The Oregon Elks: Making a difference since 1949
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.
Since 1949, the Oregon Elks have donated for 25 million dollars. Learn more about the Oregon State Elks Association.
Oregon State Elks Association: 70 years of partnership
“We can’t thank the Oregon Elks enough for their tremendous and tireless support. Their generous donations over many decades have made it possible for the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at OHSU to help countless children receive the gift of sight.”
– Dr. David Wilson
Read more about the sight-saving relationship between the Oregon Elks and Casey Eye Institute over the last seven decades and the impact it has had on vision health in Oregon.
Programs supported by the Elks
Through the generous support of the Oregon State Elks, OHSU Casey Eye Institute is able to make a difference in the eye health and vision of Oregon's children. They contribute to many of our programs, including:
Elks Children’s Eye Clinic
The Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at OHSU Casey Eye Institute offers pediatric eye care services for babies, children and young adults. With the generous support of the Oregon State Elks Association, the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic has one of the broadest collections of pediatric eye specialists in the nation.
Elks Preschool Vision Screening Program
The support of the Oregon State Elks Association allows the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic to provide vision screening programs to school districts throughout the state.
Learn more about the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Vision Screening Program.
Elks Children's Eye Clinic building
OHSU Casey Eye Institute is expanding into the new Elks Children's Eye Clinic, a 60,000 square foot facility adjacent to the current building. This facility includes state-of-the-art technology will help us continue to provide world class eye care to the children and adults in the region.
Learn more about how the Oregon State Elks Association's support of the Oregon Elks Children's Eye Clinic building.
OHSU News article: Elks association essential to OHSU’s fight against childhood blindness
Elks Safety Poster contest
The Oregon State Elks Association sponsors an annual poster contest, encouraging children to creatively illustrate the importance of eye health and safety. Learn more and see the winners.
Elks Youth Eyes Service (E.Y.E.S.)
The Gift of Sight
Lodge referral form
If you are a member of an Elks Lodge and wish to refer a patient to the Elks Children's Eye Clinic, please complete this form.