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Lions Clinic Expansion Brings More Capacity, New Equipment

The Alabama Lions Eye Clinic, housed in the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, has again expanded its space as part of an ongoing effort to provide greater access to underserved Alabamians in need of eye care. It’s another small but significant example of how Callahan is giving back to the community.

A full remodeling of the clinic was completed in July 2014, allowing for better management of patients in the emergency department and at the Lions Eye Clinic, while also providing additional emergency capability. The renovated space features new exam chairs, including two designed to allow wheelchair access, and an array of new diagnostic equipment. This latest improvement now provides an additional lane.

For a clinic that treated more than 4,000 patients last year, any additional space makes a positive impact, according to Dara Cook, an ophthalmology technician for the Lions Eye Clinic.

“This addition gives a total of six lanes, one of which we use for workup,” Cook says. “The new room has already made a huge difference in our ability to handle the flow of patients. During one shift we now have the ability to see as many as 35 or more patients on average.”

Kristen Jijelava, MD, has also seen immediate benefits from the addition of the new lane.

“It has shortened wait times, increased the number of patients we can see in a day, and allowed for more patient-physician interaction,” Jijelava says. “Overall, the clinic runs more smoothly since the addition, and all of us – patients, staff, and physicians – are very grateful.”

The addition of the new lane is one more chapter in a seven-decade history of partnership by which Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the Lions Clubs of Alabama, and Callahan have provided vision care to underserved populations. Through the Lions Club’s efforts to secure funds, and with the dedication of staff and faculty, the Lions Eye Clinic expands its capacity to help patients regardless of their socioeconomic status.