Children's Vision Massachusetts Newsletter
CVMA Member, Pediatric Eye Doctor, Speaks in Concord, MA
Thanks go to  CVMA member Kristen Kerber OD, MS, FAAO.,  Associate Professor at the New England College of Optometry, for providing an informative lecture covering all aspects of childhood vision health on Tuesday September 25th at Baypath University, Concord campus.  Among audience members were teachers of children in preschool and elementary special education,  early intervention specialists, occupational therapists, and members from other vision organizations. Dr Kerber fielded many questions including subtle signs of a vision disorder that might be observed in children from infancy to the teenage years. She also led a discussion on the importance of a comprehensive eye exam for children with special health care needs in order to rule out a possible vision disorder that can impact outcomes in this population. 
The Massachusetts State law (passed in 2004) was also discussed in relationship to children with neurodevelopmental delay (below):  
The Massachusetts General law (Title XII, Chapter 71,Section 57)  states: "...... Upon entering kindergarten or within 30 days of the start of the school year, the parent or guardian of each child shall present to school health personnel certification that the child within the previous 12 months has passed a vision screening......
For children who fail to pass the vision screening and for children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental delay, proof of a comprehensive eye examination performed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist chosen by the child's parent or guardian indicating any pertinent diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, recommendation and evidence of follow-up treatment, if necessary, shall be provided.........."  
Click here  for more information about Dr Kerber.
Click here to read the full Massachusetts General Law
CVMA Members at Baltimore NCCVEH Meeting
On September 14th, CVMA Co-Chair and
NCCVEH Co-Chair, Jean Ramsey, MD, led the Annual Advisory Committee meeting of the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) . The goal of the NCCVEH is to create a public health infrastructure that promotes a comprehensive system of vision care and eye health for all young children in the USA, guided by the Expert Advisory Committee. CVMA Co-Chairs Bruce Moore, OD, (NCCVEH Advisory Committee Member) and Paulette Tattersall, Director of Prevent Blindness NE Region, also attended the meeting.

At the same venue, September 13th saw the inaugural Annual meeting of the HRSA-funded, Community of Practice- Better Vision Together. CVMA member Shanyn Toulouse MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN., presented a poster on the achievements-to-date of the Massachusetts "Haverhill Promise" team. The group is one of eight teams across the country instigating vision systems change in their community, and sharing ideas and experience via monthly phone-calls. The Haverhill team is one of five awarded $10,000 per year for 2 years, to commit to deeply implementing actions and solutions anchored in population health strategies. Other teams are based in California, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota.  
Click here to read more about Better Vision Together at NCCVEH
Click here to read more about "Haverhill Promise"
Help for Children and Adults With No  Vision Health Insurance  
Eyeglasses cannot provide benefit to improving health or vision if they are not obtained or worn as prescribed by the eye doctor. Although many Mass Health policies cover at no cost, a child's annual eye exam and eyeglasses (and lost or broken eyeglasses), some Medicaid policies and private insurances do not. Funding eyeglasses can present a barrier to reaching or maintaining good vision health for adults and children. 
To help bridge the gap, Prevent Blindness offers a Vision Care Financial Assistance Fact Sheet  downloadable in English and Spanish. Organizations providing eye glasses or eye exam assistance U.S-wide are listed. 
Prevent Blindness also offers the OneSight program , available to any adult or child below the federal poverty line who does not have insurance for eyeglasses (a current prescription is required).  
VSP (Vision Service Provider), another organization on the list, recently expanded their  Sight for Students  program criteria, to allow any adult or child without vision health insurance to receive a free comprehensive eye exam and eyeglasses once/year, at a VSP eye care provider.  Prevent Blindness will recognize VSP Global as a 2020 Persons Of Vision Award recipient for their work in championing healthy vision. Together, VSP Global and Prevent Blindness have expanded access to vision care for more than a quarter of a million adults and children in need.
Click here to read the press release about the Persons Of Vision Award
October is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month
This Halloween remember:
Contact lenses are medical devices!
Consult an eye doctor before wearing any contact lenses, even decorative ones.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates contact lenses and certain contact lens care products as medical devices requiring a valid prescription. These devices should not be sold over-the-counter.  
 According to a recent consumer survey from the American Academy of Optometry , 11 percent of consumers have worn decorative, non-corrective contact lenses. Of those, 53 percent purchased them illegally without a  prescription.
Any time a foreign object or material is placed in the eye there is an increased risk of complications. S erious eye infections that can lead to blindness affect up to one out of every 500 contact lens users per year. Yet, between 40-90 percent of contact lens wearers do not properly follow the care instructions given by the eye doctor.
Prevent Blindness strongly recommends contact lens wearers contact an eye doctor if they experience the following:  Unexplained eye discomfort or pain |  Redness of the eye | W atering eyes |  Vision changes
Click Here  for Prevent Blindness Position Statement on Contact Lenses
Click here  to read Things to Know About Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Click here for information on contact lens infections
To support the work of Children's Vision Massachusetts, please consider making a DONATION 
Children's Vision Massachusetts | (617) 587-5723 | ptattersall@preventblindness.org|   www.childrensvisionmassachusetts.org
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