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Louisiana Optometrists Partner With Sens. Landrieu and Vitter, U.S. House Leaders in Improving Infant Eye and Vision Care

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

    Dr. Cornel LeBlanc
    5917 Jackson St.

    Dr. William Risinger
    3908 Parliament Dr.

    Dr. Lacy Shaw
    5615-B Jackson Street Ext.

    Dr. Elmo Dean
    4747 O' Neal Ln.

    Dr. Susan Jong
    5151 Bluebonnet

    Dr. Eric Thai
    11331 Old Hammond Hwy.

    Dr. Wendy Waguespack
    7932 Picardy Ave., Ste. A

    Dr. Christine Pastilong
    927 Benton Rd.

    Dr. Jeffrey Anastasio
    Dr. Shelly Anastasio
    190 Breenbriar Blvd.

    Dr. Mark Siverd
    880 N. Hwy 190

    Dr. John Wise
    509 N. Ave. G

    Dr. Chris Wroten
    222 Veterans Blvd.

    Dr. Brandon Wax
    222 Veterans Blvd., Ste B

    Dr. Sandra Warner
    1974 Ormond Blvd., Ste. 7

    Dr. Devjani Lahiri-Munir
    309 Iberville St.

    Dr. J.D. Miller
    350 Moosa Blvd.

    Dr. Kevin Rogers
    18522 Magnolia Bridge Rd.

    Dr. Ed Adams
    Dr. Cory Boudreau
    2308 S. Burnside Ave.

    Dr. Stephanie White
    5110 Jefferson Hwy.

    Dr. Tim Barry
    418 N. Main St.

    Dr. Dave Fisher
    1458 S. College Rd., Ste. 103

    Dr. Cathy Guidry
    5725 Johnston, #2314

    Dr. Erica Lukasko
    4906 Ambassador Caffrery Pkwy.

    Dr. Patrick Magee
    4510 Ambassador Caffrery Pkwy.

    Dr. Don Mizelle
    225 N. College Ave.

    Dr. Rebecca Cronan
    3451 Nelson Rd.

    Dr. Jeffrey Hankin
    1717 Oak Park Blvd.

    Dr. Rick McGuirt
    111 W. McNeese St.

    Dr. Keith Menard
    1920 W. Sale Rd., Bldg. F, Ste. 3

    Dr. Cherri Cowan
    1100 N. 5th St.

    Dr. Kayla Gaddis
    1106 Port Annur Terrace Blvd.

    Dr. Oliver Whitney
    3933 Hwy. 59

    Dr. Christine Childress Goudeau
    108 Medic Ave.

    Dr. William Gordon
    3000 Forsythe Ave.

    Dr. Michael Haynes
    1020 N. 3rd St.

    Dr. Cheryl Stoker
    925 Keyan Ave.

    Dr. Pete Wardell
    140 E. 5th St.

    Dr. Steven Landrum
    921 S. Lewis St.

    Dr. Kefla Brown
    1514 Jefferson Hwy.

    Dr. David Heitmeier
    3501 Holiday Dr., Ste. 201

    Dr. Jarrett Ann Johnson
    1530 N. Broad St.

    Dr. Mike Kleamenakis
    4114 Marigny St.

    Dr. Jerry Gerdes
    414 E. 7th Ave.

    Dr. Van Christian
    232 N. Union

    Dr. Gary Avallone
    911 Tech Dr.

    Dr. Jennifer Floyd
    303 N. Trenton

    Dr. Alisa Brogden
    5848 Line Ave.

    Dr. Patrick Fontenot
    525 N. City Service Hwy.

    Dr. Robert Janot
    2245 Maplewood Dr.

    Dr. Cary Vincent
    608 Terry Pkwy.

    Dr. David Mitchell
    302 Ridgefield Rd.

    Dr. Larry Blackmon
    303 McMillan Rd.

    Dr. Marcus Yaeger
    3805 Cypress St.

    Dr. Jimmy Walker
    207 S. Saint John St.

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 or call (877) 252-2447.

Stay up-to-date on the VSP InfantSEE(R) Mobile Clinic at:

About InfantSEE(R)

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

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

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

             Jill Novelo
             (916) 549-4294

             Madonna Duncan
             (312) 255-3143

Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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