Members of the Napoleon Lions Club were recently informed about a service available to residents of northwest Ohio with vision health concerns.
The group, a part of District OH-1 of the Ohio Lions, is called the Northwest Ohio Lions Eye Care Foundation (NWOLECF). Ron Meyers, a member of the Napoleon club and a past president of NWOLECF, was the speaker at the recent meeting of the Napoleon Lions.
Every Lion in every club in District OH-1 is a member the Foundation. Contributions to the Foundation are received from several sources, but most are donated by District OH-1 Lions & Lioness Clubs.
Applicants are also asked to help with the cost of the treatment, to the extent that they can. This is not a condition of assistance, only a means to stretch funds to continue helping others. The Foundation is an all-volunteer group with no paid staff and minimal expenses.
Lions are renowned throughout the world for their focus on sight preservation and assisting those who have sight impairments. The goal of the Northwest Ohio Lions Eye Care Foundation is to help those who would otherwise “fall through the cracks” of government safety net programs or who have no insurance coverage.
Although they accept referrals from a number of organizations, it is expected that referrals will come to the Foundation through the involvement of a local Lions or Lioness Club.
The group’s medical director reviews and consults with the applicant’s surgeon to choose the best treatment option before approval. If no alternative payment resource is found, NWOLECF works hard to negotiate the lowest cost for the treatment needed.
Some surgeries that might be covered include corneal transplants, cataract surgery and laser eye treatments.
NWOLECF also provides closed-circuit television magnifiers for sight impaired people as well as Braille and auditory machines for blind people. This equipment may be loaned to a person in need without charge for as long as they need it. At the present time, NWOLECF has nearly 40 magnifiers in use around this corner of the state.
The Foundation has been in operation for a many years, and its initial goals were to provide eye surgeries and special glasses that exceeded in cost what local clubs could provide. Cases are to be submitted by local clubs for consideration of assistance. Prior approval is needed for cases unless it is an emergency and then the medical director and executive committee can approve treatment.
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