The Lowell Sun
Congressman Joe Kennedy III visits New England Eye On-Sight
On Monday, July 7th, Congressman Kennedy visited New England Eye On-Sight while we were providing comprehensive eye exams at Citizens for Citizens HeadStart in Fall River. Congressman Kennedy met with the President, faculty, and optometry students from New England College of Optometry, staff of Citizens HeadStart, and toured our Mobile Vision Clinic.
Congressman Kennedy saw first-hand, young preschoolers receiving their first ever comprehensive eye exam. He also discussed
- the incidence of vision problems in young children,
- how uncorrected vision can affect a child’s ability to function, read, learn and engage in their world; and
- the importance of access to eye care for the 250,000 children in MA with a vision problem.
Open Eyes, Open Doors
New England Eye On-Sight, as a coalition member of Children’s Vision Massachusetts, participated in the Open Eyes, Open Doors video submitted to the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Tomorrows 25th anniversary celebration.
The coalition seeks to provide greater recognition around children’s vision issues, provide local resources, and help facilitate effective methods and standards useful to pediatricians, health managers, preschool and school personnel, and parents, for early detection of vision issues in children.
Care at the Curbside: On Tour with Mobile Health Clinics
New England Eye On-Sight Mobile Vision Clinic participated in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s kick-off launch of “A 3-city East Coast Tour”, Boston-New York-DC, to raise public awareness and promote the value and diversity of Mobile Health Clinics. Other MA mobile clinic participants were The Family Van, Dana Farber, and the Northeastern/HIV Innovations clinics. The tour culminated in the Summit on Improving Patient Care, held March 9-12th at the Gaylord Center in Washington DC.
MOBILE HEALTH offers the unique flexibility of providing personalized expertise in health care to identified populations, at a time and location that is familiar and convenient. Mobile health clinics have been adopted as a best practice by the Department of Public Health, for the State of Massachusetts. Mobile Health is an important strategy for achieving health equity through community to clinical linkages.
New England Eye On-Sight provides the opportunity for young children and older adults who do not have access to eye-care, to receive a comprehensive eye exam and eye-glasses. After an On-Sight eye exam, patients are referred to the appropriate health care provider in the local community for further follow-up care.
New England Eye On-Sight participates in Children’s Vision Advocacy Day at the State House to support Bill S1672.
(Photo - Senator James Timilty from Bristol & Norfolk discusses On-Sight Mobile Vision Clinic visit sites at school and preschools.)
Over 80 pediatric ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, physicians, nurses, educators, public health professionals, students, and parents made 45 visits to legislators to raise awareness about the lasting impact of unidentified and uncorrected vision in children.
More than 250,000 Massachusetts children have a vision problem, many of whom do not receive vision screening and recommended follow-up care, and therefore are at risk of lifelong visual impairment and unnecessary obstacles to learning.
Approval of Bill S1672:
An Act Relative to the Save Our Children’s Sight Fund, would establish a trust fund consisting of monies voluntarily paid to the Commonwealth through consumer donations on Registry of Motor Vehicle applications. The monies would be expended for the purpose of facilitating coordinated eye-health services for children.
Vision correction for Preschoolers:
Please watch the "Eyes that Thrive" Preschool Project at ABCD HeadStart, funded by the American Optometric Association's "Healthy Eyes Healthy People" initiative.
New England Eye On-Sight eye doctors provided the preschoolers with comprehensive eye exams as a partner for this project.