Trustees Seek to Allocate Park Eye Fund to Better Serve Patients in Need


The Louise D. Park Eye Fund of the North Georgia Conference was established for “the treatment of patients who are in definite need of financial assistance in order to secure the indicated treatment of disorders of the eye or eyes which would result in blindness if such treatment were not otherwise available.” 

After many years, the Conference Board of Trustees recognizes that neither churches, clergy, or the North Georgia Conference are utilizing the fund in a significant and meaningful way. The Park Eye Fund has an accumulated income available for use.

Out of a desire to be good stewards of these funds, the Board of Trustees has decided to allocate funds to a third-party agency (or agencies) that has the expertise to administer and use these funds for the intended purpose. 

The trustees will allocate funds to the selected agency on an annual or more frequent basis in accordance with a request for funding and an agreement entered into with the agency. The agency will identify needs that are within the intent of the established purpose of the Park Eye Fund. The trustees can approve an amount or adjust the amount of funds allocated as they deem appropriate. The trustees would receive a report verifying use of the funds that have been allocated and both expenditures and results will be reported to the North Georgia Conference.
The trustees are in discussion with the Emory Eye Center which provides vision care to indigent patients. They have proposed two programs: the Infant Aphakia Services and Treatment Support and the Glaucoma Drug Assistance Fund. 
The Infant Aphakia Services and Treatment Support involves infants born without an eye lens. It is important that babies with aphakia have surgery as soon as possible because eyes develop very quickly. The absence of a lens causes irreversible damage if not treated quickly. Within the first year, parents may need to obtain multiple replacement contacts for children with aphakia. Some families have limited or no insurance to cover the cost of the lenses or replacement lenses. If this partner is chosen, the Park Eye Fund will be used by the Emory Eye Center to provide contact lenses, fittings and replacements to eligible families. The payment from the Fund will be considered payment in full and patients will not be charged for any balance remaining. 
The Glaucoma Drug Assistance Fund provides expensive daily drop-delivered medication for the potentially blinding disease of glaucoma. A patient who is elderly, infirm, or having certain disabilities that might make it difficult to administer drops correctly, are at risk of running out of the drops before month’s end. The one-month supply of drops that Medicare covers is often not enough to allow for dosage errors or lost medication. In addition, some of the only effective glaucoma drugs are not covered by insurance or Medicare, resulting in out-of-pocket costs ranging in price between $300-$400 a month. Therefore, patients on a limited or fixed income often go without medication for significant periods of time, and their glaucoma may worsen as a result. The Glaucoma Drug Assistance Fund is a resource for these patients to obtain additional drops to prevent further visual loss. If this partner is chosen, the Emory Eye Center will utilize funds from The Park Eye Fund to help these patients. The Eye Care Center will share information with the Board of Trustees on how prescriptions were distributed to patients in need and the trustees will report to the Conference. Drugs will be paid for from the Park Eye Fund at cost for financially needy patients.

See the full report from the Board of Trustees in the 2019 North Georgia Annual Conference Handbook.