Last updated: January 31. 2014 9:12AM - 499 Views
By - cwarner@civitasmedia.com

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UNION — Before the winter weather forced them to halt their efforts, the Union Lions Club tested the vision and hearing of more than 100 students at Sims Middle School.

The club brought the S.C. Lions Charitable Services Mobile Health Screening Unit to Sims on Monday as part of the Lions Club of South Carolina’s efforts to improve the lives of South Carolinians by providing vision and hearing health care.

“We’re assisting school nurses in identifying students with vision and hearing problems,”Lion George Goings said. “Last year in South Carolina the S.C. Lions screened approximately 10,000 students and of that number approximately 20 percent needed follow up for vision problems and 3 percent for hearing care.”

Volunteers from local Lions Clubs assist in the process by making contact with school officials and working with them to schedule times for the unit to be on campus and conduct the eyesight and hearing exams. They also assist in giving the exams and collecting the data that will then be turned over to the school nurse who, if a student is determined to have a problem with their vision and/or hearing, contacts their parents about follow up care.

Lion George said the Lions Club had originally planned to have the mobile at Sims Monday and Tuesday and then at Buffalo Elementary School on Wednesday and Thursday. Due to school being dismissed early on Tuesday because of an approaching winter storm, the unit was at Sims only on Monday and on Tuesday morning.

Even though its time there was cut short, Lion George said 125 students at Sims were screened.

If any of those students have problems with their hearing and/or eyesight and their families cannot afford it, they can get help from the Lions Club. In addition to providing free hearing and vision testing, the Lions also offers a number of other related health care services including eye surgeries, hearing devices, and optical supplies.

The unit’s stop at Buffalo Elementary had to be canceled due to the storm which caused schools to remain closed Wednesday. Lion George said plans are for the visit to Buffalo Elementary to be rescheduled for later in the school year.

In addition to bringing the unit to Sims, Lion George said the Union Lions Club has increased the assistance it provides Union County residents with vision and hearing problems

“We have done $2,000 more in assistance than we did last year,” Lion George said. “We have provided glasses to more than 20 people so far this year.”

For more information about the Union Lions Club contact Lion George Goings, Lion Johnny Turner, and Lion Kelli Johnston.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.

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