not helped by glasses. Others were found to have glaucoma. Mission Vision, also shipped eye drops with the FLM team that left Pittsburgh for Haiti at the end of June. The FLM team was able to supply the House of David pharmacy with wetting drops to help Haitians with the overwhelming occurrence of eye irritations due to the climate and environmental conditions, in addition to glaucoma and antibiotic drops.
11 | About 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries.- World Health Organization
The Mission Vision Team travelling to Haiti in June 2011 saw a country in a long recovery. Mission Vision Executive Director Susan Henault (below left) was joined by (below right, r-l):Christopher Carver, OD, optometrist; her husband Stephen Henault, optician; Samantha Boustead, technician; and intern Andrew Christie, Baylor University student and son of MV founder William Christie, MD. Here, team members reflect on the people they met. Christopher Carver, O.D., has worked on mobile eye care clinics serving individuals in our own community through Mission Vision’s Mobile Community Outreach. This trip to Haiti was his first experience working abroad. “You prepare yourself. However, the condition of the Haitian capital Port of Prince [the airport location] was quite shocking. It looked as though the earthquake could have happened in the past week,” said the Scott & Christie and Associates optometrist. He noted the lack of running water and sanitation, especially for those still living in what he said could barely be described as “tent cities.”
Fellow Mission Vision team member Stephen Henault, who has volunteered with Mission Vision since its inception, confirmed that these temporary communities are little more than strung-up tarps in areas where homeless earthquake victims seek dubious protection from the elements. “There are a lot of challenges there for people—with the conditions of the infrastructure, the roads,” says the long-time Mission Vision volunteer optician. “A lot of people appear to be living in limbo. The things these people deal with every day—it was hard to believe until experienced in person.” The group travelled light, taking needed equipment, eyeglasses and clinic supplies. Upon arrival, the team recognized that needs where more overwhelming than any vision clinic could meet. “We really worked non-stop from the day we arrived until the day we left,” said Stephen Henault. “Volunteers could spend 365 days a year and still never meet all the need. But it is so rewarding to go and serve in an area like Haiti. We had pre-made prescription eyeglasses and gently used donated eyewear to take care of the majority of patients. We only had to bring three dozen pairs of glasses back home to be custom-crafted.” Beginning at the Ebac Orphanage—via a one-hour single engine plane piloted to Haiti’s northern coast, they were met by Chris, a missionary from Pittsburgh Kids Foundation. The team staged an eight-hour clinic then travelled the next day to the House of David Community Health Center, outside of Port Au Prince. After many hours of plane delays and a one-hour return flight, about two hours of ground travel, the exhausted team planned to set for the clinic scheduled the next day. However, “we were told 36 people had been waiting more than four hours,” said Carver. The team ran an impromptu nighttime clinic in an open air environment by generator power for lights and to run the optical equipment. Carver says, “We adjusted the set-up and had to make it work.” “Not one on our team batted an eye,” says Henault. “We rolled up our sleeves and got to work.” Team members were struck by the good cheer and positive demeanor of the Haitians they met. “These were great people, both hosting us and arriving for our vision care,” says Carver. “We were so impressed with the resilience and positive outlook of people who have been through so much. But it was tough. These folks have never seen anything related to an eye exam. We had challenges having them even look into our equipment. From our perspective, we applied a lot of our objective measurements and gut feeling.” At a Sunday worship service, the team saw people they had fitted with glasses. Carver says, “When you see the situation these folks are living in, and they are pleasant. It helps us to remember how thankful we should be and why we should not complain about the little things.” The team members were the guests of Mountaintop Ministries, which develops education and health care programs to transform villages into self-sustaining communities throughout the country and provides its guest houses for visiting mission teams. Mission Vision is only one of a few vision care teams to come during the decade in which the organization has served. Both Carver and Henault say they would make this trip again. Carver recalls that while driving the team for departure from the airport, Lionel, one of the team’s translators and the nephew of Rev. Leon Pamphile, executive director of Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti, “thanked us for leaving our families to help his.” Stephen Henault concludes that it took a lot of faith to make the journey: “It was God who accomplished a lot through us. We were put in the places and with people where we could be safe and secure in our work. Connection to people and resources made God’s work happen, and we were in Haiti to do that.” www.mission-vision.org
Of the 3 million people affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, 1.9 million were rendered homeless. | 12
Education & Lessons are learned through experience. The experiences of Mission Vision staff and our partner providers have confirmed that there is indeed a vision epidemic in Western Pennsylvania. While Mission Vision has become a more informed organization by working alongside many public schools in Western Pennsylvania, to discover and reveal that disconnected and broken systems exist. Mission Vision has identified gaps in channels particularly targeted to help our youngest citizens. While clinic outreach is critical in providing cost-effective short-term relief, but Mission Vision is committed to leading in a new education initiative for long-term solutions.
716 of 855 students screened in schools received prescription eyeglasses
Vision health is directly tied to academic performance. It can be a factor in behavioral, cognitive and emotional development. If a child cannot see, they struggle to learn. In fact, some children were classified as having learning disabilities when they just had a problem seeing the black board or they couldnâ€™t see to read. Untreated eye problems cost taxpayers even more money for special education programs and the long-term effects of societal implications tied to behavioral and economic issues.
13 | 80% of what children learn is through vision.
Advocacy Barriers exist for students who require access to vision care. Although many students may be covered through government sponsored insurance programs (i.e. CHIP in Pennsylvania), this at-risk population has difficulty accessing care and utilizing insurance benefits. Vision care is not a reality for much of this population. Obstacles for struggling families may include economic factors, lifestyle and living conditions, understanding insurance benefits and health issues, education, and lack of transportation, among others. For some, putting food on the table and daily survival are take priority over addressing eye care issues. The availability of funding for services for the most vulnerable citizens â€“such as the homeless, seniors and children â€“is often disconnected from the delivery of services. In many instances, those who cannot advocate for themselves sometimes do not receive funded aid or eye care. Greater public awareness and education among potential partner-providers is needed.
The participation in class and even their willingness to help other students improves--from a student acting out and having low grades and poor participation to the complete opposite. Better grades are an important measurable outcome. A Pittsburgh teacher on how eyeglasses change a student's reality
Approximately 2,200 enrolled students in nine Western Pennsylvania counties were homeless, 2009-10. -Â National Center for Homeless Education | 14
SCHOOLS: Our Partners in Eye Care Education By connecting with teachers, nurses and school administrators, Mission Vision works alongside education professionals to develop an instruction module outlining critical areas for attention. This education initiative is designed for those who educate and care for our children almost 200 days a year. This approach emphasizes the importance of healthy vision and the barriers preventing many children from getting vision care so that those working in the education community can overcome these barriers. Teachers benefit from great awareness through tools for identifying potential vision deficit through the observation of classroom behaviors and improved communication with parents regarding the importance of their childâ€™s eye care needs. Mission Vision works closely with school nursing staff members who annually conduct a basic vision screening with students. Those students who fail the vision screening with acuity of 20/40 or worse and fail to return to school with glasses are given the opportunity to participate in a Mission Vision clinic. The pre-screening ensures that children with the most need are examined and can receive eyeglasses.
Mission Vision has made a world of difference for our students. An Allegheny County teacher
Once students receive their glasses, if things aren't improving academically and behaviorally, schools can then check for other disabilities or issues. 15 | Pittsburgh Public Schools serve approximately 25,000 students in K-12 grades in 59 schools.
Advocacy through our Partnership of Care Education is empowerment. Advocacy provides a voice to those who may not otherwise be heard. Mission Vision advocates lifting barriers for those who face financial and situational challenges, including the homeless and those who are too young to advocate for themselves. For example, the homeless population is also aging. As a higher incidence of age-related vision deficits is noted in homeless Americans-including the loss of site through glaucoma—Mission Vision is convinced that prevention and education contribute to improvement of their quality of life. Our organization believes that positive change can be accomplished through the modification of existing laws, the reallocation of resources, and the development of more realistic delivery systems for insurance companies. The overall challenge is to reallocate resources that are already provided through insurance companies to deliver these resources to the beneficiaries under these programs. This can be accomplished through partnerships with insurance companies to make sure that benefits are made readily available to beneficiaries not based on traditional care models (beneficiaries seeking care in the healthcare marketplace), but by the insurance companies delivering care directly to beneficiaries. As a society, we are vested in making sure these benefits are readily available to at-risk populations. Most often, these are taxpayer-funded initiatives and resources provided to eliminate the societal implications realized from not receiving these benefits. Mission Vision’s efforts in raising public awareness continue to result in media coverage and community communication. This enhanced awareness directly dispels misperceptions about available care, coverage and income barriers. Instituting our “partnership of care” involves connecting a broad spectrum of players that include other non-profit agencies, church and faith-based organizations, those who work with the homeless, schools and concerned citizens. Mission Vision is heartened that collaboration can indeed develop efficient and realistic solutions for connecting our partners’ constituents to much-needed eye care.
All uninsured children and teens not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance qualify for Pennsylvania's Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). | 16
Seeing the Way to Learn Juanita Hogan, nurse practitioner for Pittsburgh Public Schools, shares her experience from the initiation of clinics in one Northside school to the implementation of clinics throughout the Pittsburgh School District.
By Juanita Hogan I had been praying for years that the Pittsburgh Public Schools could get the kinds of services offered by Mission Vision. I hoped that doctors could come to the schools to follow-up on the routine vision screenings we do. Unfortunately, in many situations, children don’t receive the vision services recommended after our screenings. Sometimes it has to do with insurance, sometimes with family finances—even transportation issues. We find children who are actually wearing their mom’s or grandmother’s glasses to school. The day before our most recent clinic, I saw one middle school boy wearing what looked like an older man’s glasses. He explained that he had found them at home and wanted to be approved to play basketball. So he wore the glasses. We were able to have him screened by Mission Vision so that he could receive new glasses. Some children don’t want to wear glasses. They might break or lose them almost intentionally as a way to avoid wearing glasses at school. Enter Mission Vision. Vision clinics in the Pittsburgh schools began when Rev. Larry Homitsky, head of the United Methodist Church Union, contacted Manchester Elementary to ask what kinds of services were needed in that Northside school. I was asked for input and I said that vision examinations and eyeglasses were imperative as they relate directly to how students learn. Dr. Theresa Cherry, our principal, led the initiation of Mission Vision’s first and only school clinic at Manchester Elementary, where I was working in 2009. I called all the parents. We publicized the clinic in the newsletter. The parents kept asking if they would have to miss work to bring their children to the clinic. And they asked how it could possibly be a free program. On the day of the clinic, all teachers and staff who wore glasses or contact lenses wore their eyeglasses. Children who already wore glasses wore theirs proudly. We featured sunglasses, all kinds of glasses. We were celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Methodist Church volunteers came to read to the children. And Pittsburgh’s Mayor Luke Ravenstahl came to the event. The response was overwhelming. More than 40 children were seen at the first clinic. Staff assisted special needs children; I had some children sit on my lap for their exams. Some parents attended as the clinic as they couldn’t believe this was happening—that the exams and eyeglasses were provided at no cost. If I recommended that the glasses needed to stay at school—to prevent the child from losing or misplacing them-- then a second pair of glasses was provided. The need is great. It cuts across all ages, races, income levels, and more. Returning to Manchester Elementary in 2010, Mission Vision began to open up a whole new world for Pittsburgh Public Schools. The children’s joy is amazing. They say things like: “I didn’t’ know the world looked like that.” Or “I didn’t know about all these colors.” The concept was taken to the Pittsburgh Public School Board. It turned out that one of the Board members had had a Mission Vision clinic at his church and knew about the program. Susan Henault and I spoke to the School Board, which supported the program unanimously. Dr. Linda Lane, the new district superintendent, and the current board continues support of Mission Vision. In addition, Mission Vision has been adopted as a United Way charity selection for District employees. 17 | Up to 25% of all children may have vision problems
I envision that Mission Vision can grow exponentially. This organization is supported by both word of mouth and contacts funders and people who can give not only dollars but also services. We know that providing eye care and eyeglasses to students has a direct correlation to academic success. We see the results in children who were previously not able to read or see properly. Sometimes vision problems connect to behavioral issues. The importance of vision? It is paramount. If you can’t see you can’t learn. If you can’t see you can’t have academic success. You can’t succeed in life. For the future of our students, vision is essential. If they can’t see the world as something exciting, they can’t be excited about their future. It’s right up there with not being able to breathe. Parents need to have access to vision care for their children. It needs to be easy. This clinic model is an inexpensive fix. The problems are fixable with some lenses. This needs to be made available to the children and the families. For example, if following the school screening, parents are referred to an ophthalmologist, they often travel to one location for an appointment and then another location to get eyeglasses. In my research, I have learned that some vision outlets are not obligated to fit the children with the glasses. I have had children come to school with adult-sized frames on their little faces. Some children get the wrong prescription. and the parent is sent in a circular path for re-examination and additional steps when in fact the eyeglass lab may be in error. Parents are busy. They sometimes have two jobs. Sometimes they lack transportation. And they often lack comprehensive insurance for the best care and adequate eyewear. The need is great. It cuts across all ages, races, income levels, and more. To meet the need, we are getting the word out. This is phenomenal service to children, families and the school district. Mission Vision is making a big difference in the lives of our students. I feel very, very blessed that the clinic program has gotten off the ground in our schools, but so many children in other districts also need this service. Mission Vision has just begun to serve other districts. It is my hope that expansion of the I didn't know the world looked like that. I didn't know about all these colors. program will bring more care and glasses to children who need these services in order to learn and reach their potential. Pittsburgh Public School Students Juanita Hogan, who will join Mission Vision’s Board of Directors in 2012, has worked in Pittsburgh Public Schools since 1992. She chairs the school nurses division of the American Federation of Teachers, in addition to being an active member of the Pennsylvania Nurses and Nurse Practitioners Association. When she travels to Haiti during 2012 for a fact-finding mission for an AFT clinic at the request of the Haitian teachers’ union, Nurse Hogan will take glasses from Mission Vision to support the ongoing vision care of children via schools there.
Parents cite money, time, transportation issues and disbelief that their child's failed screening confirms a vision problem. | 18
Our Vision Our Vision for the Future Mission Vision foresees continued growth and expansion of its services in 2012. With this in mind, recognizing our challenges as opportunities to create more effective and efficient operations will be our highest priority as we enter our fourth year in our community outreach efforts. Our organization mission suggests strategic growth to meet the growing needs of our partner-provider relationships and the people that we serve.
Increasing organizational capacity. Efficiently meeting partner-provider needs requires addressing the obstacles to offering more clinics. Currently, there is a 15 to18 month wait time from the moment a clinic is requested to when it can be accomplished. Paring this period to only 9-12-months would allow Mission Vision to better schedule partner-providers into the next year’s calendar. Much preparation and staff time is involved before a clinic takes place. Processing of lens prescriptions and orders for each individual’s eyeglasses happens in the several days following each clinic so that eyeglasses can be delivered to clinic patients as soon as possible. However, even with the assistance of volunteers to make deliveries and the cooperation of partner-providers, these steps require administrative coordination and costs incurred by Mission Vision’s small staff. Increasing the number of school districts in which children may be screened. There is an ever-present and crucial need to provide vision screenings and eyeglasses to children and teens through public schools where routine vision screenings indicate a student’s eyes need further examination. The reality is that while some children are indeed insured in significant numbers, there is a profound disconnect between insurance benefits that are provided and the utilization of those benefits; many parents lack of follow-through due to schedules, transportation and/or understanding of insurance benefits. Expansion and formalization of education-prevention modules. Creation of training materials and workshops for schools, partner-providers, and others who provide health clinics in the US and abroad would support expanded communication, advocacy and understanding of the issues and barriers to care for those who desperately need vision services. Knowledge is indeed empowerment and the facts support the need for good vision to improve learning, safety, socialization, and economic opportunity for children and adults whose vision is at risk. New initiatives to provide hearing screenings and hearing aids. Just as sight is a critical “sense” for success in life, hearing is indeed an integral tool for education, relating to others, and safe navigation of the world. Mission Vision’s partner-providers are identifying clients who are at high-risk due to loss of hearing and other audiology concerns. Through the provision of hearing screenings, Mission Vision has identified this as an area of need. Hearing care is often neglected due to the perceived cost of hearing aids. We know that diagnosis is the first step to determine the patient’s needs and how to best treat hearing lost and other ear-related conditions. Funding and awareness are important commitments to make this goal a reality. 19 | Be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. - I Timothy 6:18
Our Action Steps
To directly enhance organizational capacity, Mission Vision plans to hire an additional optometrist to staff all clinics. This will provide continuity which in turn will accelerate the scheduling of clinics. Currently, the organization depends on volunteer optometrists in the community. Having an employed optometrist for one day a week will enable the organization to staff additional clinics in the week with volunteer optometrists. Increased efficiency would also be supported by moving Mission Vision’s core staff closer inner-city partner-providers. Mission Vision will review and assess this possibility to eliminate travel time to and from Cranberry Twp. by locating organization administration and volunteers closer to the partner-providers and constituency that they serve. Mission Vision will launch its customized Web Portal in 2012. The automated portal will provide easy access to details needed from intake through delivery of eyeglasses and follow-up care or surgery. It will record the screening interaction in real time thereby eliminating paperwork and much of the manual processing of orders following clinics. The resulting continuity in care will best serve patients while allowing Mission Vision and its partners to more efficiently track care and outcomes for each patient. An expanded presence in Western Pennsylvania school districts will be supported through a continuing self-education and advocacy process led by Mission Vision. A clearer understanding of Pennsylvania’s CHIP program and other financial resources available to children is needed. Mission Vision aims to educate legislators and insurance companies while supporting educators, school nurses and parents in navigating existing systems and to create new avenues for the delivery of vision care. Key tools to accomplish this goal include the development of learning modules for use by partnerproviders and schools to identify potential patients based on need. Education is also needed for follow-up care for those with eye-related medical issues (such as diabetes or glaucoma) and the scheduling of appropriate follow-up examinations for those with more pronounced vision concerns. Training for those running clinics via Mission Vision and other international mission providers can be formalized further to support greater efficiency. This supports serving more adults and children in the US and beyond. Mission Vision is committed to expanding a hearing screening component for those with identified hearing challenges. Access to professional services has been arranged. Now funding and sponsorship is needed to support the provision of hearing aids and other medical services to those diagnosed with hearing loss and related medical issues. Much work and creative problem-solving lies ahead for Mission Vision. But our focused mission and inspired vision of hope is inspiring many to support our programs, volunteer in service, and to participate in increased awareness-raising as we anticipate another dynamic year in 2012.
Hearing his way clear When someone cannot hear well, they may be easily misunderstood. It was that way for one client of long-time Mission Vision partner-provider Light of Life Rescue Mission. His life was changed by a hearing screening. Bill Rhoades, case manager at the Light of Life Shelter on Pittsburgh’s Northside, explains that his staff supports clients who have expressed their sincere determination to seek work and find housing. Many are former veterans finding their way through the options of services offered at the shelter, such as the Veteran’s Leadership Program while others may be recently released from the Allegheny County Jail. Regardless of their story, these men and women are provided with an intensive 90-day program including a bed, bus passes, three meals a day, and mental health support if needed so that they can make important steps to self-sufficiency. “They come to us homeless,” says Rhoades, “but get acclimated to society.” Several clients have benefitted from hearing screenings by Mission Vision’s George Fyke, an audiologist at Scott & Christie and Associates and a Mission Vision board member. It was winter of 2009 when “Marvin” arrived from living on the streets. He had relocated from a warmer climate to Pittsburgh, following a relationship that didn’t work out. Then he lost his job. His hearing had been previously damaged, Rhoades explains, describing a man who was quiet, spoke very softly and was difficult to engage. “One of the things that happens to those with hearing loss,” says Rhoades, “is feeling isolated. These men can’t hear others and become more comfortable with that isolation.” Dr. Fyke’s examination of Marvin revealed serious hearing loss. Through Mission Vision, Marvin received a hearing aid. Soon his speech and volume improved. Marvin became more personable and was able to secure a retail job again with a company with whom he had worked elsewhere. Now, his management and leadership skills are shining through. During 2010, Marvin had his own apartment, was offered a promotion, and began rebuilding his relationship with his family and daughter. “The hearing aid dramatically opened up who Marvin is,” says Rhoades. “Before he was a watcher, a good observer. Now, he is animated and engaged. Marvin is one of our glowing success stories.”
“It is estimated that up to 25% of the medicines consumed in poor countries are counterfeit or substandard.” –World Health Organization | 20
“The films are so perfect for families and we love supporting the work of Mission Vision, too.” - Projecting Hope audience member
Hope On Screen
Stories of resilience and inspiration filled the screen during the Ninth Annual Projecting Hope Film Festival at the Fox Chapel Waterworks Cinema near Pittsburgh, October 21-23, 2011. The Festival’s partnership with Mission Vision supported great regional visibility for the organization before and during the three-day event which featured free admission for all. More than 20 of the latest faith-based films shown included Courageous, Soul Surfer (with Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid), The Grace Card, animated Veggie Tales, and other recent releases. Projecting Hope in Pittsburgh is an important friend- and fund-raiser for Mission Vision. In 2011, more than 5,000 attended and the generosity of audience members garnered more than $3,000 in donations for Mission Vision. Presenting sponsors Scott and Christie and Associates and Good Looks Eyewear provided a special school time preview. More than 200 students from Manchester Elementary School filled one theater for Trinity Goodheart, a popular drama about a girl searching for her long-lost mother. Students from the Northside School benefitted from Mission Vision screening clinics in 2009, when Manchester was the only school served in the city. Manchester hosted a vision clinic again in 2010 when the Pittsburgh School Board approved Mission Vision to provide screenings throughout its district.
21 | Love your neighbor as yourself. - Mark 12:33
Mission Vision was showcased through on-screen videos prior to each film and a lobby information booth featuring publications and details about volunteering. Audience members bringing underwear kits for the IMPACT Program received a discount on popcorn. A couple who arrived with underwear kits said, “We are so happy to help” as they headed to the first full capacity showing of Courageous, released just a few weeks prior to the festival.
2012 Projecting Hope Film Festival
“The films are so perfect for families and we love supporting the work of Mission Vision, too,” said one film-goer with her granddaughter, who anticipated the opening a Veggie Tales feature. An audience member from Penn Hills agreed: “This is something my husband and I enjoy every year.” Advanced promotion for the event included media coverage via stories in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and The Valley News Dispatch, a feature on the widely-read Pop City online magazine, and broadcast interviews on Cornerstone TV and WORD-FM. The films featured at Projecting Hope are making an impact in theaters and for home viewing. “Movies are the story-telling medium of our generation,” says Festival founder and producer Scott Anderson. “They are a way in which we pass along our culture and values.” www.projectinghopepgh.com
For a family of four, it costs approximately $65 to attend a movie. | 22
Creating Impact IMPACT Program
A program of Mission Vision, IMPACT uses a unified approach to efficiently focus resources to crisis centers and homeless shelters. This mission tool facilitates the collection, organization and distribution of donated supplies to those in need. IMPACT educates, equips and unites organizations and businesses to meet the growing needs of families in their respective communities by providing items essential in daily life. These practical, high-demand kits are delivered full of love and consideration. The homeless, women’s crisis shelters and working poor benefit greatly from basic “quality of life items” packaged in practical kits and distributed year-round.
In high demand on a weekly basis
Other IMPACT kits Personal Kit • School Supply Kit • Bedding Kit $10 • Hospital Care Package Laundry Kit $15 • Children’s Summer Fun Tote $20 • Cleaning Kit $40 Family Fun Basket $35 • Underwear Kit $5 • Adult Learning Kit $12 Housewarming Kit $25
Infant Kit $45 Welcome Baby Kit $40 Essentials for a new arrival
Underwear kit $3-5 New T-shirt or Sport Bra, Briefs and Socks
Kitchen Kit $40
On a seasonal basis Winter Survival Kit $0 Gently used items are lip balm and chewing gum at practically no cost.
Families at Dutilh United Methodist Church in Cranberry gathered for the Children’s Ministry project of assembling 60 Infant Kits and additional items delivered to non-profit pregnancy resource centers and shelters. Other organizations preparing and donating Impact Kits in 2011 included: Regis Church • Mars High School Key Club
A comprehensive guide for the preparation of IMPACT kits is available in print and online. Those who wish to help are invited to follow the instructions to both prepare and deliver completed kits directly to the agencies and locations serving the region’s needy. Creating the kits provide school groups, houses of worship, and organizations with an engaging way to support community outreach and national service days. Here’s how: www.create-impact.org 23 | Be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. - I Timothy 6:18
Dear Mission Vision Team:
meone they have known for years, or When an individual is asked from whom they’ve learned the most, the typical answer is from someone of fame, fortune or power—so summer, I probably would have said the same. someone who has had a great impact on many people’s lives. Perhaps a world leader, an educator or a medical doctor. Before this on the streets, the people who live without a However, I can now say that I’ve learned the most from the people who have the least. I’ve learned the most from the people who live of Mission Vision. And I am so thankful for place to call home, and the people who have sacrificed everything to still end up on the bottom. I now know these people well because to faith. They may not be rich in fortune and that. I admire their courage and resiliency. I admire their strength, their will to overcome, and, most importantly, their devotion fame, but they are rich in spirit, hope and love. in a hospital, a school or becoming a For years, I asked myself what kind of career I wanted to pursue and what I wanted to do with my life. I have debated about working an impact and a difference in someone’s life. writer. Fortunately, I now know exactly what I want to do I want to make a difference. I do not care what I do as long as I am making where hope is stolen, but the clinic is one of Mission Vision opened my eyes to this whole new world a world without judgment. The streets are where dreams are shattered and and dedication. It is a place where they the places where they know they can be at ease. The individuals coming to the clinics are aware that this is a place of safety, appreciation can be themselves and where they know the criticism of their live choices will be no more. very appreciative of the time and effort you It is great feeling to truly say that I have made a difference in someone’s life. I learned so much while working with you, and I am from the clinic patients. Their life stories put forth to make my internship soar above and beyond my expectations. Not only did I learn from you, but I received so much wisdom are real, raw, and unforgiving. I will forever cherish the advice and memories given to me by so many who have so little. failure This experience has really changed my outlook on life. I realized that putting others first is what life is all about. I was taught that is not something to be afraid of unless you do not have the will to overcome it. Most importantly, I learned that God’s plan for us is something misleading, but the truth and reason will eventually become visible. Please extend my thanks and appreciation to the entire Mission Vision and Scott and Christie and Associates’ teams for such a substantive internship experience. I was so fortunate to be able to spend my summer with such a wonderful group of professionals. Sincerely, Lindsay Dolan www.mission-vision.org
For Lindsay Dolan, a 23-year-old graduate student from Center Township, an internship in summer 2011 internship at Mission Vision was transformative. Lindsay continues studies for her master’s degree in speech and auditory pathology and also works in the Concussion Management Clinic at the University of Texas at El Paso. As she left Pennsylvania when her internship ended, Lindsay wrote to Mission Vision about what she called a life-changing experience. “Count it all joy when you fall into trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” - James 1:2-3 | 24
Our Appreciation Mission Vision thanks our corporate, foundation and individual donors who supported our programs during 2011, including:
Birmingham Foundation Ralph M. Cestone Foundation PNC Charitable Trust/H. Glenn Sample, Jr., MD Memorial Fund We also thank contributors who collectively donated eyeglass frames valued at approximately $25,000.
Luxottica Group Marchon Eyewear REM Eyewear
A special thanks to our God,
who initiates and forms relationships, who is faithful in developing resources, who inspires creativity and innovation, and who uses us to be messengers for love, healing, and hope.
Editorial & design services: New Place Collaborations and Corey Ekis Additional graphic elements: Luke Homitsky and Karen McDonald Photography: Luke Homitsky, Shawn Karabinos, Yvonne Hudson and Mission Vision staff 25 | A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. - Cicero
It is often said, 'I would give, but only to the deserving' ... See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. --Kahlil Gibran
The work of Mission Vision can only be accomplished through the generous gifts of our foundation, business, and individual donors. Donations consist of countless hours spent by faithful volunteers, donations of material and equipment from businesses and corporations, and, of course, monetary gifts. Here are ways in which donors may support Mission Vision.
Ways to Give Donations
• A business or personal check payable to Mission Vision may be sent to our oﬃce address: Mission Vision, Inc., 105 Brandt Drive, Suite 204, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 • Online donations may be made via the button on our web site at www.mission-vision.org • Donations may be made through employee giving to The United Way by designating charity #1523042 • Arrange a monthly contribution through automated EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer).from your checking account, savings account, or credit card. Call our oﬃce to set up a monthly donation: 724.553.3114
Organizations may: • Sponsor one or more pairs of glasses for $50 each. • Underwrite a doctor for a clinic for $300. • Sponsor or co-sponsor one of our comprehensive day-long clinics for $750-$1,500. • Sponsorship forms may be requested via the Web site or by calling the oﬃce. • Mission Vision is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Your generous gifts support the gift of clearer vision. United Way Donor number 1523042
Mission Vision Board of Directors
William C. Christie, MD - President & Founder Jeffrey J. Rihn, CPA/CFO - Treasurer Terry Snider, Secretary George H. Fyke, F.A.A.A.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. - I Peter 4:10 | 26
Mission Vision 105 Brandt Drive Suite 204 Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Published on Jan 16, 2012
This annual report provides a creative and comprehensive diary of how this Western Pennsylvania nonprofit provides eye care and eye glasses...