Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago Public Schools Awarded Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Grant

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CHICAGO—The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has awarded a $249,000 grant to the  Illinois College of Optometry and Chicago Public Schools, in support of the Illinois Eye Institute, the clinical division of the College based in Princeton, Ill.

The Illinois Eye Institute (IEI), established by the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) and Chicago Public Schools (CPA), provides eyecare services and access to corrective eyewear to underserved youth in the Chicago area. According to ICO and CPS, the IEI has served over 11,000 students, 75 percent of whom received eyeglasses, and is the largest school-based eye clinic in the nation.

"We are very pleased the ILCHF has awarded us this significant grant and recognizes the essential services our school-based eye clinic provides," said ICO president Dr. Arol Augsburger. "This grant will go a long way in supporting our efforts to address the unmet need of vision care for children within the city of Chicago."

The ILCHF grant will aid in enhancing the capacity, equipment and diagnostic testing at the Institute, as well as provide support for an additional staff member. The foundation, which was created to ensure children’s health, has funded 32 programs with a total of $5.9 million in support of organizations that improve access to pediatric health care.

"The mission of the foundation is to create opportunities for and lead in the development of initiatives that improve the health of all children," said ILCHF senior program officer Bob Egan. "By partnering with ICO and CPS, children will have the opportunity to succeed in school and be ready to learn by receiving the proper eyecare they need to grow up healthy."