Throughout Central Iowa, children are receiving critical eye exams thanks to Prevent Blindness Iowa, supported in part by a grant from the Principal Financial Group®. The Principal ® grant supports the Children’s Vision Screening program, which aims to detect vision problems in children before they cause irreversible damage.
Rob Brueckner, assistant director of marketing services at The Principal, serves on the board of Prevent Blindness Iowa. “The mission of Prevent Blindness Iowa is to help save the sight of Iowans through preventative screening and education programs,” he says. “A big part of what we do is screen preschool age children for conditions like lazy eye, which can cause permanent loss of vision if not caught early.
“One of my own children had this condition, but we were able to catch it early and save 100 percent of his sight so this was a natural fit for me. It was an opportunity to help my community and get involved in something I had a personal connection with,” Brueckner explains.
Jeanne Burmeister, executive director, Prevent Blindness Iowa says “Prevent Blindness Iowa is very grateful for the Principal Financial Group Foundation grant to support our Children’s Vision Screening program. The grant allows us to provide free vision screening to preschool age children and provide free professional eye exams to low-income children in Central Iowa.”
The Prevent Blindness Iowa program has reached thousands of Iowans through screening and education, but more work remains. Problems in young children often go undetected until the damage is irreversible and partial sight is lost. If detected and treated early, nearly 50 percent of all vision problems can be prevented.