Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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What Makes Us Unique


The Tennessee Lions Vision Screening serves more than 30,000 pre-literate children per year. We provide necessary infrastructure and follow-up to ensure those not passing the screening are provided quality vision care.

Roles of the partnership

Pediatric Ophthalmology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

  • Direct and coordinate program
  • Establish and maintain database 
  • Train volunteers to conduct screenings 
  • Conduct follow-up

Tennessee Lions Clubs

  • Supply volunteers to conduct screenings
  • Fund program

State of Tennessee

  • Provides funding of $4.50 per child up to $80,000

Eye care professional network

Letters were mailed to all Tennessee ophthalmologists and optometrists informing them of the Outreach Program and requesting their participation in examining referred children. Most of these professionals responded, providing insurance information and agreeing to see referred children on a fee-for-service basis.

Recruitment and participation of Lions volunteers

Recruitment and participation proceeded as regional coordinators were identified in each district and club coordinators for each club. Presentations continue to be made at club meetings, zone meetings, and district and state conventions.


Lion volunteers are trained to use various screening devices and are given a history of the partnership and funding background. We have transitioned to the Welch Allyn SureSight device, which was tested and recommended by the VIP study conducted by several universities. The MTI PhotoScreener is still being used by some Lions Clubs and continues to be a viable device.

Definitions of amblyopia and various eye disorders are discussed during training, as well as the significance of screening. A screening manual is provided with the protocol for age, screening sites, and appropriate forms. 

Lions set up and conduct screening sessions

The Lion volunteers plan a screening session with a child care center director or at another organized site. All appropriate consent forms and informational sheets are sent to the site director two weeks prior to the screening. For a volunteer's first screening, a supervisor from the TLEC or one of the experienced Volunteers helps the new Lions volunteer conduct the screening and return the results to the Tennessee Lions Outreach Center.

Interpretation, result entry, and database maintenance

The results of the child's screening are evaluated and are overseen by the Medical Director (Pediatric Ophthalmologist) and the Outreach Director. Reliable interpretation is very important. Over-referrals or missed children can result from unreliable interpretation.

The "First Glimpse" database tracks several outcome measures, including the number of children screened, the number referred, and follow-up exam results for each referred child.

Return results to parents

The Outreach Assistant sends a letter to the Child Care Director and the coordinating Lion volunteer informing them of the results. The parents receive the result form, a parent to-do list, and a follow-up packet.

Follow up

The TLEC Follow-up-Coordinator makes every effort to contact the parents to ensure appropriate follow-up; explaining in detail the nature of child's referral and the necessity of scheduling an eye appointment. Once a child has an exam, the eye care professional returns the evaluation form to the TLEC. Results are entered in the database for each child; thereby ensuring the child has received proper treatment.

Last Edited: August 26, 2016
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network