Online Program

Promoting Eye Health Among Older Adults: Results from the National Eye Health Education Program's Communication and Outreach Activities

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

John McInerney Jr., MA, Strategic Communications and Marketing, ICF International, Rockville, MD
Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES, National Eye Institute, National Insitutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
As people age, they are at higher risk for developing eye diseases and conditions that often have no early symptoms and can result in vision loss if left untreated. This presentation will explore how the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) of the National Eye Institute uses the annual Healthy Aging Month observance in September to address the eye health education needs of older Americans. Since 2013, NEHEP has observed Healthy Aging Month by raising awareness about eye health, comprehensive dilated eye exams, and age-related eye diseases among older adults and the media, and by promoting its See Well for a Lifetime Toolkit and other Vision and Aging Program resources to health professionals. NEHEP conducts Healthy Aging Month outreach activities through a variety of channels, including the NEHEP Partnership—which consists of more than 60 public and private national-level organizations interested in eye health education—as well as traditional and social media outlets. This comprehensive, multichannel approach allows NEHEP to reach older adults and caregivers in various professional, community, and leisure settings. In 2014, NEHEP outreach activities during Healthy Aging Month resulted in more than 16 million print, online, and broadcast impressions in 17 media outlets. In addition, NEHEP generated nearly 100,000 impressions on its Facebook and Twitter pages—a 25 percent increase over 2013. NEHEP is currently in the planning and implementation stage of Healthy Aging Month 2015. Results will be available in time for the APHA annual conference.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the results of the National Eye Health Education Program’s comprehensive, multichannel outreach intended for older adults, caregivers, and the media. Discuss how traditional and social media are used to raise awareness about eye health among older adults and caregivers. Describe how to use NEHEP tools and resources to educate older adults about age-related eye diseases and conditions.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Social Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a project team manager for the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) of the National Eye Institute, I oversees the Vision and Aging program designed to educate adults age 50 and older about eye health and the importance of comprehensive dilated eye exams. My responsibilities include coordinating the development and implementation of all NEHEP Healthy Vision Month outreach activities.
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.