Lions Club President Kurt Peters speaks to Rotary at the Community House on Friday, Nov. 6, about the Lions health screening program. Rotary photo
Lions Club President Kurt Peters speaks to Rotary at the Community House on Friday, Nov. 6, about the Lions health screening program. Rotary photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following report from the Rotary Club of Sanibel Captiva meeting at the Sanibel Community House on Friday, Nov. 6, was submitted by Shirley Jewell of the Rotary Club.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary welcomed Kurt Peters, Sanibel Captiva Lions Club president, to our podium last week to give us an overview of the club’s Health Screening Program. 

I don’t know if many Islanders are aware of this program, but believe me they should know. This is a one-stop FREE health screening opportunity to have your-blood pressure checked, blood glucose checked (primarily for diabetes), peripheral visual fields checked, testing to determine your intraocular pressure of the eyes (glaucoma), muscular degeneration screening, and a hearing test. 

These are painless tests that provide a quick easy preventive check for health issue that are unfortunately so common for many of us, especially as we age. The Lions Club wants everyone on Island to take advantage of this program and has setup five various dates and locations for these Lions Club Health Screening opportunities …Sanibel Senior Center for Life-Nov. 18, Sanibel Community House-Nov. 21, and the Sanibel Rec. Center-Jan. 14, Feb. 15, and March 14…all screenings will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Lions Club is passionate about this health-screening program and has invested in up-to-date and reliable medical screening devices. The glucose screeners are all certified by the Lions Diabetes Foundation of Multiple District 35 and are under the supervision of a physician.  Equipment used includes Zeiss Humphrey FDT for peripheral visual fields, the Reichert AT 550 auto non-contact tonometer for intraocular pressure of the eyes, and ERO-SCAN or audiometer for hearing tests. When the immediate testing results are processed and the findings indicate health or vision concerns, individuals are strongly encouraged to seek medical attention from their health care providers.

These tests are easy, convenient, and definitely affordable (FREE); so why wait? Do yourself a favor; take a little time for yourself. Drop in at one of the above locations and have these test done. Ben Franklin wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club also has two preschool eye and hearing screening sessions usually done in April and May. Next year’s dates, times, and locations for preschool screenings have not been set up yet, but are held at the pre-schools on the Island.

Sanibel-Captiva Lions also partners with many other Lions club in the area on health and vision screening opportunities; specifically with the Naples Lions Club and their vision-screening program in Immokalee. This location screens approximately 1000 people a year and provides free eyeglasses to those in need.

Have you ever noticed the Lion’s “Recycle for Sight” eyeglass collection boxes around town… Bailey’s General Store, Jerry’s Foods, Bank of the Islands, Snead Cataract/Eye Physicians, Island Pharmacy, the Island Seniors Center, the Sanibel Library, the Sanibel Post Office, and Periwinkle Park. There is also a collection box at South Seas Resort on Captiva.

Well, here’s what most of who wear glasses should do…go around your house and collect your old glasses, even if the frames are broken…and then find one of the collection boxes and just drop them in…this is a win/win for everyone…you have less clutter in your home and someone gets to experience, possibly for the first time, clear vision. What an amazing gift you could give someone and it’s easy breezy.

Glasses collected on Sanibel and Captiva are sorted by prescription assessment, separated or repaired when necessary, and cleaned here on Sanibel then sent to a Lions’ collection location in Florida and are distributed in Florida.   

Just since 1990, the Lions vision programs have prevented severe vision loss or restored sight to 27 million people around the globe.   Many will experience corrected vision for the first time, enabling them to read, attend school, gain employment and take care of their families,” according to the Lions Club website.

Personally, I would like to see the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club and The Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club work on a project together. After all, vision (LIONS) is the pathway to literacy and learning (ROTARY).

The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7 a.m. Friday mornings at the Sanibel Community House, Periwinkle Way. Guests are always welcomed.