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Media Contact: Christian Meagher, Communications Specialist

Griffin Hospital Hosts Open House for New Lions Low Vision Center

By Christian Meagher on 4/29/2016

Griffin Hospital and Lions Club of Fairfield and New Haven Counties officially opened the new Lions Low Vision Center at Griffin Hospital Rehabilitation Services at 350 Seymour Ave. in Derby recently.

“This is the culmination of a truly excellent partnership between the Lions and Griffin Hospital to serve the area from Naugatuck to Bridgeport, which really wasn’t being served before today,” said Jon Christensen, president of the Lions Low Vision Centers of Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

The Low Vision Center assists individuals whose degree of vision loss can no longer be corrected by eye glasses, medicine or surgery. Common disorders that cause low vision include macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. Symptoms of low vision are reduced reading vision, and deterioration in peripheral and color vision, and in the ability to adjust to changes in levels of light, contrast or glare.

Occupational therapists at the Center evaluate an individual’s degree of vision loss and make recommendations for vision aids and devices that are provided at no charge. Funding for the aids and devices are donated by the more than 50 local Lions Clubs in Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

According to Christensen, there are more than 58,000 individuals with Low Vision in Connecticut, including an estimated 8,500 in the Lower Naugatuck Valley and Greater Bridgeport area.

“Low Vision is a significant issue not just in the state, but right here in this community,” he said. “That’s why this new center at Griffin is so important.”

The center’s opening featured a talk by Dr. Joseph Sokol, of Connecticut Eye Specialists in Shelton, who stressed the need for adaptive devices for those with Low Vision.

“Assisting individuals with Low Vision at our new center is one of the most gratifying experiences and occupational therapist can have,” said Myra Odenwaelder, DPT, director of Griffin Hospital's Rehabilitation Services Department. “It’s an incredible feeling to provide our expertise to help people get back to doing activities they thought they would never be able to do again.”

For more information about the Lions Low Vision Center at Griffin Hospital’s Rehabilitation Services Department, call 203-732-7445 or visit griffinhealth.org or lionslowvisioncenters.org.

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