John Posey New President of Lions Eye Foundation
John Posey is the recently elected President of The Lions Eye Foundation of California and Nevada, (LEF) having been involved with the organization for eight years. He is a third-generation resident of Marin County, and a mostly-retired prosecuting and litigation attorney. John is at the helm of the Lions Eye Foundation at a time when the 60-year old not-for-profit has 338 member clubs and approximately 10,000 individual members.
The mission of the Lions Eye Foundation is to preserve and restore the gift of sight by providing free ophthalmic examinations, operations, and medications to the less fortunate members of our community. Patients, who are without insurance and with limited income, are referred to the Lions Eye Clinic from local communities where there are Lions clubs. The referrals come from optometrists, Lions clubs, and community clinics. The appropriate local Lions club sponsors a qualified patient. The club is asked to cover the patient’s transportation costs, if the patient cannot afford the cost. The club is eventually reimbursed the cost by LEF, and LEF provides patient lodging, if it is required. LEF contracts with CPMC and its residency program to provide appropriate eye treatment. CPMC provides the residents, facilities and administrative staff. LEF provides financial support and patients to the residents who perform the surgeries at the clinic.
John feels it is an especially vital time to offer his volunteer leadership as the Lions Eye Clinic is moving to The Eye Institute at 711 Van Ness Avenue. In addition to helping to shepherd that transition, his focus will be on increasing revenue streams so that more patients can be served.
When Mr. Posey speaks to member clubs about the new Eye Institute (for which PVF is serving as a catalyst), he says to them, “It’s really significant because it’s a unique set-up in one location. When your club gets involved, not only do you refer patients and give money, you are also helping the residency program train doctors who may end up living in your community.”
John proudly stressed, “It’s important to note that people involved in the Lions organization are all volunteers who have donated a lot of hours. Without that, this program would not exist and patients would not be helped.” He looks forward to inviting participating clubs to a tour of the new facility next July at the time of the Annual Meeting.
The direction of Lions International, and its member chapters like Northern California/Nevada, was shaped by a challenge issued in 1925 by Helen Keller. She attended the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, and said, “Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness? Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?” The challenge was accepted, and ever since, the focus has been on sight programs aimed at preventable blindness.
John Posey is a devotee of this goal, and he plans to work hard during his two-year term. He foresees that the unique collaboration that is The Eye Institute will get stronger and broader in this new era, in a way that is mutually beneficial for all.