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Sen. Durbin and U.S. House Leaders Support Chicago-Area Optometrists in Improving Infant Eye and Vision Care Through the InfantSEE(R) Program

No-cost, comprehensive eye and vision assessments provided by doctors of optometry during the week of April 20

CHICAGO, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the overwhelming number of children with eye and vision problems across the United States, Chicago and surrounding area 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.

"Undetected and untreated eye disorders in children can result in delayed reading and poorer outcomes in school," said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). "I applaud the Illinois optometrists who offer their time and talent to provide no-cost infant eye and vision assessments to prevent that from happening. I also encourage all parents to take advantage of the InfantSEE(R) program to help ensure that our children have the tools needed to succeed later in life."

Leading members of the U.S. House of Representatives delegation from Chicago and surrounding areas have also expressed their support for the InfantSEE(R) program. Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and other Members 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, Mayor Richard M. Daley has officially declared Monday, April 20 through Friday, April 24 InfantSEE(R) Week in Chicago and surrounding areas.

One in 10 children are 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 Chicago and surrounding areas, great strides are being made to ensure that potential eye and vision problems are detected early. Infant eye assessments have been available in Illinois 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. Pamela Lowe, a Chicago-area optometrist and InfantSEE(R) provider. "It's the ideal time to detect eye and vision problems before these conditions worsen or cause developmental delays. A lifetime of healthy vision begins in the first year of life."

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 Patricia Rios, local mother of Noah, now age 3. "When my son was a baby and I learned about the InfantSEE(R) program, it was an obvious decision to take Noah for an assessment. When the doctors gave his eyes a clean bill of health, it really put my mind at ease."

To continue to improve infant eye assessment rates in Chicago and surrounding areas, the following eye care providers will offer no-cost InfantSEE(R) eye assessments from April 20 to 24, by appointment:

    Dr. Steven Butzon
    207 S. Addison Rd.

    Dr. Lenard Schwartz
    1250 W. Lake St.

    Dr. Laura Palermo
    18 S. Evergreen

    Dr. David Tabak
    232 E. Main St.

    Dr. Ansel Johnson
    13046 S. Western Ave.

    Illinois Eye Institute - Pediatric Clinic
    3241 S. Michigan Ave.

    Dr. Brian Caden
    Dr. Darrell Schlange
    3241 S. Michigan Ave.

    Dr. Dennis DeLee
    209 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 120

    Dr. David Dewaard
    1056 W. Wilson Ave.

    Dr. Ansel Johnson
    Dr. Eiman Gafour
    Dr. Janet Wheeler
    840 East 87th St.

    Dr. Stephanie Johnson
    5401 S. Wentworth, #4

    Dr. William Mackay
    738 W. 107th St.

    Dr. Constance MacQueen
    7117 W. Archer Ave.

    Dr. Janice Scharre
    3241 S. Michigan Ave.

    Dr. Rebecca Schmitt
    111 N. Wabash Ave., Ste. 1610

    Dr. Lenard Schwartz
    3201 S. Wallace St.

    Dr. Magdalena Stec
    321 N. Michigan Ave.

    Dr. Andrea Stein
    4735 N. Damen

    Dr. Darin Strako
    360 S. Waukegan Rd., Ste. A

    Dr. Gary Gray
    2490 North Water St., Ste. 16

    Dr. Louis Jison, MD
    Dr. Linda Weil
    3800 Highland Ave., #100

    Dr. Millicent Knight
    2914 Central St.

    Dr. Leon Kosek
    Dr. Judy Walsh
    600 Bankview Dr.

    Dr. Charlotte Nielsen
    1120 Washington St.

    Dr. Stephen Beckerman
    Dr. Angie Ghanayem
    Dr. Jennifer Harthan
    1920 Waukegan Rd.

    Dr. John Gardner
    9400 S. Roberts Rd.

    Dr. Cecilia Heiges
    715 W. Hillgrove Ave.

    Dr. Wendy Sanders
    641 First St.

    Dr. Jody Ricketts
    Dr. Kelly Daugherty
    730 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    Dr. Marvin Heimlich
    307 S. Milwaukee Ave.

    Dr. Robert Peterson
    Dr. Daniel Jannotta
    4306 W. Crystal Lake Rd.

    Dr. Tim Ortiz
    Dr. Angelo Marino
    880 Bedford Rd.

    Dr. Nimisa Patel
    1717 W. Golf Road

    Dr. Lena Park
    9 S. Lincolnway

    Dr. John Geevarghese
    Dr. Pam Lowe
    7225 N. Caldwell

    Dr. Katherine Narbone
    6209 W. 95th St.

    Dr. Robert Steinmetz
    4619 W. 103rd St.

    Dr. Mary Lou French
    14315 S. 108th Ave.

    Dr. Morris Lehrfeld
    Dr. Laura Rosanova
    251 E. Northwest Hwy.

    Dr. Robert Marini
    7110 W. 127th St.

    Dr. Carla Adams
    6800 W. Route 34

    Dr. Ingryd Lorenzana
    1018 S. Barrington Rd.

    Dr. Dennis Gaeta
    17730 Oak Park Ave.

    Dr. David Maze
    136 N. Case Ave.

    Dr. Louis Jison, MD
    10215 W. Roosevelt Rd.

    Dr. Les Paczkowski
    6300 S. Kingery Hwy., Ste. 116

    Dr. Jessica Heinke
    233 Washington 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

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 one 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.

    Contact:    Julie Mahoney           Madonna Duncan
                American Optometric     Hill & Knowlton
                 Association            (312) 255-3143
                (314) 991-4100 x4176

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