Vision screening team

Program director

Joannah Vaughan

Joannah Vaughan, M.B.A., Instructor of Ophthalmology, founded the preschool vision screening program in response to the fact that Oregon did not screen preschool children for amblyopia, the number one reason for preventable vision loss in children if treatment does not occur before age 5.  With the support of the Casey Eye Institute, she created a partnership with the Oregon State Elks Association, The Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at OHSU, and the Oregon State Head Start Association. Since 2003, Vaughan has developed and managed the screening program which currently screens over 5,000 preschool children each year. Coming from a research and high tech background, Vaughan has a special interest in research and emerging screening technologies.  She recently co-authored a magazine article with David Huang, M.D., in The Ophthalmologist (June 2014) outlining the Program’s screening results using a Smartphone app (GoCheckKids). She frequently conducts trainings for OHSU and UP nursing students, PCC Ophthalmic Techs, Oregon Head Start State Association, and statewide community health clinics. Vaughan has presented research at WOC Berlin in 2010; AAPOS 2009 and 2012; AAO in 2011; ARVO 2009 and 2012; AAP 2013.

Follow up coordinator

Talitha Dale

Talitha Dale is responsible for managing the team who contacts families once their child has been referred for a dilated vision exam. The screening refers more than 700 children each year.  Dale’s team contacts parents at least four times to make sure that if a child is referred, they go to the eye doctor. Before beginning at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program, Dale worked at Linn county DHS with child protective services. Her experience with DHS has been a great asset in understanding family’s needs who are enrolled in the Head Start Program. She also oversees our data collection process and assists with the development of presentations and papers reporting the results of the Oregon preschool vision screening experience. Dale has assisted with research presentations at AAPOS 2011 and 2012; AAO in 2011; WOC Berlin in 2010; ARVO 2009 and 2012; AAP 2013.   

Program assistant

Bethany Painter

Bethany Painter joined the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program in May 2014. Prior to this position, Painter worked for the Hilton Corporation as an event coordinator, establishing a strong background in organization and a passion for helping others. Painter schedules screenings for the Head Start preschools and See to Read program with Oregon Libraries.     

Follow up assistant

Kayla Furnanz

Kayla Furnanz began working for the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program in 2011. Furnanz assists parents in scheduling eye exams for their children and follows up with doctors for the exam results. She also communicates with the individual Head Start Preschools on a regular basis, assuring that the children referred at the vision screenings attain access to the health services and resources they need.   

Bilingual follow up assistant

Susy Vega

Susy Vega is the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program bilingual follow up coordinator. The vision screening program screens many children whose families are Spanish speakers. Vega assists parents in scheduling pediatric eye exams and follows up with the doctors to ensure the children have been seen and have the necessary resources needed for treatment.   

Chart note interpreter

Baltazar Vega

Baltazar Vega interprets the medical information from the children’s eye exams. He is currently finishing up his last year of optometry school at Pacific University. The data Vega collects allows the vision screening program to determine why children were referred, in order to improve the program by continuing to provide the highest quality vision screenings.     

Vision screening assistant

Cheryl Thornton

Cheryl Thornton recently joined the Elks Children's Eye Clinic Vision Screening Program after working the last 16 years at CEI and a total of 22 years at OHSU. "Retirement is great, but spending time with the children of rural Oregon has been a gratifying experience." Cheryl is also a SMART reader at Milwaukie Elementary School.   

Vision screening assistant

Jeanne Morehouse

Jeanne Morehouse is a former educator, having taught preschool, kindergarten, and other Elementary school levels. Morehouse joined the vision screening program team in June 2014 as a vision screener, where she provides training to Head Start locations and public libraries for See to Read events.   

Vision screening research assistant


Makenzie Quinn started interning for the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program at the beginning of her senior year at the University of Oregon. After earning a degree in English and moving back to Portland, Quinn works as the program’s writing consultant and assists with public relations projects, as well as working in the field as a vision screener.