Our Mission

To preserve, protect and enhance Lifelong Vision in our community, nationally and internationally by:

  • conducting next-generation vision research
  • providing community vision programs
  • expanding vision education through school partnerships and public programs


Lifelong Vision Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization established to support research efforts in ophthalmology, to educate physicians and the general public in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease, and to provide vision screening and treatment programs for specific underserved communities.  Its goals are achieved through independent research and clinical trials and through the generous support of patients and their family members, corporate citizens, and foundations who share the vision of lifelong excellence in eye care.



Our History

Founded by Dr. Jay S. Pepose in December of 2000 Dr. Jay S. Pepose 90400013 2
as the Midwest Cornea Research Foundation, the Foundation received its 501 (c)(3) status in December of 2001, with the mission to fund eye research that advances the preservation and restoration of sight.

  • Disseminating state-of-the-art clinical treatments to local, national, and international communities of eye care providers through education, training and outreach programs
  • Providing opportunities to train allied health professionals in the pre- and post-operative management of vision correction, glaucoma, and cataract patients

The name was changed in August of 2011 to Lifelong Vision Foundation to better reflect the Foundation’s expanded mission to approach a broader spectrum of vision problems.

Lifelong Vision Foundation has created and developed vision programs and disbursed over $2,000,000 for research, community programming, and education to improve and preserve lifelong vision.

  • Advancing vision outcomes by originating and participating in clinical trials in LASIK, Cataract, Dry Eyes, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Conjunctivitis, Keratoconus, Uveitis, and Presbyopia
  • Furthering vision research by providing endowed Graduate Research Fellowships and a Lectureship in Vision Sciences at Brandeis University
  • Engaging the next generation of researchers through grants to leading universities for presentation of vision research at national conferences
  • Sharing state-of-the-art information by sponsoring regional meetings where invited speakers discuss research findings and exchange ideas
  • Training ophthalmologists through the Pepose Vision Institute one and two year national Fellowship Program
  • Instructing optometrists in diagnostic techniques and pre and post-operative vision care in partnership with University of Missouri- St. Louis School of Optometry
  • Improving vision health in specific underserved communities, furnishing free LASIK surgery to first responders in East St. Louis
  • Providing free vision screenings and glasses to under-resourced and special needs children through Chesterfield Arts, College Bound, and Wyman Center partnerships
  • Presenting community education programs in cutting edge vision technologies at OASIS and Maryville University
  • Disseminating collected eyeglasses to devastated areas like Joplin, MO
  • Contributing to international eye care by sponsoring an American ophthalmologist to provide surgical eye care in an underserved country and by direct funding of cataract surgeries in underserved areas of the world
  • Providing assistance each year to hundreds of children and adults during our annual Vision Mission to La Gonave, Haiti, where we refract eyes and give eye exams and glasses, helping some of the 75,000 people of this tiny island to see and learn better.


Our Management

 Lee Stolze
Lee Stolze, CCRC
Clinical Research Manager, Lifelong Vision Foundation at Pepose Vision Institute

Chelsea Tary
Executive Assistant & Grant Writer, Lifelong Vision Foundation