If you have lost a voucher please call 305-856-9830 for a replacement - at no cost to the family.
Providing free eye examinations and glasses to eligible children
Eligible children receive vouchers for their community optometrist or a mobile eye care clinic visits the child’s school
Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has developed a Best Practices approach for the delivery of eye care to uninsured schoolchildren over the past 24 years as documented in Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association, January, 2012. To read the full text of this article, click here.
Students with poor vision cannot see the board or do close work and fall behind in class. Our objective is to provide comprehensive eye health services including vision examinations, eyeglasses and vision training for students, thus meeting the goal for vision established in National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Healthy Vision/Healthy People 2010 initiative. Our Heiken Program has received two Healthy Vision/Healthy People awards from NEI.
The goal of the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program is to assure that all financially disadvantaged schoolchildren who fail their vision screening have access to a comprehensive eye examination including dilation and glasses, if required, to ensure academic success. Following the Florida Statute which sets standards of care, the Program provides an eye examination with dilation so that underlying medical conditions can be diagnosed and appropriate medical referrals made. Glasses are prescribed if required. These free services are offered statewide either on-site at schools via four mobile eye clinics or by our network of over 1,200 participating optometrists. Of 11,146 low-income schoolchildren receiving a comprehensive eye exam during the 2016-2017 school year, 668 were referred for medical intervention for retinal tears, glaucoma and other eye abnormalities; 8,196 children received prescription glasses. Approximately 84% of all children examined require and receive prescription eyeglasses, confirming the importance of a follow-up eye exam after a student fails the state-mandated vision screening.
According to research by the American Optometric Association, vision problems in children and teenagers may contribute to poor school performance, behavior issues and delinquency. AOA research shows that 1-in-4 children has vision problems; literacy can be improved with early intervention. With corrective lenses, children are able to read their assignments, see the board, and learn to their fullest potential. Their prospects for succeeding in school improve immeasurably.
Of the 1,400 families contacted in our recent Heiken Children’s Vision Program market research survey, underwritten by the Health Foundation of South Florida, 74% of the respondents reported that their child had improved academically because of the services provided by our Program.
Leveraging Florida Department of Health funds with funding from other entities such as the Florida Optometry Eye Health Fund, The Children’s Trust, the Miami Foundation, other private foundations and individual donors enables our Heiken Program to provide eye care for the growing number of children who need our services each year.
The Heiken Children’s Vision Fund was created in 1992 by the Dade County Optometric Association, and merged with the Miami Lighthouse in 2007. In 2010, the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program, LLC, a division of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc., was registered with the State of Florida, expanding vision health services to low-income children statewide.
Governance oversight of the program is provided by the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the LLC; oversight of the program is provided by the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Advisory Committee comprised of optometrists, ophthalmologists and representatives from foundations and school districts. Click here to view the roster of Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Advisory Committee members.
Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 2% of U.S. nonprofits having earned eight consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.
For additional information please call 305-856-9830 or 1-888-996-9847
The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program is partially funded by The Children’s Trust. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.
Miami Lighthouse Wins South Florida Business Journal
Excellence In Health Care - Community Outreach Award
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category at an award ceremony October 6. Click here for press release.
School Board Member Raquel Regalado thanks Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and the Heiken Children's Vision Program that enables uninsured, financially disadvantaged children in Miami-Dade County to receive free comprehensive eye examinations and eyeglasses at no cost. Filmed at the Miami Lighthouse 80th Ruby Jubilee Dinner Concert at the Biltmore Hotel.
A proclamation recognizing the Miami Lighthouse Heiken Children's Vision Program for distinguished services to county schoolchildren was presented at the April 14th, 2010 meeting of the Miami-Dade County School Board.
School Board member Dr. Martin Karp, Miami Lighthouse CEO Virginia Jacko, and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program
601 SW 8th Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
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Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.
Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned eleven consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.
Miami Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.
Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.
Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.
Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.
Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.
Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.