Eye Health and Vision Care
Vision loss has been shown to cause substantial social and economic tolls, emotional suffering, social isolation, loss of productivity, and diminished quality of life. Despite the importance of vision and eye health on one’s quality of life, many people continue to face barriers to accessing the proper eye and vision care.
With the generous support of the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare, the ACU is working with local, state, and national partners to increase access to the proper eye and vision care for underserved populations. We do this by bringing mobile vision vans to underserved communities, providing grants and technical assistance to health centers to help establish permanent eye and vision programs at service sites, and educating communities of underserved populations.
Mobile Vision Clinics
Since 2017, ACU has partnered with schools and health centers to provide over 3500 vision exams through mobile vision clinics. Over 56% of the people who had an examination at a mobile vision clinic needed prescription glasses which were provided in the days following the events.
Startup and Expansion Grants for Permanent Eye Health and Vision Clinics
The provision of on-site, comprehensive eye and vision care speaks directly to the mission of health centers to provide primary, preventive health care services. As such ACU provides small grants to health centers to support the costs of vision equipment and supplies. Since 2018, ACU has assisted eight health centers in establishing permanent eye health and vision care programs.
Technical Assistance to Health Centers
ACU’s Vision Services Committee is made up of optometrists and health care administrators from across the country who are committed to increasing access to eye health and vision care for underserved populations. ACU works closely with the Committee to address the technical assistance needs of health centers to support successful and sustainable programs.
Integrating Eye Health and Vision Care for Underserved Populations into Primary Care Settings, 2020 – publication by the American Optometric Association and the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved to provide information about the current need and best practices for delivering health care services as part of integrated care models
Vision Services Readiness Assessment, 2020 – a short questionnaire for health centers to assess their readiness to start an eye health and vision care program. Assessment results include resources such as a vision equipment cost calculator
The National Eye Institute’s National Eye Health Education Program – an extensive library of patient education resources and tools in different languages
Integrating Eye Services into Primary Care, 2021 – developed by Prevent Blindness, this resource includes recommendations and a sample business plan for health centers.
To learn more about ACU’s programs or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sabrina Edgington.