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Allina Health and Saint Paul Public Schools announce new program to support learning success

MINNEAPOLIS 05/08/2014

Saint Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Allina Health President and Chief Clinical Officer Penny Wheeler, M.D. announced today that the Phillips Eye Institute's Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E.) Community Initiative is coming to St. Paul.

The partners kicked-off the vision screening program at 10:30 a.m. today at Dayton's Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary.

"We are excited to have the Phillips Eye Institute's E.Y.E. program in our schools," said Supt. Silva. "If children can't see the board or see what the teacher is showing them, it makes it more difficult to learn, and they could fall behind."

For the past six years, the Phillips Eye Institute's E.Y.E. program has provided regular free vision screening and subsequent treatment services to Minneapolis school children in kindergarten, first, third, fifth and sixth grades. Thanks to an extensive fundraising campaign by the Phillips Eye Institute Foundation, "Investing in Sight, Changing Lives," the E.Y.E. program is expanding to Saint Paul Public Schools.

"This is a great example of private and public collaboration to ensure access to healthcare for Saint Paul families. I want to thank Allina Health and the generous donors and volunteers who are making this program possible," Mayor Coleman said.

In Minneapolis, the E.Y.E program screens more than 15,000 students and provides additional services to more than 1,000 children each year. The St. Paul expansion is expected to add 13,000 students to the program.

"On behalf of Allina Health, I welcome St. Paul students into the E.Y.E. program. We support the E.Y.E. program because it addresses disparities both in education and healthcare," Dr. Wheeler said.

The E.Y.E. program provides free regular vision screening and works with families to remove barriers that might exist to treatment, including interpreter services, transportation, medical care and eyewear at no cost to the families or the school district.

Dayton Bluff Elementary third graders attended the news conference and were screened immediately after it ended.

About Phillips Eye Institute, part of Allina Health

Phillips Eye Institute is the second largest eye specialty hospital (in patient volume) in the United States. Dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and disorders, Phillips Eye Institute’s ophthalmologists offer an extensive array of specialty services from diagnostic tests and vision rehabilitation to laser eye treatments and specialized eye surgery. Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information about Allina Health, visit our website at  allinahealth.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter .

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, home oxygen and medical equipment and emergency medical transportation services

For more information, visit us at allinahealth.org, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Healthy Set Go.