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Lions foundation presents equipment for use in eye disease diagnosis (12-31-99)

Honoring its pledge to help prevent blindness and cure eye diseases, the Lions Sight Research Foundation recently presented the Department of Ophthalmology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with laboratory equipment used to identify blinding and even life-threatening diseases.

The Lions Sight Research Foundation, which was created by the Lions of Texas District 2-A2, purchased an automated tissue processor, valued at $40,000, through proceeds from year-round fund-raising events. The automated processor prepares tissue samples obtained at surgery for prompt and accurate diagnosis.

Jim Wheeler, president and chief operating officer of the foundation, said District 2-A2 Lions Clubs sponsor "Stride for Sight" events to raise funds for research instruments for the Department of Ophthalmology. Since 1989, the department has operated its Eye Pathology Laboratory under the auspices of the Lions Sight Research Center.

"Realizing the need to upgrade this critical piece of equipment in the Lions Sight Research Center, the Lions redoubled their efforts in 1999 to make sure this Y2K-compatible processor would be in service to assist in the vital work being carried out on a daily basis," Wheeler said.

"The processor is the foundation for all casework in our laboratory," said Peggy A. Warner, registered histology technician. "We receive hundreds of specimens from hospitals and doctorsí offices across Texas and throughout the United States. Samples vary greatly, from a minuscule fragment of tissue to an entire eyeball. In each case, patients and doctors are waiting for timely and accurate information regarding the diagnosis," she said.

Contact: Will Sansom or Catherine Duncan