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Lions Club Timeline

Since the creation of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology in 1961 and the dedication of the WVU Eye Institute in 2001, there has been a partnership with the West Virginia Lions Club. This partnership has resulted in providing valuable vision saving care to the citizens of the state referred by Lions Clubs, advancements in research, and improvements in clinical care and domestic/international service programs.

WV Lions Ski Program with members of WVU Eye Institute Children's Vision Outreach Program in an outside setting with snow on the ground.
WV Lions Ski Program with members of WVU Eye Institute Children's Vision Outreach Program

1960's - Lions purchase one lane of exam equipment for the new Eye Clinic in the WVU Medical Center.

Early 90's - Lions provide $65,000+ to complete space adjacent to the Eye Clinic used for clinical research.

Lions group outside the eye institute building holding a giant check in a group formation.
Lions provide a gift to support the Electrophysiology Unit at the WVU Eye Institute.

Mid 90's - Lions provide $30,000+ to purchase electrophysiology testing equipment (performs ERG, VEP, EOG, etc.) at the WVU Eye Institute.

Mid 90's - WVU Department of Ophthalmology assists the WVLSCF in securing $60,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to purchase and equip the first Mobile Eye Screening Unit in West Virginia and assist with creation of Mobile Unit planning and policies.

Late 90's - Spearheaded by Lion Evan Hugus, Lions provide start-up money (approximately $6000) for the Children's Vision Rehabilitation Program (CVRP) to serve visually impaired children in WV.

2000-2001 - Lions successfully apply for Core 4 grant ($230,000+) to help launch the Appalachian Low Vision Center at the WVU Eye Institute.

2000-2005 - Lions and WVU Eye Institute joint project whereby Lions identify and refer indigent patients to the WVU Eye Institute for surgery. The first 25 surgery cases per year done at no charge; next 25 cases in same year are done at a flat $1000 charge to WVLSCF.

2003 - WVU Eye Institute and WV Lions jointly host the North American Conference of Lions Foundations (NACLF) in Morgantown.

2002 - present - LCIF, WV Lions Clubs and St. Lucia Lions Clubs assist in sponsorship of WVU Eye Institute ophthalmologists to St. Lucia for two-week medical missions.

2006 - WVLSCF approves $30,000 to be used to apply for matching grant from LCIF to purchase replacement electrophysiology equipment.

2007 - WVLSCF pledges $100,000 to the WVU Eye Institute Vision Research Center to provide research equipment to advance groundbreaking research to prevent childhood blindness.

2008 - WVLSCF and LCIF provide a joint grant of $80,000 for the purchase of valuable research equipment for the WVUEI's Vision Research Center to advance research in glaucoma and childhood blindness.

2009 - WVLSCF and LCIF recognized for new $80,000 grant with WV Lions Day at the WVU Eye Institute.

2010 - WVU Eye Institute updates WV Lions at Lions Leadership School and Annual Conference on the advancements made in research and usage of the equipment from the 2008 grant.

2011 - WVU Eye Institute research director presents research progress at January 2011 WV Lions Leadership School.

2012 - present - WVU Eye Institute, West Virginia Lions Clubs, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and West Virginia Free Clinics partner to provide adult vision screening services through the Appalachian Vision Outreach Program (AVOP).

2014 - Ronald L. Gross, MD, chair of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology and director of the WVU Eye Institute provides an update of the Eye Institute's programs and progress at the WV Lions State Convention.

2014 - Kick off of The West Virginia Lions Legacy Vision Research Program (WVLLVR). This program will help strengthen the research at the Vision Research Center. Future funding will be used to strengthen the WVU Eye Institute gene therapy program and continue to find cures for blinding conditions such as age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

2014 - Submission of Phase II Expansion at the WVU Eye Institute Vision Research Center.

2015 - WV Lions Liaison Committee sets date for WV Lions Day to be held at the WVU Eye Institute on April 18, 2015.

Dr. John Nguyen is kneeling next to a St.  Lucia child seated in a chair.
WVU Eye Institute faculty Dr. John Nguyen provides vision care in St. Lucia