Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
was a two-time Charity Partner of the Marlins Foundation in 2013 and 2014.
Donations from the team helped 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
Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has developed a Best
Practices approach for the delivery of eye care to uninsured
schoolchildren over the past 22 years as documented in Optometry:
Journal of the American Optometric Association, January, 2012. To read the full
text of this article,
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. Our Heiken Program has received two Healthy
Vision/Healthy People awards from NEI.
The goal of the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program
is to assure that all financially disadvantaged schoolchildren who fail
their vision screening have access to a comprehensive eye examination
including dilation and glasses, if required, to ensure academic success.
Following the Florida Statute which sets standards of care, the Program
provides an eye examination with dilation so that underlying medical
conditions can be diagnosed and appropriate medical referrals made.
Glasses are prescribed if required. These free services are offered
statewide either on-site at schools via four mobile eye clinics or by our
network of nearly 2,000 participating optometrists. Of 8,692 low-income
schoolchildren receiving a dilated eye exam during the 2013-2014 school
year, 442 were referred for medical intervention for retinal tears,
glaucoma and other eye abnormalities; 7,664 children received prescription
glasses. Approximately 84% of all children examined require and receive
prescription eyeglasses, confirming the importance of a follow-up eye exam
after a student fails the state-mandated vision screening.
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 children has 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 improve immeasurably.
Child selecting frames on one of our mobile eye care
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
How is the program funded?
Leveraging Florida Department of Health funds with funding
from other entities such as the Florida Optometry Eye Health Fund, The
Children’s Trust, the Miami Foundation, other private foundations and
individual donors enables us to nearly double the number of children the
Heiken Program serves every year.
History of 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. In 2010, the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program,
LLC, a division of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired,
Inc., was registered with the State of Florida, expanding vision health
services to low-income children statewide.
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 districts.
to view the roster of Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program
Advisory Committee members.
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 Blind and Low Vision Services.
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 six commendations with its five year
Lighthouse ranks among the elite 2% of U.S. nonprofits
having earned a 4-star rating for seven 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.