Posted by: EyeSouth Partners in News

Georgia Eye Partners

ATLANTA – (June 1, 2022) – As of this month, Prevent Blindness Georgia (PBGA) finished their annual vision screening initiative for 7,563 Whitfield County Public School and Dalton City School students to help them better succeed in the classroom. Through the process, PBGA found that Whitfield County and Dalton City students had a much higher vision testing failure rate (at 19 percent) when compared to the national average (8-10 percent).  There were 1,435 students referred to their clinics for additional free eye exams and prescription eyeglasses.

The final clinic was held at Rock Bridge Community Church alongside the Latin American Association and doctors from Georgia Eye Partners. There were approximately 100 students that attended and those that needed additional support received two pairs of prescription eyeglasses, one for school and one for home.

“Vision is not always at the top of the list of what gets taken care of first,” said Shavette L. Turner, Vice President, Children’s Vision Services at Prevent Blindness Georgia. “This project was not an option-to-have for this community, it was a critical need-to-have. Even when provided complimentarily, there are barriers like language and transportation. Their community rallied and provided solutions for those. And now local physicians are stepping in and working to chip away at the 19 percent referral rate (1,435 children). We have an urgent need to secure funding for the 23-24 school year so we can continue the Circle of Vision Care for the children of Whitfield County.”

Doctor and child in glasses smiling at the camera
doctor performing an eye exam on a child
young boy putting on glasses
Free certified vision screenings, vision exams and free prescription eyeglasses provided to students who face vision testing failure rate far above national average

In many cases, symptoms of vision problems such as inattention in the classroom or difficulty learning to read are often mistaken by parents and teachers for behavioral problems or learning difficulties. Without early detection and treatment, uncorrected vision problems can lead to permanent vision loss and learning delays.

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On average, PBGA’s team of certified professional vision screeners tests approximately 40,000 young children in a typical school year. Upon each screening, each family receives follow up information to ensure they are connected to the specialty care their child needs. Prevent Blindness is the only national program that trains and certifies people around the country to conduct vision screenings that find vision problems in preschool and school-age children.

This initiative was sponsored by a grant from the Georgia Baptist Foundation and provided vision screening services to six different elementary schools for students between kindergarten through fifth grade in Dalton City as well as thirteen Whitfield County elementary schools.

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About Prevent Blindness Georgia

Founded in 1965, Prevent Blindness Georgia (PBGA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve sight and prevent blindness for all Georgians. Our goal is to have no Georgian needlessly lose their eyesight from preventable vision loss. We offer an array of services designed to provide a continuum of care at the local level throughout the state for children and economically challenged adults.  The organization works to educate and advocate for better eye health and safety and to train others about best practices in vision screening. Through the support of generous donors, Prevent Blindness Georgia offers its services free of charge to those it serves. To learn more, visit:

About Georgia Eye Partners

Georgia Eye Partners is a group practice of ophthalmologists and optometrists committed to providing premier medical and surgical specialty eye care to patients in the Metro Atlanta and North Georgia region, with seven offices in Decatur, Downtown Decatur, Johns Creek, Northside, Emory Midtown, Woodstock, Snellville and North Brookhaven areas. Our services range from disease-specific medical exams to complex specialty surgical care and our outpatient surgery center features state-of-the-art equipment and accreditation from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). To learn more about us, visit us at: