The Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness has been established as a national coordinating body for effective practices, state-level technical assistance and programmatic interventions to address barriers to healthy vision and work to increase the uniformity of vision preservation.
The 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report was used as a foundation for the Center for Vision and Population Health (CVPH), which will serve as the backbone of a coordinated effort, according to a press release from Prevent Blindness.
Working with professional stakeholders and patient advocates, CVPH will drive improvements in policy, program and a coordinated national approach to eye health, according to the release.
As part of the CVPH launch, Prevent Blindness is establishing an advisory committee, chaired by Heather E. Whitson, MD, MHS, and staffed by Kira Baldonado, vice president of public health and policy at Prevent Blindness.
In 2018, a stakeholder meeting assessed the feasibility and resource assistance regarding eye and vision health, according to the press release. The meeting resulted in a consensus to translate the NASEM report recommendations into action through seven core functions: supporting ongoing surveillance efforts, establishing and strengthening a national multisector network of partner organizations, creating an online vision and population health toolkit, integrating and expanding early-detection initiatives across diverse clinical and nonclinical settings, expanding eye and vision health education, identifying and disseminating evidence-based interventions, and exploring the integration of eye and vision health interventions into broader chronic care models.
Specifically, Prevent Blindness said the center would advance the seven core functions identified through the following actions:
- convening key thought leaders in vision and population health to promulgate the critical emerging issues identified in the NASEM report and publish topical papers that provide guidance and/or recommend strategies using population health activities documented to reduce vision problems and encourage vision rehabilitation;
- collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure that population health systems are inclusive of eye and vision health, to encourage community-level responses to eye and vision health needs and to support efforts to address policy gaps that affect nationwide eye and vision health;
- serving as a national technical assistance resource to support state and community initiatives by educating stakeholders about the importance of eye and vision health and developing and disseminating materials to support community best practice;
- disseminating and discussing emerging research in vision and population health; and
- establishing a series of dashboard metrics to document the center’s progress in achieving its goals and to sustain national attention on the importance of eye and vision health.
Prevent Blindness President and CEO Jeff Todd and co-authors suggested strategies for the CVPH in JAMA Ophthalmology.
“Essential to this work will be ongoing communication and coordination between federal agencies and programs conducting work in this area,” they wrote. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosure: Todd is employed by Prevent Blindness. Please see the full study for remaining authors’ financial disclosures.