The Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition held its 2016 Summit this month with the Eastern MA Event at the Boston Children's Museum on October 20 and the Western MA Event at the Whitney Conference Center, Holyoke, MA. The focus of the Summit, "Vision and Learning: Making the Connection," was the recently published
study "Uncorrected Hyperopia and Pre-School Literacy: Results of vision in preschoolers- hyperopia in preschoolers," which reports a significant correlation between the status of a young child's vision health and his or her ability to acquire early literacy skills. Programs included presentation of these findings and discussion of how to respond to them from a clinical, educational, and policy perspective. In addition, recognition awards were presented to organizations and institutions dedicated to the Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition's vision that all children have the opportunity to develop their best possible vision.
Two Public Service Announcements
Ask About Vision, funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, were launched at the events.
Speakers at the events included experts in literacy, pediatrics, child development, ophthalmology, optometry and public health. Jean Ramsey, MD, MPH, Boston Medical Center; Bonnie Strickland, PhD, Former Director of the Division of Services for Children with Special Healthcare Needs, MCHB, HRSA; Marilyn Augustyn, MD, Boston Medical Center; Louis Vernacchio, MD, Pediatric Physicians' Organization, Boston Children's Hospital; Katie Vozeolas, BSN, RN, NCSN, Nurse Supervisor, Haverhill Public Schools; Erin DiSanto, Parent Advocate; and Bruce Moore, OD, Marcus Professor of Pediatric Studies, New England College of Optometry were speakers at the Eastern MA event. Representative Christine Barber provided Legislative Remarks. At the Western MA event, presenters were Frank Robinson, PhD, Baystate Community Relations and Public Health; Charlotte Boney, MD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Baystate Children's Hospital, Baystate Medical Center; Nonie Lesaux, PhD, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Chair of Massachusetts' Board of Early Education and Care; Bruce Moore, OD, Marcus Professor of Pediatric Studies, New England College of Optometry; Andy Balder, MD, Medical Director, Pediatric ACO of the Pioneer Valley and Pediatrician/Internist, Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center; Gladys Rivera, Education Director, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield Head Start; Gary Wolf, OD, Palmer, MA; Veronica Perez-Tyburski, Parent Advocate; Sally Fuller, Project Director, Davis Foundation; and Carolyn Lyons, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Senate President Stan Rosenberg provided Legislative Remarks.
At the Eastern MA Event the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, the Massachusetts School Nurses, the Pediatric Physicians' Organization at Children's, ABCD Head Start and the Boston Public Schools, with Community Partners New England College of Optometry, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, 2020 On-Site Optometry and City Connects, were recognized for their commitment and accomplishments related to practice to improve vision health outcomes for children. In Western MA, Partners for a Healthier Community, Baystate General Pediatrics High St. Health Center, Gentex Optics, EyeSEE Preschool Program Pilot Sites, and Lions District Y33 were presented with Children's Vision Massachusetts Recognition Awards. Special guests at the Summit were Commissioner Paul Saner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and Mr. Hugh Parry, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness, Representative Aaron Vegas and Representative John Velis.
For more information about the Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition, the Public Service Announcements, or general information on children's vision and eye health, please contact Priscilla Kelangi at
(312) 363-6037 or