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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 Oregon State Elks Association commitment to providing eye care for babies and children. The Elks became involved with the University of Oregon Medical School (now Oregon Health & Science University) Medical School in 1949. That year, Dr. Kenneth Swan needed a piece of equipment called an oximeter for a baby whose father was an Oregon Elk. The Oregon Elks promptly raised $2000 for the oximeter. Soon after, the Elks' continued generosity established the Elks Children's Eye Clinic.

In the ensuing years, Oregon Elks 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, just to name a few. This year, the visual program of the Oregon State Elks Association will contribute $1.45 million dollars the Elks Children's Eye Clinic and the Oregon School for the Blind. In addition, the EYES committee will complete payment for an endowed pediatric professorship by the end of this calendar year, 2009, that was started a few years ago. That payment will be $1 million dollars.

Financial assistance is not the only service Oregon Elks contribute. Approximately 20 Elk members, widows and spouses from the Portland Metro Area Elks lodges make up the volunteer corp at the Elks Children's Eye Clinic. We donate thousands of hours annually volunteering at the Elks Children's Eye Clinic: assisting patients, working on projects for staff, and providing information to the public with a smile. We have also funded up-to-date equipment for the pediatric ophthalmology examination room located in the new Doernbecher Children's Hospital at the Oregon Health & Science University, and staffed by the faculty of the Elks Children's Eye Clinic.

Pediatric Eye Care Services at the Elks Children's Eye Clinic

These services focus on the entire family, providing a range of support to sighted and visually impaired children and their parents. The components of the program include parent support, outreach to rural communities and county health clinics, public education, and high-risk tracking and intervention. The faculty and staff of the Elks Children's Eye Clinic are nationally renowned for their clinical care and research.

You can find more information at the Elks Children's Eye Clinic website