Renewed Grant will Provide Funds to Promote Healthy Vision for Kids

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH), celebrating its 10-year anniversary, is pleased to announce that a second year of funding was received from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau for $300,000 to support the Center’s ongoing work to improve eye health in at-risk, minority, and vulnerable populations of young children by the year 2021.

A key project for the funding is the continuation of the “Better Vision Together- Community of Practice” program, a peer-to-peer mentorship and learning opportunity for eight communities and states including Texas, Arizona (2), Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, California and Florida. Through Better Vision Together, teams are addressing all components of the vision and eye health system for children, including vision screening and access to eye care, parents/caregiver education and engagement, data collection, and professional education.

The community of practice promotes this work through coalition building with the education, medicine, public health, community organization, and child care sectors. Populations served by the teams include Hispanic, Native American tribes in cities and reservations, Asian, African American, immigrants from Iraq, Congo, Burma, Somalia, Afghanistan, Laos and migrant farm workers.  

To date, Better Vision Together partners have completed the following actions:

  • Eyes on Learning, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust (Phoenix, Ariz.) - Hosted the Children’s Vision Health forum for 60 stakeholders and launched a public awareness campaign aimed at parents and caregivers around children’s vision (“Children Don’t Know What they Can’t See”).
  • Haverhill Promise of Children’s Vision, Haverhill Public Schools and Haverhill Promise (Haverhill, Mass.) - Created, produced and distributed book marks and book plates with the message for parents and caregivers: “Healthy eyes are ready to read; have your child’s eyes checked today.”
  • Improving Childhood Vision Health Task Force, Minneapolis Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education (Minneapolis, Minn.) - Has begun implementing a new vision screening program for 2,500 Head Start students to be conducted by Lions Clubs volunteers.

The NCCVEH at Prevent Blindness is supported by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau under grant number H7MMC24738. The total award amount for the “Vision Screening in Young Children” grant is $300,000 (percentage financed with nongovernmental sources .5%). This information or content and conclusions are those of the NCCVEH and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

In 2009, the NCCVEH was established to develop a coordinated public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of vision care for young children.  The NCCVEH continues to work with leading, volunteer advocates and professionals in ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics, public health, and related fields, to review the current scientific literature, explore best practices, establish partnerships, develop data, and gain consensus on the best approach to children’s vision and eye health.

Additional planned projects for this grant period include a social media awareness campaign targeting minority parents and caregivers, and development of an online Family Resource Tool Kit to be distributed to early childhood care and education centers.

“In 1908, Prevent Blindness was founded as a public health advocacy organization, specifically to address children’s vision issues,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Thanks to the generous support of MCHB, we can continue to have a positive impact on children and their future across the country.”

For more information about the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, or the Better Vision Together- Community of Practice program, please visit https://nationalcenter.preventblindness.org/better-vision-together or contact Donna Fishman at (800) 331-2020 or [email protected].

 

About the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. In 2009, Prevent Blindness established the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, with funding and leadership support from the U.S. federal government’s Health Resources and Services Administration. Serving as a major resource for the establishment of a public health infrastructure, the National Center advances and promotes children’s vision and eye care, providing leadership and training to public entities throughout the United States. The National Center is advised by a committee of national experts and leaders from the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics, nursing, family advocates and public health to guide the work and recommendations of the Center. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at http://nationalcenter.preventblindness.org or www.facebook.com/preventblindness

Download a copy of the Renewed Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau press release