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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
Date:4/16/2009

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:

    ADDISON
    Dr. Steven Butzon
    207 S. Addison Rd.
    630-279-8866

    Dr. Lenard Schwartz
    1250 W. Lake St.
    630-543-0607

    ARLINGTON HEIGHTS
    Dr. Laura Palermo
    18 S. Evergreen
    847-253-8500

    BARRINGTON
    Dr. David Tabak
    232 E. Main St.
    847-382-2020

    BLUE ISLAND
    Dr. Ansel Johnson
    13046 S. Western Ave.
    708-385-0013

    CHICAGO
    Illinois Eye Institute - Pediatric Clinic
    3241 S. Michigan Ave.
    312-949-7280

    Dr. Brian Caden
    Dr. Darrell Schlange
    3241 S. Michigan Ave.
    312-225-6200

    Dr. Dennis DeLee
    209 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 120
    312-332-4461

    Dr. David Dewaard
    1056 W. Wilson Ave.
    773-271-5774

    Dr. Ansel Johnson
    Dr. Eiman Gafour
    Dr. Janet Wheeler
    840 East 87th St.
    773-783-4434

    Dr. Stephanie Johnson
    5401 S. Wentworth, #4
    773-924-5292

    Dr. William Mackay
    738 W. 107th St.
    773-568-7439

    Dr. Constance MacQueen
    7117 W. Archer Ave.
    773-586-8444

    Dr. Janice Scharre
    3241 S. Michigan Ave.
    312-949-7245

    Dr. Rebecca Schmitt
    111 N. Wabash Ave., Ste. 1610
    312-263-6350

    Dr. Lenard Schwartz
    3201 S. Wallace St.
    312-225-5135

    Dr. Magdalena Stec
    321 N. Michigan Ave.
    312-263-0222

    Dr. Andrea Stein
    4735 N. Damen
    773-961-8700

    DEERFIELD
    Dr. Darin Strako
    360 S. Waukegan Rd., Ste. A
    847-412-0311

    DECATUR
    Dr. Gary Gray
    2490 North Water St., Ste. 16
    217-875-4646

    DOWNERS GROVE
    Dr. Louis Jison, MD
    Dr. Linda Weil
    3800 Highland Ave., #100
    630-960-0456

    EVANSTON
    Dr. Millicent Knight
    2914 Central St.
    847-864-4768

    FRANKFORT
    Dr. Leon Kosek
    Dr. Judy Walsh
    600 Bankview Dr.
    815-469-8541

    GRAYSLAKE
    Dr. Charlotte Nielsen
    1120 Washington St.
    847-223-2000

    GLENVIEW
    Dr. Stephen Beckerman
    Dr. Angie Ghanayem
    Dr. Jennifer Harthan
    1920 Waukegan Rd.
    847-510-2111

    HICKORY HILLS
    Dr. John Gardner
    9400 S. Roberts Rd.
    708-598-1322

    LA GRANGE
    Dr. Cecilia Heiges
    715 W. Hillgrove Ave.
    708-482-3200

    LA SALLE
    Dr. Wendy Sanders
    641 First St.
    815-223-0331

    LIBERTYVILLE
    Dr. Jody Ricketts
    Dr. Kelly Daugherty
    730 N. Milwaukee Ave.
    847-362-9900

    Dr. Marvin Heimlich
    307 S. Milwaukee Ave.
    847-362-3444

    McHENRY
    Dr. Robert Peterson
    Dr. Daniel Jannotta
    4306 W. Crystal Lake Rd.
    815-385-7930

    MORRIS
    Dr. Tim Ortiz
    Dr. Angelo Marino
    880 Bedford Rd.
    815-942-5500

    MOUNT PROSPECT
    Dr. Nimisa Patel
    1717 W. Golf Road
    847-437-1414

    NORTH AURORA
    Dr. Lena Park
    9 S. Lincolnway
    630-844-2500

    NILES
    Dr. John Geevarghese
    Dr. Pam Lowe
    7225 N. Caldwell
    847-647-0707

    OAK LAWN
    Dr. Katherine Narbone
    6209 W. 95th St.
    708-423-2500

    Dr. Robert Steinmetz
    4619 W. 103rd St.
    708-229-2200

    ORLAND PARK
    Dr. Mary Lou French
    14315 S. 108th Ave.
    708-403-0123

    PALATINE
    Dr. Morris Lehrfeld
    Dr. Laura Rosanova
    251 E. Northwest Hwy.
    847-358-4950

    PALOS HEIGHTS
    Dr. Robert Marini
    7110 W. 127th St.
    708-361-2727

    PLANO
    Dr. Carla Adams
    6800 W. Route 34
    630-552-1593

    STREAMWOOD
    Dr. Ingryd Lorenzana
    1018 S. Barrington Rd.
    630-837-3939

    TINLEY PARK
    Dr. Dennis Gaeta
    17730 Oak Park Ave.
    708-692-7778

    WESTMONT
    Dr. David Maze
    136 N. Case Ave.
    630-969-2807

    WESTCHESTER
    Dr. Louis Jison, MD
    10215 W. Roosevelt Rd.
    708-345-7005

    WILLOWBROOK
    Dr. Les Paczkowski
    6300 S. Kingery Hwy., Ste. 116
    630-323-0222

    WOODSTOCK
    Dr. Jessica Heinke
    233 Washington St.
    815-338-0674

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.

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 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.

    Contact:    Julie Mahoney           Madonna Duncan
                American Optometric     Hill & Knowlton
                 Association            (312) 255-3143
                (314) 991-4100 x4176    madonna.duncan@hillandknowlton.com
                JMMahoney@aoa.org


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SOURCE InfantSEE
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