Contact: Megan Barone, director of development, UPMC Chautauqua WCA
T 716-664-8423
E-mail: Megan.D’

Saving Sight-Collaboration From Three Local Organizations


Press Release Photo
(R to L) Lisa Christ Committee Chair, UPMC Chautauqua WCA Care and Share Fund; and Tory Irgang, executive director United Way of Southern Chautauqua County; look on as Priscilla Shoup, Blindness Prevention coordinator, Chautauqua Blind Association; gives a vision screening to five year old Kristen at the YMCA Heritage House Child Care Center.

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (Monday, January 23, 2017)—The UPMC Chautauqua WCA Employee Care and Share Fund helped support The United Way Southern Chautauqua County programs such as The Chautauqua Blind Association (CBA) vision screenings.

According to Prevent Blindness America, 12.1 million school kids, or 1 in 4 children, experience vision problems, and 1 in 20 are at risk of losing their eyesight permanently.

The Chautauqua Blind Association is able to give vision screenings to children of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County with the help from organizations such as United Way with the support from others in the community. The screenings are painless, non-invasive, and fast. Parents will immediately receive the screening results: either a “pass” or “refer” report. Parents whose children are detected as high-risk for vision problems will be urged to take their children to an eye doctor for examination and any needed treatment.

Executive Director, Lisa Goodell stated, “In 2016, CBA provided 2,975 free vision screenings to young children in our community. Because of the funding we receive from the community we were able to keep this a free program for everyone. We identified 423 children that had previously undiagnosed vision problems and these children were referred to Eye Care Professionals for comprehensive evaluations. We value our partner’s in the community: those that provide funding for this program, the Lions Clubs who provide volunteers for this program, and the schools who give us free space to perform the vision screenings.”

UPMC Chautauqua WCA Employee Care and Share Fund is supported by UPMC Chautauqua WCA employees.  Each year, they generously donate their own money to help support area programs. “The UPMC Chautauqua WCA employees who generously donate to our fund should be very proud of how much they help the local community,” stated Lisa Christ, committee chair, Employee Care and Share Fund. “From donating to the CBA for early intervention screening, to the local school’s after prom or graduation parties, to helping feed the needy, our donations stretch far and wide throughout Chautauqua County. It makes me proud to be part of this wonderful organization.”

“United Way of Southern Chautauqua County has been a recipient of the generosity of employees at UPMC Chautauqua WCA for years,” stated Tory Irgang, executive director, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. “The fund contributes to the annual United Way Campaign and those dollars are invested directly in community programs that have measurable results.” United Way of Southern Chautauqua County has made it their mission to demonstrate impact in all aspects of their work by focusing in four priority areas: to ensure that families are self-sufficient, everyone is ready to work, young people succeed in school, and those in need can find help. This year, over $1.1 million dollars will be invested in 42 community-based programs that align with these priorities.

The collaborative efforts of these three organizations have provided many services throughout the community. UPMC Chautauqua WCA Care and Share Fund is committed to support the many programs within The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County such as The Chautauqua Blind Association.

If you are interested in learning more about UPMC Chautauqua WCA and the world class health care in our community, please visit or contact Megan Barone, director of development at 716-664-8423.



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