N E W S R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2016
New Diabetic Eye Exam Program at Saratoga Community Health Center
Collaboration between Saratoga Springs Lions Club and Lions Eye Institute at Albany
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, March 28, 2016—Saratoga Hospital recently announced a new diabetic eye exam program at its Saratoga Community Health Center, creating access to a vital vision diagnostic tool for all people in the Saratoga community, regardless of income. The new program is the result of collaboration between the Saratoga Springs Lions Club, the Lions Eye Institute at Albany, and Dr. Peter Martin, a retired ophthalmologist from Hoosick Falls, New York, who donated the exam equipment to the health center.
“People with diabetes are at risk of losing their sight,” said Dr. Renee Rodriguez-Goodemote, medical director for the Saratoga Community Health Center. “The value of this type of specialized eye exam is quite literally the opportunity to preserve a patient’s eyesight. “
“The exam detects changes in the eye that, when diagnosed, can lead to treatment and reduce the chance for loss of sight,” she added. “It is an understatement to say this program would only be possible because of the extraordinary generosity and support by all those involved in our community – Dr. Martin and his family, the Saratoga Springs Lions Club, and the Lions Eye Institute in Albany.”
“We have been a proud supporter of the Saratoga Community Health Center since it first opened in 2013,” said Karen Foster, president of the Saratoga Springs Lions Club. “When we discovered the opportunity to work with Dr. Martin and his family, we recognized the equipment and this type of program would fulfill a need at the health center, so we pursued developing the program with Dr. Rodriguez and her staff, and with the Lions Eye Institute at Albany.”
The Lions Club facilitated the donation, had the exam equipment installed and calibrated, and donated additional funding for other required equipment in the new ophthalmology exam room at the health center.
Patients will be seen by an ophthalmology resident from the Lions Eye Institute at Albany, which is affiliated with the Albany Medical Center’s ophthalmology residency program. Residents will rotate into the program and will be supervised during exams by a practicing ophthalmologist. The first resident to participate in this new program is Dr. Yasmin Mali. Dr. Edwin Davison Jr., a Saratoga Springs ophthalmologist, will be the volunteer supervisor. Other local ophthalmologists who have volunteered to help supervise include Dr. Robert Brass, Dr. Amjad Hammad, Dr. Jeffrey Paul, and Dr. Gregory Pinto. Initially, exams will be performed at the health center one afternoon per month.
“Our Saratoga Springs Lions Club has a rich history of supporting the Lions Eye Institute at Albany,” said John McDonald, a member of the Saratoga Springs Lions Club and past chairman and current board member of the Institute. The Saratoga club has three members serving on the board of the Institute, which is one of only eight regional eye care centers in the United States. A prominent Saratoga Lions Club member, Dave Carr Sr., was one of the founders of the Lions Eye Institute at Albany. “Dave would be proud of the ongoing work we do with the Institute and the many ways we bring that work back to the Saratoga community, extending the vision he had 25 years ago,” McDonald said.
The Saratoga Springs Lions Club, founded in 1925, now has more than 100 members and is one of the largest Lions clubs in New York State. “A core mission of the Lions Club is to assist our community with eye sight and eye wellness,” said Jim Flynn, past club president and current sight chairman. “Partnering with Saratoga Hospital and Dr. Rodriguez’s team to create this new program will help those in our community who previously could not afford a proper vision exam to now be properly examined, diagnosed and cared for,” Flynn said. “We anticipate this being the first step in providing additional vision programs at the health center.” The Lions Club is already working with the Northeast Association for the Blind to bring low-cost vision exams and pre-school vision screening to the center.
Appointments for a diabetic eye exam are required and can be made by calling the Saratoga Community Health Center at 518.886.5600. The health center is located at 24 Hamilton Street, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866.
Saratoga Community Health Center, a service of Saratoga Hospital, provides high-quality affordable primary care, dental care, and behavioral health services for patients of all ages, regardless of income.
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About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider. The only acute-care facility in Saratoga County, the hospital has a medical staff of over 450 physicians and other credentialed providers, offering care in a broad range of medical specialties. In keeping with its emphasis on quality, Saratoga Hospital was the first in the Capital Region to earn Magnet Designation for nursing excellence. Hospital facilities include: Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga Hospital Nursing Home, Wilton Medical Arts, Saratoga Surgery Center, Milton Health Center, Saratoga Community Health Center and the Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology Center. The hospital’s physician practice, Saratoga Regional Medical Group, includes physicians in the following specialties: cardiology, dentistry, endocrinology, family medicine, hematology/oncology, internal medicine, nephrology, neurology, occupational medicine, oncology, pain management, physiatry, podiatry, primary care, psychiatry, pulmonary medicine, surgery and urology. For more information, go to www.saratogahospital.org.
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