June 8, 2016: Rep. Christine Barber was joined at the State House yesterday by members of the Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition for a briefing on Children’s Vision Screening in Massachusetts.  Legislators were informed regarding the need for a statewide data system to support optimal vision health for children.  Dr. Jean Ramsey, pediatric ophthalmologist, Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Bruce Moore, pediatric optometrist, New England College of Optometry, presented on the critical importance of early detection and treatment of vision conditions in young children to support vision development, overall child development, and acquisition of skills necessary for achieving educational milestones.  Joan Lowbridge-Sisley, Partners for a Healthier Community, reported on Springfield’s early vision initiative and the challenge of having very few eye doctors for children under age five years with Mass Health insurance practicing in Western Massachusetts. Parent advocate Erin DiSanto described the dramatic improvement in behavior and development after her young son was prescribed eyeglasses for a vision condition that had gone undiagnosed.  Rep. Barber concluded the session with a request that legislators gather information about what is happening in their districts in regards to children’s vision health and work to develop and implement a statewide, data driven system that will support optimal vision development and eliminate correctable vision related obstacles to academic opportunity for children in the Commonwealth.