Lifelong Vision Foundation | Pepose Vision Institute St. Louis

Lifelong Vision Foundation

Lifelong Vision Foundation Logo

Founded by Dr. Jay S. Pepose in December of 2000 as an independent philanthropic offshoot of Pepose Vision Institute, the Lifelong Vision Foundation, (previously named the Midwest Cornea Research Foundation) received its 501 (c) (3) status in December of 2001, with the mission to fund eye research that advances the preservation and restoration of sight:

  • Disseminating state-of-the-art clinical treatments to local, national and international communities of eye care providers through education, training and outreach programs
  • Creating and sustaining the International Eye Banking Fellowship Program to promote indigenous tissue retrieval and corneal transplants in less-developed countries
  • Providing opportunities to train allied health professionals in the pre- and post-operative management of vision correction, glaucoma, and cataract patients

Doing business as the Midwest Eye Research Foundation, the name was changed in August of 2011 to Lifelong Vision Foundation to better reflect the Foundation’s expanded mission to approach a broader spectrum of vision problems.

Our Mission

To improve and preserve lifelong vision for people in our community, nationally, and internationally by:

  • originating and advancing vision research
  • providing community vision programs
  • expanding vision education through school partnerships and public programs

The Lifelong Vision Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization established to support research efforts in ophthalmology, to educate physicians and the general public in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease, and to provide vision screening and treatment programs to specific underserved communities. Its goals are achieved through Pepose Vision Institute studies and clinical trials and through the generous support of patients and their family members, corporate citizens, and foundations who share the vision of lifelong excellence in eye care.

In its first decade, the Foundation created and developed vision programs and disbursed over $2,000,000 for research, community programming, and education to improve and preserve lifelong vision:

  • Advancing vision outcomes by originating studies and/or clinical trials in Lasik, Cataract, Dry Eyes, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, and Presbyopia
  • Furthering vision research by providing endowed Graduate Research Fellowships and a Lectureship in Vision Sciences at Brandeis University
  • Engaging the next generation of researchers through grants to universities for presentation of vision research at national conference
  • Sharing state-of-the-art information by sponsoring regional meetings where invited speakers discuss research findings and exchange ideas
  • Training ophthalmologists through the Pepose Vision Institute one and -two year national Fellowship Program
  • Instructing optometrists in diagnostic techniques and pre and post-operative vision care, and providing continuing education courses for 240 optometrists annually
  • Improving vision health in specific underserved communities, furnishing free surgical eye care to low-income families as well as to first responders in East St. Louis
  • Disseminating collected eyeglasses to devastated areas like Joplin, MO
  • Contributing to international eye care by sponsoring an American ophthalmologist to provide surgical eye care in an underserved country and by training ophthalmologists from less developed countries to create and sustain their own eye banks

We always provide our patients with compassionate and customized care.

Cooperative Training Program – Providing For the Underserved

In 2003, The Foundation took the lead in establishing a cooperative training program between the Pepose Vision Institute and the University of Missouri-St. Louis School of Optometry as the first program of its kind in the nation.

This innovative program provides clinical training opportunities in the field of laser vision correction surgery for both optometry students enrolled in the University of Missouri (UM) – St. Louis School of Optometry Program and Eye Physician Fellows at the Pepose Vision Institute.

Pepose Vision eye physician fellows provide pre-operative and post-operative patient care training for Optometry students at the East St. Louis Eye Center operated by the School of Optometry. As part of this training program, first responders and up to three Center patients from low-income families are selected monthly for no-cost vision correction surgery performed by physician fellows, under the supervision of Drs. Jay S. Pepose and Mujtaba Qazi. In this way, Optometry students gain extensive hands-on experience in the screening and post-operative co-management of vision correction patients. It is a winning initiative for patients, optometry students, eye physician fellows and the community-at-large.

“I am delighted to be involved in such an innovative, multifaceted program, that gives back to the St. Louis community in so many ways”, stated Dr. Pepose. “I applaud the University of Missouri-St. Louis for promoting such public-private initiatives to enhance the quality of the School of Optometry training program and to expand treatment options for its patients.”

Visit the Lifelong Vision Foundation website

Learn more about about our foundation and how you can help.

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