261516 Preventing blindness and promoting eye wellness among high-risk Asian and Pacific Islander communities: A collaborative approach

Monday, October 29, 2012

M. Stephanie Sario , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Christine Luk , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
April Nakayoshi, MPH, CHES , Prevent Blindness Northern California, San Francisco, CA
Nadia Thind, MPH , Prevent Blindness Northern California, San Francisco, CA
Wing-See Leung, MBA, MSW , Prevent Blindness Northern California, San Francisco, CA
Jinyoung Chun , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Mariana Chang , Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Kimberly Chang, MD , Frank Kiang Medical Center, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA
Demographic changes are leading to an increasingly elderly population. According to the Census Bureau, the population over 65 years is expected to double by 2050, to 80 million. Visual impairment affecting the geriatric population will increase the demand for services to prevent and treat chronic vision problems. The National Commission on Prevention Priorities identified vision screening among adults older than 65 as one of the top 10 priorities among effective clinical preventive services. Since most vision care is paid out of pocket for patients who only need corrective lenses every few years, purchasing eye care insurance may be an unnecessary expense for patients. A large majority of underserved communities cannot afford health insurance, nor have access to eye care. To address this gap, Asian Health Services, a federally qualified community health center, and Prevent Blindness Northern California (PBNC), a leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, collaborated to promote vision wellness via screenings amongst high-risk patients (diabetic, hypertensive and over age 65). From a database of hundreds of high-risk patients who were waiting over two years for retinopathy screening at the county referral hospital, seventy of these high-risk patients were selected to participate in the project. Of those selected and screened, 71% had pathology, and were referred to follow-up optometry or ophthalmology care through PBNC. This session will discuss the project's successful outcomes connecting patients to vision care using an innovative collaborative approach, as well as challenges inherent in providing prevention and wellness eye care to high-risk underserved populations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify at least 3 key barriers to accessing eye care in underserved communities. 2. Discuss an innovative collaborative approach to promoting prevention of vision loss in high-risk marginalized populations. 3. Address the importance of collaborative eye screenings among high-risk populations and support for the development of integrated eye care services across primary care and secondary care.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Vision Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the clinical administrator and referral coordinator for the project through Asian Health Services.
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.

Back to: 3098.0: Vision and Aging