NEW ORLEANS, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the overwhelming number of children with eye and vision problems across the United States, Louisiana optometrists are devoting appointments to no-cost, comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants between six to 12 months of age through InfantSEE(R). InfantSEE(R), a public health program developed by Optometry's Charity(TM) - The AOA Foundation in partnership with The Vision Care Institute(TM), LLC a Johnson & Johnson company, was designed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide at no-cost, regardless of family income or number of eligible children.
"InfantSEE(R) is an excellent example of a wellness program that improves public health while driving down future health care costs," said U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). "Louisiana doctors offering this no-cost exam are doing a great service to their community. I urge all families to take advantage of this free service. Early detection and treatment is the key to addressing vision problems that may affect a child's ability to read and learn."
"This very worthy program is helping ensure that children across Louisiana are provided with access to quality vision care and preventative screenings," said U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). "Undetected vision problems can have a serious effect on the wellbeing of a child. The InfantSEE(R) program will provide infant screening services to help diagnose and detect potential problems before they become serious and that's something that all parents should take advantage of."
Leading members of the U.S. House of Representatives delegation from Louisiana have also expressed their support for the InfantSEE(R) program. U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, Anh "Joseph" Cao, Charlie Melancon, John Fleming, M.D., Rodney Alexander, William "Bill" Cassidy, M.D. and Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. urged local parents to have their infant's eyes assessed during InfantSEE(R) Week.
To encourage parents to take advantage of the InfantSEE(R) program and to help protect infant vision and eye health, Governor Bobby Jindal has officially declared Monday, August 3 through Friday, August 14 InfantSEE(R) Week in Louisiana.
One in 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems, which, if undetected, could lead to permanent vision impairment, and in rare cases, life-threatening health risks. However, only 14 percent of children from infancy to age six have had a comprehensive eye assessment from an eye care professional. In Louisiana, great strides are being made to ensure that potential eye and vision problems are detected early. Infant eye assessments have been available in Louisiana since the InfantSEE(R) program launched in 2005.
"Many parents are surprised to learn that the first year of life is one of the most critical stages of a child's visual development," said Dr. Jeff Anastasio, a Louisiana optometrist and InfantSEE(R) provider. "It's the ideal time to detect eye and vision problems before these conditions worsen or cause developmental delays."
The program launched in 2005 with support from former President Jimmy Carter, honorary national chair. Nearly 8,000 optometrists nationwide volunteer their time to provide assessments to babies in their communities. The majority of vision problems detected included retinoblastoma (eye cancer), severe hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), congenital glaucoma and congenital cataract.
"As a parent, one of my biggest concerns is making sure my child's development is on track," said Crystal Payne, a local mother of Randy, age 19 months. "When I learned about the InfantSEE(R) program, it was an obvious decision to take Randy for an assessment. Knowing his vision is healthy puts my mind at ease!"
To continue to improve infant eye assessment rates in Louisiana, parents can bring their infant in for a no-cost assessment at the VSP InfantSEE(R) Mobile Clinic stationed in towns across the state. Also, for those parents who can't make it to the VSP InfantSEE(R) Mobile Clinic, optometrists from around the state will be providing these no-cost InfantSEE(R) eye assessments from August 3 through 14 in their offices by appointment.
VSP InfantSEE(R) Mobile Clinic Schedule - Walk-ins accepted Monday, August 3 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. New Orleans/Gretna, L.A. - Academy Sports: 50 Westbank Hwy., Gretna Tuesday, August 4 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. New Orleans, L.A. - Wal-Mart: 1901 Tchoupitoulas St. Wednesday, August 5 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Slidell, L.A. - North Shore Square Mall: 150 Northshore Blvd. Thursday, August 6 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Baton Rouge, L.A. - McKinley Alumni Association: 1520 Thomas Delpit Dr. Friday, August 7 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Baton Rouge, L.A. - Wal-Mart: 9350 Cortana Place Monday, August 10 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Lafayette, L.A. - Mall of Acadiana: 5725 Johnston St. Tuesday, August 11 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Lake Charles, L.A. - Wal-Mart: 3453 Nelson Rd. Wednesday, August 12 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Alexandria, L.A. - Wal-Mart: 2050 N. Mall Dr. Thursday, August 13 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monroe, L.A. - Pecanland Mall: 4700 Milhaven Rd. Friday, August 14 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Shreveport, L.A. - Uptown Mall: 4800 Line Ave Participating Optometrist offering NO-COST InfantSEE(R) Assessments in their Offices - Appointment Required ALEXANDRIA Dr. Cornel LeBlanc 5917 Jackson St. 318-445-5292 Dr. William Risinger 3908 Parliament Dr. 318-445-5319 Dr. Lacy Shaw 5615-B Jackson Street Ext. 318-442-7787 BATON ROUGE Dr. Elmo Dean 4747 O' Neal Ln. 225-755-0988 Dr. Susan Jong 5151 Bluebonnet 225-769-6010 Dr. Eric Thai 11331 Old Hammond Hwy. 225-246-8830 Dr. Wendy Waguespack 7932 Picardy Ave., Ste. A 225-767-8495 BOSSIER CITY Dr. Christine Pastilong 927 Benton Rd. 318-747-0302 COVINGTON Dr. Jeffrey Anastasio Dr. Shelly Anastasio 190 Breenbriar Blvd. 985-875-7898 Dr. Mark Siverd 880 N. Hwy 190 985-867-8708 CROWLEY Dr. John Wise 509 N. Ave. G 337-783-1280 DENHAM SPRINGS Dr. Chris Wroten 222 Veterans Blvd. 225-791-2020 Dr. Brandon Wax 222 Veterans Blvd., Ste B 225-665-2828 DESTREHAN Dr. Sandra Warner 1974 Ormond Blvd., Ste. 7 985-764-2929 DONALDSONVILLE Dr. Devjani Lahiri-Munir 309 Iberville St. 225-665-2020 EUNICE Dr. J.D. Miller 350 Moosa Blvd. 337-457-5277 GREENWELL SPRINGS Dr. Kevin Rogers 18522 Magnolia Bridge Rd. 225-261-6282 GONZALES Dr. Ed Adams Dr. Cory Boudreau 2308 S. Burnside Ave. 225-647-6549 HARAHAN Dr. Stephanie White 5110 Jefferson Hwy. 504-818-1463 JENNINGS Dr. Tim Barry 418 N. Main St. 337-824-3937 LAFAYETTE Dr. Dave Fisher 1458 S. College Rd., Ste. 103 337-237-2110 Dr. Cathy Guidry 5725 Johnston, #2314 337-984-2410 Dr. Erica Lukasko 4906 Ambassador Caffrery Pkwy. 337-237-2110 Dr. Patrick Magee 4510 Ambassador Caffrery Pkwy. 337-984-2020 Dr. Don Mizelle 225 N. College Ave. 337-269-0505 LAKE CHARLES Dr. Rebecca Cronan 3451 Nelson Rd. 337-474-6850 Dr. Jeffrey Hankin 1717 Oak Park Blvd. 337-478-3810 Dr. Rick McGuirt 111 W. McNeese St. 337-478-2020 Dr. Keith Menard 1920 W. Sale Rd., Bldg. F, Ste. 3 337-439-4014 LEESVILLE Dr. Cherri Cowan 1100 N. 5th St. 337-239-2020 Dr. Kayla Gaddis 1106 Port Annur Terrace Blvd. 337-392-1994 MANDEVILLE Dr. Oliver Whitney 3933 Hwy. 59 985-626-5242 MARKSVILLE Dr. Christine Childress Goudeau 108 Medic Ave. 318-253-9766 MONROE Dr. William Gordon 3000 Forsythe Ave. 318-807-2020 Dr. Michael Haynes 1020 N. 3rd St. 318-323-4994 NATCHITOCHES Dr. Cheryl Stoker 925 Keyan Ave. 318-352-0400 Dr. Pete Wardell 140 E. 5th St. 318-357-8194 NEW IBERIA Dr. Steven Landrum 921 S. Lewis St. 337-367-3834 NEW ORLEANS Dr. Kefla Brown 1514 Jefferson Hwy. 504-842-3995 Dr. David Heitmeier 3501 Holiday Dr., Ste. 201 504-368-7081 Dr. Jarrett Ann Johnson 1530 N. Broad St. 504-943-0070 Dr. Mike Kleamenakis 4114 Marigny St. 504-288-2333 OAKDALE Dr. Jerry Gerdes 414 E. 7th Ave. 318-335-3275 OPELOUSAS Dr. Van Christian 232 N. Union 337-948-9504 RUSTON Dr. Gary Avallone 911 Tech Dr. 318-251-9095 Dr. Jennifer Floyd 303 N. Trenton 318-202-5845 SHREVEPORT Dr. Alisa Brogden 5848 Line Ave. 318-865-0017 SULPHUR Dr. Patrick Fontenot 525 N. City Service Hwy. 337-625-9075 Dr. Robert Janot 2245 Maplewood Dr. 337-625-2020 TERRYTOWN Dr. Cary Vincent 608 Terry Pkwy. 504-361-3937 THIBODAUX Dr. David Mitchell 302 Ridgefield Rd. 985-447-2393 WEST MONROE Dr. Larry Blackmon 303 McMillan Rd. 318-387-7257 Dr. Marcus Yaeger 3805 Cypress St. 318-325-3937 WINNFIELD Dr. Jimmy Walker 207 S. Saint John St. 318-628-7992
InfantSEE(R) assessments are complementary to the routine well-care exams a baby receives from a pediatrician or family physician. Optometrists have the training to identify areas of risk that are critical to vision development and the skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine pediatric wellness exam. In some cases, conditions may need to be monitored, immediately treated or referred to a pediatric eye specialist.
To learn more about InfantSEE(R), visit www.InfantSEE.org or call (877) 252-2447.
Stay up-to-date on the VSP InfantSEE(R) Mobile Clinic at:
InfantSEE(R) is a public health program managed by Optometry's Charity(TM) - The AOA Foundation. Designed to ensure that eye and vision care become an integral part of infant wellness and improve a child's quality of life, doctors of optometry provide a single eye and vision assessment to infants free-of-charge regardless of socioeconomic status. For more information visit infantsee.org.
About the American Optometric Association
American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, trained doctors, on the frontline of eye health and vision care, who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major role in an individual's overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases. Doctors of optometry have the skills and training to provide more than two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States. The American Optometric Association represents more than 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians in nearly 6,500 communities across the country. For more information, visit www.aoa.org.
About The Vision Care Institute
The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. is an innovative educational resource created to prepare optometry students for a successful transition into the real world of delivering quality eye care, as well as to assist practicing Eye Care Professionals in the growth and development of their practice. The state-of-the-art facility gives participants a rare opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the latest in vision diagnostic and treatment technologies through hands-on contact lens instruction. Besides clinical training, participants also concentrate on communication skills. The curriculum, taught by leading eye care practitioners from around the country, gives participants the skills and confidence necessary to excel in today's professional practice. The Vision Care Institute has hosted students from all 19 of the schools and colleges of optometry throughout North America at its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.
About VSP Global
VSP(R) Global includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 55 million members; Marchon(R) Eyewear Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity(R)/Officemate(R) which offer innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Labs, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.
Since 1997, VSP has provided more than 529,500 low-income, uninsured children with free eyecare. Through relationships including those with the American Diabetes Association and Prevent Blindness America, VSP promotes the importance of annual eye exams for maintaining eye health and overall wellness.
Contact: Julie Mahoney (314) 983-4176 JMMahoney@aoa.org Jill Novelo (916) 549-4294 firstname.lastname@example.org Madonna Duncan (312) 255-3143 email@example.com
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