Lions Club Donates $150,000 to UT Hamilton Eye Institute to Support Lions Low Vision Center


On Wednesday, July 21 at 10 a.m., at a check presentation ceremony and reception in the HEI lobby, the UT Hamilton Eye Institute received a deeply appreciated donation of $150,000 to support the Lions Low Vision Center. The Lions Club International donated $100,000 of this amount, and the remaining $50,000 was contributed by the Mid-South Lions Sight & Hearing Service and the 930 Friends foundation. The donation is the second installment from the Lions Club. The Lions Low Vision Center was established at the HEI with the group's initial 2007 donation of $150,000. This additional aid will extend services to a waiting list of 170 disadvantaged patients needing eye surgeries.

"We are grateful for the Lions' 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 included Brad Baker, CEO of the Mid-South Lions Sight & Hearing Service; Howard Jenkins, president of the Mid-South Lions and past director of Lions Club International; Steve Schwab, MD, chancellor of UTHSC; Kennard D. Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief of staff of UTHSC; and Keith Carver, PhD, interim vice chancellor for UTHSC Development & Alumni Affairs. Legislative officials along with a number of major donors, patients and supporters of both HEI and the Lions organization were also present.

"Because of HEI's 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 institute's leadership." Earlier this year, Barrett G. 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."