New program will provide free vision, hearing screenings to local preschools and daycares

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In an effort to promote healthy vision and hearing and ensure kindergarten readiness, MEDARVA Healthcare today announced that it has launched a mobile vision and hearing program.

The MEDARVA Pre-K Vision and Hearing Screening Program is providing free, state-of-the-art vision and hearing screenings to children preparing to enter kindergarten. The screenings will be given to area preschools and daycares five days a week, year-round with the goal of screening 8,000 children.

The program targets local preschools and daycares, including facilities in Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George and the City of Richmond, as well as other areas within those counties.

The program will also offer educational information in reference to the importance of vision and auditory health.

“We are passionate about supporting our community and we are thrilled to launch an educational screening program that will provide critical vision and hearing screening services at no charge to preschools throughout the area,” said Bruce P. Kupper, president and CEO of MEDARVA Healthcare. “These thorough screenings help detect potential vision or hearing issues at an early age, which will help ensure that each child will have the healthy vision and hearing necessary to excel in school.”

One in four preschoolers have vision or hearing problems significant enough to affect learning. Many students are visual learners, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and it’s estimated that about 80 percent of what a child learns in a classroom setting is through visual learning.

About 75 percent of a child’s school day incorporates an auditory component.

Routine screenings help ensure children are set up for success as they enter kindergarten, and beyond.

The program uses the Plusoptix vision screening device for vision screenings.Unlike traditional eye chart screenings, this device measures a child’s refractive error (or the need for glasses) and strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) within one to five seconds and there is no subjective interpretation needed by the screener. For hearing screenings, MEDARVA will use its own proprietary hearing screening device, which has been tested in Richmond.

If you’re interested in scheduling a screening for a preschool or daycare can contact Nallibe Mehfoud-Ward by emailing pre-k@medarva.com or by calling 804-545-0294.

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