Molokai Lions Club News Release
During the first week of February an event took place that quietly swept through the island with little fanfare and no media coverage.
A total of 633 children and adults were affected when the Molokai Lions Club held its yearly school vision screening and operated the Retina Vision Van (Project Vision Hawaii) in conjunction with a Wellness Screening presented by Ohana Health Plan.
Across the four elementary schools plus four registered preschools, 408 pre-school through third grade children were seen.
Many thanks for the cooperation of school principals Janice Espiritu (Kaunakakai Elementary), Lydia Trinidad (Kualapuu Elementary), Richard Stevens (Kilohana Elementary), Joe Yamamoto (Maunaloa Elementary) and their staff.
The Molokai Lions partnered with Maui Optics and its three optometrists. Drs. Carlys Higuchi, Karsten Lee and Michael Leong are no strangers to the keiki of Molokai. They have been donating their time and effort for the past seven years. This year they brought their technician, Lara Ramos, with them.
Out of 408 children seen by the doctors only nine were referrals. The referrals went to the parents for further follow up with an eye care specialist of their choice.
Project Vision Hawaii is the non-profit arm of The Retina Institute of Hawaii. They provided the Molokai Lions Club with the use of the big VAN to do the retina screening for adults on Molokai. This screening is not available here on island and was free to the community. The Maui doctors provided the expertise in operating the retina camera as well as an explanation to each individual. Retina screening is recommended for anyone diagnosed with diabetes. This screening also detects high blood pressure, macular degeneration, cataracts and many other ailments within the eye and body as a whole!
Many thanks to Young Brothers for providing the transportation to and from Oahu through its community service/outreach program. Makoa Trucking was gracious to provide secured storage of the VAN for its entire stay on island … thank you Chris.
Thanks also to CDL drivers Rod Wong and Lyndon Dela Cruz for driving the VAN to its various locations. Many thanks to Liz at the Maui County Parks and Recreation office for helping to organize the permit process for the use of the county recreation facilities and fee waiver for the VAN.
Kaunakakai School principal Janice Espiritu provided the Molokai Lions Club as well as the WE an excellent venue with the use of the front parking lot for the van and the cafeteria for the Wellness Screening. WE … a hui for health, is a consortium of not-for-profit health advocacy groups, government agencies, native Hawaiian health organizations, the state’s premiere hospitals, `Ohana Health Plan and Lions Clubs throughout Hawaii working together to take the wellness screening caravan on the road.
WE’s purpose is to give each individual actionable information about their personal health situation right now. The goal of motivating each person is to take responsibility for her or his own health. WE believes that good health is most accessible when it is based on relationship, respect and participation. WE, which was originally an acronym for Wellness Event now means, “all of us who choose to stand together,” provides the screenings, information, explanations, and support in as much time and depth as requested, in a number of languages, with local style.
The Molokai Lions Club thanks all its members who volunteered as well as many friends. Special thanks also to Annie Hiller, Executive Director of the Project Vision Van and Anne Chipchase, Community Outreach spokesperson for WE.