Saturday, December 21, 2013


ABOVE (left to right):  Lions Barry Buck, Rich Marcucci, Dave Burns and Pete Castillo began the early shifts at K Mart's south door on Saturday, December 14.  Thank goodness there wasn't much wind with the snow! It was plenty cold without it.  Lion Dave Burns did another awesome job coordinating this long term club service project.  Thanks Lion Dave!

ABOVE:  Lion Dan Smith and Lion Doug Kayle.

ABOVE:  Kettle Chair Dave Burns with Lion Bruce McCartney (center) and Lion Ken Krol.  Thanks to all you Lions who helped on this very cold, snowy day!  It's a wonderful experience and great way to serve our community.


Victor Leandry, Director of El Centro in Lorain, spoke Lions at our December 19 luncheon meeting.  He provided some interesting information about the Spanish speaking population in the U.S., Ohio, Lorain County and Lorain City and explained the many services of El Centro.  Victor is recognized as a leader not only in Lorain County but also in Ohio and the nation.  He has served on the board of directors of the National Council of La Raza for more than 8 years.

Danielle Zechman, Advancement Officer at the Community Foundation of Lorain County, gave a very informative presentation about the work of the Community Foundation and updated us about the Lorain Lions Fund at the Foundation.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Linda McVey, who coordinates the Greater Cleveland YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, spoke at our November 21 luncheon meeting and explained the growing problem of diabetes, especially in the older adult population and how effective diet and lifestyle changes can be in preventing the disease.  She noted the numerous and very serious effects of diabetes on health, such as blindness, kidney failure, and heart attacks.  To participate in the Y's Diabetes Prevention Program, call Linda at 216-509-3980, or email her at  Qualified persons over 65 may be eligible for a 100% subsidized participation through Medicare.


If you are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help you adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles that will help you reduce your chances of developing diabetes.
The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. Based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.


In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach will help facilitate a small group of participants in learning about healthier eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. After the initial 16 core sessions, participants meet monthly for added support to help them maintain their progress.


·          Reduce body weight by 7%
·          Increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week
In order to qualify for the program, you must be at least18 years old, overweight (BMI > 25)* and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with prediabetes by a healthcare provider.

*Asian individual(s) BMI > 22
Individuals who have already been diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes do not qualify for this program.


Christine Myers, Ohio Department of Transportation Public Information Officer for District 3, explained the upcoming re-configuration of the Route 57 and Route 2 intersection and other projects planned for 2014, including the Wellington railroad underpass at our November 14, 2013 luncheon meeting.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Lorain County Health & Dentistry opens new Vision Clinic

LORAIN — A new full-time vision clinic has opened in Lorain County Health and Dentistry’s headquarters at 1205 Broadway.
The new center involved planning and fundraising by area Lions Clubs, led by the Lorain Lions Club. The service group raised $258,000 to pay for state-of-the-art optometric equipment for the Lorain project.
It will fill a niche now, said Dr. John R. Smith, a Lorain Lion and project leader.
“Many optometrists struggle to find a place to refer patients with no ability to pay for ongoing eye care,” Smith said. “The (Health and Dentistry’s) eye clinic will help so many people with their vision and medical eye conditions and eye glass needs.”
An open house is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the new clinic. The event is open to the public.
Around the world, Lions clubs have focused on the prevention of blindness and assisting the blind since 1925, when the group members heard Helen Keller speak at their international convention at Cedar Point in Sandusky.
It is a mission that will help Lorain residents, said Stephanie Wiersma, Health and Dentistry president and chief executive officer.
“Joining forces with the Lions made our vision clinic possible,” she said. “The Lions mission to improve sight and prevent blindness perfectly matched our interest in improving access to vision care for those we serve. Their fundraising efforts are second to none. We couldn’t have opened this vision clinic without their help and support.”
The Lions clubs and members contributed $90,000 toward the cause. Additional contributions included $75,000 from Lions Clubs International Foundation; $50,000 from the Nord Family Foundation; and $43,450 from the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

About the Author

Richard Payerchin covers Lorain City Hall, business news and other interesting stories for The Morning Journal. Reach the author at or follow Richard on Twitter: @MJ_JournalRick.


Broadway facility inaugurates eye clinic

The Lorain County Health and Dentistry building at 1250 Broadway in Lorain is shown Friday. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
The Lorain County Health and Dentistry building at 1250 Broadway in Lorain is shown Friday. STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
LORAIN — Diabetes is the No. 1 diagnosis of patients seen by doctors at facilities such as the recently opened Lorain County Health & Dentistry Center in Lorain.
“Good diabetic care involves regular eye care to prevent loss of sight,” according to Stephanie Wiersma, president and CEO of the health care center focused on helping those who need low-cost healthcare services the most.
This is why the center in the former Gel-Pak building now has a vision clinic providing exams, eyeglasses and other services to adults and children.
Open for about three weeks, the 1,100-square-foot clinic is seeing a gradually increasing number of patients, Wiersma said.
“In fairness, we started off with lighter schedules because this is a new service that we didn’t have a lot of experience with,” Wiersma said Friday. “We’re pleased with the interest to date. Patients are telling us this provides convenience in access to eye exams, and other services they might not otherwise have due to cost or lack of access.”
Three years in the planning, the vision clinic was made possible through a major collaboration between Lorain County Health & Dentistry and 50-odd Lions Clubs in north central Ohio that saw $257,000 raised to buy state-of-the-art optometric and diagnostic equipment.
The amount included $90,000 from Lions Clubs fundraisers and donations, a $75,000 grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation, a $50,000 Nord Family Foundation grant and $43,450 from the Community Foundation of Lorain County.
Local chapters of Lions International have long championed campaigns to provide recycled eyeglasses to those in need, aiding people with visual impairments, and preventing blindness since Helen Keller challenged the organization to become “Knights of the Blind” at a 1925 Lions convention at Cedar Point.
“That’s why the Lions wanted to be part of a solution for the needs of a lot of people in our area who do not have access to vision care,” said Kenneth Cromer, chairman of the Lorain Lions Vision Committee.
It is estimated that the vision clinic will handle about 2,500 patient visits in its first year, and exceed 3,000 visits by the second, according to estimates from the center.
A significant number of those expected to benefit from the vision clinic by receiving glasses, exams and treatment are children attending Lorain Schools, Cromer said.
The center’s services are available to anyone living in or out of Lorain County.
Despite the good the new clinic will do, Cromer admitted “there is a greater need for help by more people than the Lions Clubs are able to provide.”
Lorain County Health & Dentistry and the vision clinic accept Medicaid, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare, and most private insurance, but also serves those who are uninsured regardless of ability to pay.
The vision clinic will operate on the same hours as the health clinic, being open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
For more information call (440) 240-1655.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or


Lorain County Health & Dentistry now providing eye exams and glasses to the insured and uninsured: The Frugal Patient

Diane Suchetka, The Plain Dealer By Diane Suchetka, The Plain Dealer The Plain Dealer
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on November 15, 2013 at 3:00 PM, updated November 15, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Lorain County Health & Dentistry is now offering eye exams and eyeglasses to the insured and uninsured.
LORAIN, Ohio -- Lorain County Health & Dentistry, which provides primary medical and dental care to local residents regardless of their ability to pay, is now offering comprehensive eye exams, prescription eye glasses and other optical care.
And you don’t have to have insurance, live in Lorain County or be a Health & Dentistry patient to take advantage of the new services.
Fifty-six area Lions clubs raised about $257,000 for diagnostic and testing equipment for the 1,100-square-foot vision clinic, which is staffed by a full-time optometrist and optometric technician and open 40 hours a week. Patients who need surgical eye care will receive that from area ophthalmologists.
The public can tour the vision clinic and other areas of Lorain County Health & Dentistry’s newest location, 1205 Broadway Ave. in Lorain, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.
A 2011 survey found that 33 percent of the clinic’s patients had never been to an eye doctor, a big problem considering how many of them have diabetes, said Stephanie Wiersma, president and CEO of Lorain County Health & Dentistry.
“Diabetic patients are at risk for developing retinopathy and other diseases that can affect sight, Wiersma said. “I think the standard of care is that diabetic patients should get an eye exam at least annually and we struggled with helping our patients do that.”
Wiersma credits the Lions with changing that.
“I have never seen a more committed and devoted group of individuals,” she said. “They have been outstanding in their dedication and because of that they raised $257,000.
"If you can get someone a pair of glasses, you can'€™t imagine the impact that makes."€
“This really will forever change the lives of the people that access vision care. If you can get someone a pair of glasses, you can’t imagine the impact that makes.”
Lorain County Health & Dentistry, a federally funded clinic with three locations in Lorain and Elyria, also provides women’s and children’s health care, adult and family medicine, podiatry, asthma and allergy services and general dentistry. It will open another location next month in the Wilkes Villa public housing community in Elyria.
In addition to serving patients who have health coverage -- charging them on a sliding scale depending on income -- it accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurance.
To schedule an appointment for an eye exam or other health services at Lorain County Health & Dentistry, call 440-240-1655. If you’re uninsured, you’ll be asked to meet first with a patient financial representative to determine how much of a discount you’re eligible for based on your income.

On Twitter @dianesuchetka
Have a health care savings tip or question? Email me at

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Stephanie Wiersma, President & CEO of Lorain County Health & Dentistry, welcomes Lions to LCH&D and adds“Joining forces with the Lions made our vision clinic possible. The Lions mission to improve sight and prevent blindness perfectly matched our interest in improving access to vision care for those we serve.  Their fund-raising efforts are second to none. We couldn’t have opened this vision clinic without their help and support.” 

PCC/PDG and 1st VDG Jeff Hillis, PDG Dick Temple, Lorain Lion Bruce Meadows and District Chaplain Dennis Henkel listen to opening remarks of CEO Wiersma.

Ohio Lions MD 13 Council Chair Forrest "Woody" Conrad thanks Lions for their three years of hard work to make the Vision Clinic a reality.  Lion Dr. John R. Smith, Vision Clinic Project Coordinator, Dr. Joyce Ramsue-Thompson and LCH&D CEO Wiersma are seated behind him.

Lorain Lion Bruce Meadows talks about the huge challenge he felt at the beginning of the project when he saw the fundraising goal go from $150,000 to $254,000.  Lion Bruce ended the program portion of the dedication with a benediction.

Lions MD 13 CC Woody, Doc Smith, Ken Cromer, Governor Francis Hensel, Lorain City Mayor Chase Ritenauer, Dr. Ramsue Thompson, Stephanie Wiersma and Todd Tilberg join in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Happy faces indicate the mood of the celebration.

CC Woody Conrad poses next to the commemorative plaques.

Stephanie Wiersma, Optometric Tech Megan Hohman and MD 13 LCIF chair Sharon Parker were looking at the picture taken in September 2012 at the Lions VIP Tour of the LCH&D construction/renovation project.
District Cabinet Treasurer Dan Stone and Zone 3 Chair John Straziuso, member of the Vision Clinic Project Committee, chatting during the clinic tour.

PCC/PDG Jeff Hillis thanks Mayor Ritenauer for his support of the project.
Elyria Lion Kyle Parker, MD 13 LCIF Chair Sharon Parker and Lorain Lion Walter Frey at the Dedication.

 Lion Myron Amstutz, OLERF chairman, PCC/PDG Sharon Parker get a demonstration of the eyeglasses frame dispensary.

Ev Shonkwiler, Treasurer of the District 13-B Philanthropic Fund, Myron Amstutz, OLERF Chairman and PDG Ron Lutz, President of the District 13-B Philanthropic Fund look over some of the state-of-the-art optometric equipment.

CC/PDG Forrest Conrad and PCC/PDG Stan Kopf get an explanation of how a piece of equipment is used with patients at the Vision Clinic from Lion Dr. John Smith.

Ev Shonkwiler, Bill Wolford, Myron Amstutz and Bruce Meadows enjoy some refreshment and discuss the Vision Clinic project.

PDG Dana Zody and PDG Dick Temple at the commemorative plaques:  in the top plaque, LCH&D thanks the Lions of District 13-B, LCIF, Nord Family Foundation, Community Foundation of Lorain County, Norton Family Foundation, and the Enterprise Foundation.  In the one on the left District 13-B "thanks its clubs, its members, its friends and the Foundations that made this project possible."  The plaque on the right acknowledges the financial support by Lions Clubs International Foundation that made the project possible.

District 13-B Cabinet Tail Twister Lion Greg Hess stands by the plaque that was provided through his efforts.

Dr. Joyce Ramsue-Thompson (right) explains how the equipment in the exam rooms works to touring Lions.

Lions listen intently to the explanation of the exam room equipment.

Stephanie Wiersma with Dr. David Miller, retinal surgeon with Retina Associates of Cleveland, Inc.  Dr. Miller is a Lorain native and is interested in the work of the LCH&D Vision Clinic.

CC Woody with Lion Ann Miller and PCC/PDG Sharon Parker

District 13-B Newsletter editor Lion Keith Cole and Zone 3 Chair John Straziuso share thoughts about the clinic.

Dr. Joyce Ramsue-Thompson, Dr. David Miller and Dr. John R. Smith

Doc Smith, Dr. Joyce and Stephanie at the dispensary.


The District 13-B Cabinet met in Lorain at Rebman's On The Avenue following the Vision Clinic Dedication.  This cake depicting Lorain County Health & Dentistry's new facility added to the festive mood of the day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


ABOVE:  At our Lions dinner meeting on Thursday, November 7, Stephanie Wiersma, President & CEO of Lorain County Health & Dentistry (left), introduced Dr. Joyce Ramsue-Thompson (right), hired last month to provide the professional services in the new Vision Clinic at LCH&D.  CEO Wiersma outlined the background of LCH&D and efforts over the past few years to establish a vision clinic in the local health center.  Thanks to the Lorain Lions, who spearheaded the campaign to raise $257,000 for equipment, and with great support from District 13-B Lions Clubs, the Vision Clinic opened on October 10.  Dr. Ramsue-Thompson, who served in the same role at the North East Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. in Cleveland for 13 years, talked about the equipment in the new Vision Clinic and how patients are responding to the new service.  The dedication of the Vision Clinic will be held on Wednesday, November 13 at 4:30 p.m. for all Lions in the District and invited guests.  A public Open House will be held on Saturday, November 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.