Miami Lighthouse for the Blind is
a two-time Charity Partner of the Marlins Foundation and has received over
$50,000 in charitable donations from the team to underwrite the cost of
providing vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams and prescription
glasses to underserved inner-city schoolchildren who receive eye care
through our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program.
Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program Serves as
a Model for Other States
January, 2012, Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric
To read the full text of this article,
What is the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program?
The Heiken Children’s Vision Fund was created in 1992 by the Dade
County Optometric Association, and merged with the Miami Lighthouse in
2007. The program provides free comprehensive eye examinations including
dilation and prescription eyeglasses to financially disadvantaged
students throughout Florida who have failed state-mandated school vision
screenings and do not otherwise have access to exams. During the
2013-2014 school year we received 12,508 referrals, provided 8,692
comprehensive eye exams and dispensed 7,664 prescription glasses in 34
counties throughout Florida at no cost to the children.
In 2010, the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program, LLC was
registered with the State of Florida, expanding vision health services
to low-income children residing in selected additional counties
Roughly 84% of children examined require and receive prescription
eyeglasses, confirming the importance of our project. Furthermore,
74% of parents surveyed indicate their child’s performance had improved
in school because of the glasses.
Of the 1,400 families contacted in our recent Heiken Children’s
Vision Program market research survey, underwritten by the Health
Foundation of South Florida, 74% of the respondents reported that
their child had improved academically because of the services provided
by our Program.
Why are these services important?
According to research by the American Optometric Association, vision
problems in children and teenagers may contribute to poor school
performance, behavior issues and delinquency. AOA research shows that
1-in-4 of children have vision problems; literacy can be improved with early
intervention. With corrective lenses, children are able to read their
assignments, see the board, and learn to their fullest potential. Their
prospects for succeeding in school and passing the FCAT improve
immeasurably. An issue of Optometry:Journal of the American Optometric
Association features an article about the Heiken Program as a role
model for other states.
Click here to
view the article.
Other funders for this program are the Florida Optometric Charities, the
National Eye Institute, the American Optometric Association, the
Children’s Trust and many other foundations and donors whose support more
than doubles the number of children the Heiken Program is able to serve.
believe that literacy can be improved with early intervention in children
with vision deficits. Students with poor vision cannot see the board or
do close work and fall behind in class Our objective is to provide
comprehensive eye health services including vision examinations,
eyeglasses and vision training for students, thus meeting the goal for
vision established in National Eye Institute, National Institutes of
Health, Healthy Vision/Healthy People 2010 initiative. In the past three
years, the Heiken Program has received two Healthy Vision/Healthy People
awards from NEI.
Governance oversight of the
program is provided by the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the LLC;
oversight of the program is provided by the Florida Heiken Children's
Vision Program Advisory Committee comprised of optometrists,
ophthalmologists and representatives from foundations and school
The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind has
received six consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, placing
it among the nation's top 3% most efficient non-profit organizations and
is accredited by the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving
People with Blindness or Visual Impairment.
For additional information please call 305-856-9830 or
The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Florida Heiken
Children's Vision Program is partially funded by The Children’s Trust.
The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by
voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in
Miami Lighthouse Wins South Florida Business Journal
Excellence In Health Care - Community Outreach Award
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business
Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach
category at an award ceremony October 6.
Click here for press release.
School Board Member Raquel Regalado thanks
the Heiken Children's Vision
School Board Member Raquel Regalado thanks Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
and the Heiken Children's Vision Program that enables uninsured,
financially disadvantaged children in Miami-Dade County to receive free
comprehensive eye examinations and eyeglasses at no cost. Filmed at the
Miami Lighthouse 80th Ruby Jubilee Dinner Concert at the Biltmore Hotel.
Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program
by Miami-Dade County School Board
A proclamation recognizing the Miami Lighthouse Heiken
Children's Vision Program for distinguished services to county
schoolchildren was presented at the April 14th, 2010 meeting of the
Miami-Dade County School Board.
School Board member Dr. Martin Karp, Miami Lighthouse
CEO Virginia Jacko, and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Jan and Daniel Lewis, Agustin Arellano, Sr.,
Commissioner Sally Heyman, Mrs. Sash A. Spencer, Chair-elect Ray
Casas, Virginia Jacko President & CEO, Carmella Witt, Mayor Tomas
Regalado, Marta Weeks Wulf and Penny Stamps at Dedication Ceremony
for new 4th Floor, October 7, 2014.
Click here to read press release and
view additional pictures.
Miami Marlins check presentation:
Senior VP of
Communications & Broadcasting,
David Samson Miami Marlins President,
Board Chair Agustin Arellano Jr.,
President & CEO Virginia Jacko,
Miami Marlins Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton,
Director Ray Casas and
Alfredo Mesa Executive Director of
Miami Marlins Foundation.
The Blind Visionary All of
Virginia’s royalties and part of the publisher’s
royalty income will be donated to blind services at
the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
Click to read
State of Vision
Sales of the “State of Vision” license plate support services to
blind and visually impaired people. Miami Lighthouse is the
recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this
license plate. The cost is $25.00 in addition to the regular
Miami Lighthouse first sought
and received NAC accreditation in 1978 and has consistently
achieved NAC accreditation to the present time having
received seven commendations with its five year
Lighthouse ranks among the elite 3% of U.S. nonprofits
having earned a 4-star rating for six consecutive years
from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent
nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects
our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor
dollars, and financial strength.
2013 and 2014
Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner of the Marlins
Foundation and has received over $50,000 in charitable
donations from the team to underwrite the cost of providing
vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams and prescription
glasses to underserved inner-city schoolchildren who receive
eye care through our Florida Heiken Children's Vision
Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami
All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.
Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson
Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper
Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse's Heiken Children's Vision Program received the
bronze medal for their service to thousands of under-served
children in public schools at the 2012 Miami Today Gold
Medal Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business
Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the
Community Outreach category.
Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral
Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from
Health Foundation of South Florida.