213153 Capturing the Essence of Environmental Justice and the Power of Public Health; A Bold Contemporary Prevention Model that Includes Optometry

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:33 AM

Michael R. Duenas, OD , Health Sciences and Policy, American Optometric Association, Alexandria, VA
Indicators for community vision/eye health have remained stable or have deteriorated for the past decade. This is reflected in national and state health datasets (BRFSS, NHANES, NHIS) indicating little or no progress being made toward meeting important national vision and eye health objectives (HP2010) and higher rates of eye disease among vulnerable populations, including: children, the elderly, the socioeconomically disenfranchised, and ethnic minorities. As a professional health care community, we have failed to target these populations and as a result they continue to be denied essential health services related to vision/eye health. Our national datasets reveal that only half of the estimated 61 million Americans at high risk of vision loss have access to vision/eye health care and that 60% of adults surveyed indicate that they have "no reason to have an eye exam". Efforts to effectuate positive change in community vision/eye health must expand beyond the traditional vision community and intersect with the broader public health, governmental, and environmental concerns that address the underlying causes of disease disparities. This presentation will discuss new opportunities that intersect optometry in a bold contemporary prevention model, capturing the essence of environmental justice and the power of public health and directing the combined energies toward workable and demonstrated solutions to improve public health, including vision/eye health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify existing vision and eye health disease disparities and overlay these to environmental justice concerns. 2. Describe a Brownfield. 3. Identify three spheres of intersection between Brownfields and Public Health. 4. Identify new avenues of action that will help differentiate them as community healthcare providers knowledgeable in environmental justice issues. 5. Identify new opportunities for funding and capacity building for accessing vulnerable populations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Current position as Associate Director, Health Sciences and Policy, American Optometric Association, 5 years past service to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employed as a Health Scientist, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.