Henry Ford OptimEyes


Henry Ford OptimEyes

Madison Heights, Mich.
CEO, Henry Ford Health System:
Nancy M. Schlichting


The Sphere of Influence Award was granted to Henry Ford OptimEyes in 2012 due to their consistent dedication to bringing grieving children positive experiences. The Michigan-based retailer helps to raise money to send girls and boys who are grieving or troubled to one of two healing camps—Camp Erin, for children who have lost a family member or friend, and Camp Maplegrove, for those dealing with a caregiver’s substance abuse, mental illness or other chronic stress.

“The healing impact of camp is powerful,” said Peggy Nielsen, director of Camp Erin. “You can see the growth as it happens when the campers face their grief, support each other and learn lifelong coping skills.”

The camp is an extension of SandCastles, a biweekly program open to the community at large which is sponsored by Henry Ford Hospice. Geri Hulvey, an optometric technician at Henry Ford OptimEyes who volunteers with Camp Erin, spoke highly of the program. “It helps kids deal with their grief, find closure and gain hope. It helps them know they are not alone,” Hulvey said.

Henry Ford OptimEyes has been passionate about the program since first joining the initiative in 2009. As of 2012, the submission said, employees had raised close to $50,000 and sent more than 150 children to the camps. ■