Children's Vision Massachusetts Newsletter
A Call to Action
A recent study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, " Visual Impairment in Preschool Children in the United States:  Demographic and Geographic Variations from 2015 to 2060" reports that nearly 175,000 preschoolers in the United States are affected by untreated visual impairments; that 69% of these cases are simple uncorrected refractive error; that the most affected group is Hispanic white children; and that by 2060, the number of preschool age children with vision impairments is expected to increase 26%, especially among minority populations.  Authors Rohit Varma, M.D., Director, USC Roski Eye Institute, and Dean, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Alfred Sommer, M.D., Professor, Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Dean Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore conclude "data suggest that the number of preschool children with vision impairment is projected to increase disproportionally, especially among minority populations. Vision screening for refractive error and related eye diseases may prevent a high proportion of preschool children from experiencing unnecessary vision impairment and associated developmental delays" and "given that most preschool vision impairment can be prevented or treated by low-cost refractive correction and that early intervention is critical for better visual outcomes, vision screening in preschool age and follow-up care will have a significant, prolonged effect on visual function and academic and social achievements and therefore should be recommended for all children". For pdf of the publication: CLICK HERE
State House Update
Coalition's Legislative Agenda
Amendment #480, to establish a Children's Vision Commission was not approved for inclusion in the Senate budget.  Thank you to all who contacted their Senators this week, and thank you to the Children's Health Access Coalition at Health Care for All for its continued support and advocacy of the coalition's legislative agenda. Next step in the state's budget process is for the Conference Committee to reconcile differences between the House budget (which does include the amendment) and Senate budget proposals.  The House and Senate will then vote on the Committee's compromise bill.

Kids First Blueprint Released
The Senate Kids First working group released its 'strategic blueprint for investing in children and their families to build pathways to successful, productive, and healthy adulthood'.  The Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition provided input for this plan.  For more information: KidsFirst blueprint and for questions: Christie Getto Young, Chief of Staff, Senator Sal DiDomenico 

Children's Vision Massachusetts Resource Guide: 2017 Edition
The Children's Vision Massachusetts 2017 Resource Guide is available electronically. 
Included in this guide:
1. Children who require a comprehensive eye exam as indicated by (a) screening results and (b) signs, symptoms and risk factors associated with vision conditions (c) other
2. Common vision conditions and Frequently Asked Questions
3. Overview of Mass Health vision benefits for children
4. List of eye doctors in Massachusetts for children under age 5 years and who accept Mass Health 
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