About Us

We work hard to keep the SEE in TennesSEE!

Screening children and adults!

Eye exams and glasses for the needy!

Education programs for all ages!

Prevent Blindness Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) non-profit voluntary organization, dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight. We offer a variety of services to the community. Perhaps our most popular is "Operation I Care," which provides children's vision screenings, educational programs, training for child care workers and free eye exams and glasses to children referred through our vision screening program. We also offer adult vision and glaucoma screenings, educational materials and seminars, counseling programs and referral services, eye safety programs, speakers and information services. We have a wealth of information concerning all aspects of eye health and safety, including a resource manual for those living with vision loss. Call on us with all your eye health and safety needs.

Prevent Blindness Tennessee's History

The year was 1908. Louisa Lee Schuyler was appalled at the number of newborns going blind from "babies' sore eyes," even though there was a readily available cure. Rather than just be appalled, Louisa Lee decided to do something about the situation. In partnership with Dr. F. Park Lewis and a ten-member committee, her crusading efforts resulted in the formation of the Committee on the Prevention of Blindness and the ratification of a law mandating the use of silver nitrate drops in babies' eyes.

Across America, concerned lay people and professionals became involved in the fight against sight loss, developing programs and screening tools for early detection of blinding diseases and disorders affecting all ages. Many, many committee meetings later, that small group had expanded into a nationwide organization whose sole purpose was to prevent blindness and preserve sight.

In 1978, Karla Jenson (now Johns) was a medical student at Vanderbilt University. One summer, she interned with the Georgia Society to Prevent Blindness. Returning to Nashville, she spoke with Denis O'Day and Fred Rowe, two of her professors. "We need a Prevent Blindness Society in Nashville," she said. The Tennessee affiliate was born.

Today Prevent Blindness Tennessee is an affiliate of Prevent Blindness America. We are proud of our history as the second oldest national voluntary health organization in America, and proud of our current role as the leader in sightsaving programs. Our mission is to preserve sight and prevent blindness. We achieve our goals through community service programs, public and professional education, and research. Our innovative programs and services have saved the sights of countless Americans.

We offer hands-on services to Tennesseans of all ages. Last year we provided vision screening and education services to over 50,000 individuals. We are proud of our Operation I Care which provides free eye exams and glasses for needy children across the state. We are working hard to implement a similar program for needy adults and senior citizens. We have the finest volunteer training programs available and offer certified vision screening classes in Children's Vision Screening, Adult Vision Screening, and Photoscreening.

Our Information and Referral services are highlighted by "Living with Sight Loss" and "Vision Resource Guide" which contain localized information for the people in our state.

We have brochures on all types of vision conditions and access to medical information from the finest experts in the field. In short, if it concerns eyes, it concerns Prevent Blindness Tennessee. Call us with your questions, concerns, suggestions - or come help us. We depend on our Volunteers!

To learn more about Prevent Blindness Tennessee's programs and services,
contact us at 1-800-335-0450, 615-352-0450 or askpbt@preventblindnesstn.org