Present and Future

Mid-South Lions Donates $150,000 to UT Hamilton Eye Institute

Memphis, Tenn. (July 20, 2010) Ė On Wednesday, July 21 at 10 a.m., Mid-South Lions Sight & Hearing Service will donate $150,000 to the University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI) during a check presentation and reception. The event will be held at 930 Madison Avenue in the lobby of HEI, which is part of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The donation is the second installment of a $300,000 contribution from the Mid-South Lions. The funds will support the Lions Low Vision Center, which was established at the HEI with the groupís initial 2007 donation. The additional aid will extend services to a waiting list of 170 disadvantaged patients needing eye surgeries.

"We are grateful for the Lionsí support and will continue working together to increase the number of indigent patients served," said James C. Fleming, MD, FACS, Philip M. Lewis Professor and vice chair of Ophthalmology at UTHSC. Dr. Fleming also directs The Orbit Center, a service at the HEI to treat orbital disease and trauma.

Other community leaders participating in the event will include Brad Baker, CEO of the Mid-South Lions Sight & Hearing Service, Steve Schwab, MD, chancellor of UTHSC, plus representatives from Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. Legislative officials along with a number of major donors, patients and supporters of both HEI and the Lions organization will also attend.

"Because of HEIís amazing clinicians, sight is being restored to many in need," stated Baker, adding, "Mid-South Lions members are committed to exploring future projects with the instituteís leadership." Earlier this year, Barrett Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor and chair of Ophthalmology at UT Health Science Center, and director of HEI, was inducted into the L. B. Baker Hall of Fame, the highest honor awarded by the Mid-South Lions. Dr. Haik earned the honor for what the Lions describe as "his untiring efforts to improve the lives of patients with sight problems."

Founded in 2005, UT Hamilton Eye Institute consistently ranks among the top 10 providers across the nation in ophthalmic clinical care. HEIís 28 physicians and eye specialists manage more than 40,000 outpatient visits annually including offsite clinic locations at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, The Regional Medical Center at Memphis and Methodist University Hospital. HEI serves patients from Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. In addition, through the UTHSC Telehealth Network, HEI physicians collaboratively treat and manage patients in 16 countries.

Since 1942, Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service has been restoring quality and independence to the lives of men, women and children affected by preventable sight loss and hearing loss. The organization uses a comprehensive approach to assisting indigent patients with costly medical services. Strategies include partnering with foundations, businesses and medical organizations. Currently, the Mid-South Lions offices are located at HEI.