The Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic – Over 70 Years of Making a Difference
The Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic is the major charitable project of the Oregon State Elks Association. The clinic would not be possible without the Oregon State Elks Association commitment to providing eye care for babies and children. The new Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic is the nation’s first freestanding pediatric eye clinic. This $50 million building is named the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic in recognition of the Oregon Elks significant philanthropic investment. Opened in December 2020, this new 60,000 sq foot facility is home base for the clinics team of world-renowned ophthalmologist. It includes an expanded Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic, retinopathy of prematurity telemedicine, outreach programs, retina services, vision rehabilitation, the Paul H. Casey Ophthalmologic Genetics Floor, and a clinical trials center. Its most striking architectural feature is the glass walkway that connects the existing Casey facility via the 4th floor and dramatically shifts color to create a sense of wonder. The unique design is not merely aesthetic. The new clinic has earned multiple awards for its inspired and thoughtful design that accommodates all visual abilities. Attention was given to avoid sharp edges and to have contrasting colors on floors, walls, and signage help patients with limited vision navigate the building safely. And a special child friendly waiting room provides a comfortable, fun, darkened space for children whose eyes have been dilated and are sensitive to light. This facility is the future of children’s eye care in Oregon and this one-of-a-kind clinic stands as a testament to the enduring philanthropic impact of the Oregon State Elks association of the more than 70 years.
History of the Oregon State Elks Association State Major Project
The Elks became involved with the University of Oregon Medical School (now Oregon Health & Science University) in 1949. That year, Dr. Kenneth Swan needed a piece of equipment called an oximeter for a baby whose father was an Oregon Elk. The Oregon Elks promptly raised $2000 for the oximeter. Soon after, the Elks’ continued generosity established the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic. To donate – click here.
In the ensuing years, Oregon Elks contributed significantly to the growth of the clinic, helping pay for the nation’s first microscope for ocular surgery, the Northwest’s first ophthalmic excimer laser, and Oregon’s first photokeratoscope for children, just to name a few.
Financial assistance is not the only service Oregon Elks contribute. Approximately 20 Elk members, widows and spouses from the Portland Metro Area Elks lodges make up the volunteer corp at the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic. We donate thousands of hours annually volunteering at the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic: assisting patients, working on projects for staff, and providing information to the public with a smile. We have also funded up-to-date equipment for the pediatric ophthalmology examination room located at the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at the Oregon Health & Science University, and staffed by the faculty of the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic.
Pediatric Eye Care Services at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic
These services focus on the entire family, providing a range of support to sighted and visually impaired children and their parents. The components of the program include parent support, outreach to rural communities and county health clinics, public education, and high-risk tracking and intervention. The faculty and staff of the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic are nationally renowned for their clinical care and research.
You can find more information at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic website