Apply by Feb. 28th for New $25,000 Grants for Vision Care at Health Centers
The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved with the support of the Centene Foundation for Quality Health Care is now accepting applications from federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) for $25,000 grants to help start or expand permanent and comprehensive eye health and vision care programs.
Vision loss causes substantial social and economic tolls, and many people face barriers to accessing eye health and vision care. FQHCs are ideal for delivering vision care due to their focus on delivering integrated care for underserved populations, yet in 2019 less than 3% of the nearly 30 million health center patients received vision services in these settings.
Since 2018, ACU has assisted 19 health centers in establishing and expanding permanent eye health and vision care programs. Up to four health centers will receive these new grants, and in addition to $25,000 for start up or expansion costs, each organization will receive:
Training and technical assistance from ACU Vision Services Committee members and other subject matter experts to help troubleshoot start-up or expansion issues.
Flyers to promote a patient-story program: participants will receive a $100 gift card.
Press release templates to promote new or expanded services in your community.
Interested in learning more? Read our flyer for more details and grant requirements.
What Have Some Past Grantees Done?
PrimaryOne Health in Columbus, OH, used their grant to support the purchase of an optical coherence tomography (OCT) machine to diagnose and help treat patients with glaucoma and retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. It has expanded and enhanced their ability to provide comprehensive care for patients from communities disproportionately impacted by these issues.
“Having to refer our patients to another site meant that we were sometimes exacerbating the transportation, scheduling, and/or financial barriers faced by [predominantly low-income] patients . . . By providing low-cost vision care services to our patients [onsite], we can ensure that they have access to quality eye care, regardless of their ability to pay.”
– Gregary Graves, OD
PrimaryOne Health, Columbus, OH
How Have the Grants Impacted Patients?
Dennis, a patient of Family Health Services of Darke County (FHSDC) in Greenville, OH, was uninsured and couldn’t afford insulin for his diabetes for over two years, leading to a toe amputation in March 2020. His health deteriorated, and his diabetes affected his sight so much that he couldn’t drive. Recently, however, Dennis learned that he could receive vision care at FHSDC. His optometrist connected him to primary care to manage his diabetes and is helping him apply for Medicaid.
It was the first time he’d met an eye doctor who helped him push through the necessary hoops to get the care he needs. While still waiting for his paperwork to finish processing, Dennis has finally found hope . . . He watched his mother and father give up when dealing with major health issues, and he resolved to never give up. He is thrilled with Dr. King and the care he is receiving at FHSDC.
Resources for Starting or Expanding Vision Services
View ACU’s Eye Health and Vision Care page for more resources, including a Vision Services Readiness Assessment, white paper on integrating eye health and vision care for underserved populations into primary care settings, and more.