236416 Assessment of 2009 Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® Program

Monday, October 31, 2011

Uzma Zumbrink, DHSc, MPH , Clinical & Practice Advancement Group, American Optometric Association, St. Louis, MO
Jeffrey L. Weaver, OD, MS , American Board of Optometry, St. Louis, MO
Joseph Visker, PhD , Department of Health & Exercise Science, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO
Timothy A. Wingert, OD , College of Optometry, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Judith Gordon, PhD , Dept. Family & Community Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
The American Optometric Association is taking a leadership position in improving the eye and visual health of the nation through its own initiative, Healthy Eyes Healthy People® (HEHP). The HEHP aims to improve community health and enhance optometric practices. The program identifies, educates, and promotes awareness of visual disorders, systemic and ocular diseases, and public health policy that impacts the health of communities. Through this program the American Optometric Association and state optometric associations collaborate to eliminate eye health disparities. The overall health of the general public will increase as a result of increased access to care and early detection and intervention for diseases and disorders of the visual system. Not only does the initiative provide optometrists the tools necessary to succeed, it acts as a supporter for patient rights and educates patients on the role healthy eyes play in a healthy lifestyle. In 2009, funding was provided for diabetes, children's vision, vision impairment, glaucoma and other projects. However, the HEHP program still needs to focus on objectives related to occupational eye injury, including increased use of personal protective eye wear, and reducing visual impairment due to cataracts. The findings of this study will help assist in future development and expansion of the HEHP in helping communities across America.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
This presentation will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the 2009 Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® Program

Keywords: Access and Services, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an optometrist/vision scientist, and was Director of the AOA's Clinical Care Group from 1997-2009, overseeing the HEHP program.
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.