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.