Reducing Vision Impairment in Young Children is Focus of New Initiative

NICHQ is partnering with the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) on a new project to increase the detection and diagnosis of visual impairment in children ages 0-5.

The goal of the three year Maternal and Child Health Bureau-funded project, called “Breakthrough Series Improvement Program on Early Detection of Vision Problems in Young Children,” is to support the development of comprehensive and coordinated approaches to children’s vision and eye health in five states. The project will employ quality improvement (QI) principles and practices to implement systems-level changes that will:

  • Strengthen statewide partnerships and coordination among key stakeholders in children’s vision and eye health
  • Increase access to and utilization of vision health services in hard to reach communities
  • Increase early detection and treatment of vision problems
  • Establish state-level surveillance approaches
  • Implement vision health system measures of accountability

NICHQ will provide foundational support for the QI initiative and orchestrate an all-virtual learning collaborative.  This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H7MMC24738 (Vision Screening in Young Children Project; total award amount $291,964). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author 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.

“NICHQ has a proven track record when it comes to convening learning collaboratives, providing the necessary support to achieve systems level improvements and getting results,” says NICHQ Senior Director of Programs, Research and Evaluation Marianne McPherson, PhD, MS. “We’re very excited to be working with a new partner and to see positive change in helping children with visual impairments get the early support they need.”

Through the learning collaborative, the five states will work together jointly to identify challenges, interventions, implementation and measurement related to implementing system-level changes that will result in improved vision in young children.

“A critical health area in a young child’s life that fully demonstrates the impact of early experiences on a child’s long-term development is the health of the child’s eyes and their ability to see clearly so they can fully engage in their world. It is critical that a strong system for children’s vision exists to ensure that vision problems are identified and treated at their earliest possible opportunity,” says NCCVEH Director Kira Baldonado.  “We are excited about our opportunity to work with NICHQ to improve state-level vision programs through a formal quality improvement process.”

_______

NICHQ is an independent, nonprofit organization working for nearly two decades to improve children’s health. We help organizations and professionals who share this mission make breakthrough improvements so children and families live healthier lives. For more information about NICHQ, go to www.NICHQ.org/aboutIf you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview, please call or email Cindy Hutter at [email protected] or 617-391-2757.

Prevent Blindness and its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health: 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 HRSA-Maternal and Child Health Bureau. 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 www.preventblindness.org or www.facebook.com/preventblindness.