Prevent Blindness America Receives Grant to Create National Coordinating Center

Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has been awarded a multi-year grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, a bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  PBA will use the funds to establish the National Universal Vision Screening for Young Children Coordinating Center, which will promote and ensure a continuum of eye care for young children within the healthcare system.

The Center, which will launch its activities in September, will focus on providing national leadership in the development of the statewide vision screenings and eye health programs for all children prior to entering school. It will develop and implement a plan to assist states in coordinating existing vision screening activities. The Center will collaborate with the states of Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Ohio to develop and implement a statewide strategy for universal vision screening, data collection and creation of a standardized performance measure for vision screening

PBA said it will also establish a National Expert Panel on Young Children’s Vision Screening as part of this groundbreaking grant award. The Panel will include representatives from the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics and public health. This panel will also serve as an expert advisory panel to the National Coordinating Center.

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12.1 million school-age children have some form of vision problem, yet only one in three children in America have received eye care services before the age of 6. The National Eye Institute reports that the most prevalent and significant vision disorders of preschool children are amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes) and significant refractive error.

1 Response to “Prevent Blindness America Receives Grant to Create National Coordinating Center”

  1. 1 Tracy Crnic MD
    August 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Boy, I’m just full of it today, aren’t I. Unfortunately with programs like these, there is no way to guarentee that the “screener” knows how or what they are looking for. I’ve had many of these listed people ask me what Amblyopia is. If they don’t know, and they are screening for it ONCE before the child turns 6 (and the amblyogenic age range is from 0-7to9) we aren’t going to have much luck preventing blindness. I recommend each child has at least one cycloplegic exam between the ages of 2-3 years of age and then is repeated based on the results. Family history or circumstances may dictate starting earlier. Who performs these exams is, as you know the subject of much contension. No one man can be everywhere. God bless the little ones.

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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