The Oregon Elks - 60 Years of Making a Difference
The Elks Children's Eye Clinic is the major charitable project of the Oregon State Elks Association. The clinic would not be possible without the organization's commitment to providing eye care for babies and children.
The Elks became involved with the University of Oregon Medical School, now the OHSU School of Medicine, in 1949. That year, Kenneth Swan, M.D., needed a piece of equipment called an oximeter for a baby whose father was an Oregon Elk. The Oregon Elks promptly raised $2,000 for the oximeter. Soon after, their continued generosity established the Elks Children's Eye Clinic.
Since then, the Elks have contributed enormously to the growth of the clinic, helping pay for the nation's first microscope for ocular surgery, the Northwest's first ophthalmic excimer laser and Oregon's first photokeratoscope for children. Today, the visual program of the Oregon State Elks Association contributes more than $2,000,000 annually to the Elks Children's Eye Clinic, working with 18,000 children each year.
Financial assistance is not the only service the Elks provide. Elks volunteers donate thousands of hours at the Casey Eye Institute. They assist patients, work on projects for staff and provide information to the public. The Elks have also funded up-to-date equipment for the pediatric ophthalmology examination room at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, staffed by faculty from the Elks Children's Eye Clinic.
Pediatric Eye Care Services at the Elks Children's Eye Clinic
Elks Children's Eye Clinic services focus on the entire family, providing a range of support to sighted and visually impaired children and their parents. Our programs include parent support, outreach to rural communities and county health clinics, public education and high-risk tracking and intervention. The Elks Children's Eye Clinic faculty and staff are nationally renowned for their patient care and research.
Providing Generous Support
The Elks Children's Eye Clinic at OHSU shares the story of a 5 year old patient who was treated at the clinic for vision issues. Every year, the clinic provides over 16,000 pediatric patient visits, performs 1,200 surgeries and supplies glasses to needy children. In addition, over 5,000 Oregon preschool children receive vision screen each year, thanks to the generous support of the Oregon Elks.