The Mobile Screening Unit (MSU) is a completely self-contained facility to provide free screening for vision and hearing problems. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and is staffed by trained personnel to check hearing and visual acuity and evidence of glaucoma and other eye diseases.
If problems are found, individuals are directed to their own doctor for follow-up. If they cannot afford a doctor, we can refer them to several agencies, including the Lions Low Vision Aids Program (LOVE) and the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation of Southern California (formerly SCLEI). Local Lions Clubs may also provide financial assistance to truly indigent patients.
Individual Lions clubs within District 4L-3 host the MSU at events in their communities, providing volunteer support and funding for the health professionals required for the day. The West Torrance Lions Club hosts the Mobile Screening Unit each September at the Salvation Army Senior Health Fair Day in Torrance. The MSU screens approximately 2800 individuals a year throughout the District.
The MSU is owned and operated as a non-profit organization, directed by members of the Lions District 4L-3, which encompasses all of Los Angeles. The origins of the MSU go back to 1971, when District Governor Don Banker of the West Torrance Lions Club and Lion Cliff Gill of the Hollywood Lions Club spearheaded a drive to purchase a used unit from District 4L-1. The West Torrance, Hollywood, Miracle Mile, North Torrance and South Torrance clubs provided major seed funding for the unit, with other clubs in the district providing the balance of the funds. The district funds were supplemented by matching funds from the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).
The original unit was replaced in 1984. The West Torrance Lions Club again provided major seed funding for the replacement unit. The balance of the funds were provided by other clubs in the district, with LCIF again providing matching funds.
This unit was replaced by the current unit in 2009. This time, the West Torrance Lions Club, spearheaded by Lion Dave Haden, provided critical organization and direction as well as major seed funding. Our club worked with the MSU Board of Directors to develop a funding plan, negotiated with vendors on configuration and price, lobbied District clubs to provide supplemental funding, helped write the grant proposal to LCIF, monitored progress during construction, and provided final sign-off on completion. In addition, our club along with the William and Ellie McGrew Foundation, provided over 10% of the District funding for the project.