Priscilla Kelangi Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition
Vision and Learning: Making the Connection
With Events in Eastern MA and Western MA
– State Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Representative Christine Barber to Provide Remarks on Needs and Strategies to Improve Children’s Vision
Boston (Sept. 2, 2016) – The Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition is convening its 2016 Summit, “Vision and Learning: Making the Connection,” with two events; the first at the Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, MA on October 20, and the second at the Whitney Conference Center, Holyoke, MA on October 24. The focus of both events is the recently published NIH-funded research 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. The programs will include a presentation of these findings and discussion of how to respond to them from a clinical, educational, policy and funding perspective. In addition, recognition awards will be presented to organizations and institutions dedicated to the Coalition’s vision that all children have the opportunity to develop their best possible vision. 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 partners New England College of Optometry, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, 2020 On-Site Optometry and City Connects, will be recognized. 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 will be presented with awards.
Speakers at the events include national experts in literacy, pediatrics, child development, ophthalmology, optometry and public health. Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Representative
Christine Barber will provide Legislative Remarks. Expected attendees include educators, ophthalmologists, optometrists, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, school nurses, parents, legislators and public health professionals.
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Welch Allyn is serving as the Visionary sponsor for the events. Additional sponsors include the Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program and School Health Corporation, 20-20 On-Site Optometry, Community Catalyst and the New England College of Optometry.
Children’s Vision Massachusetts is a seventy member coalition representing optometry, ophthalmology, nursing, pediatrics, public health, education and families. The Coalition’s mission is to create a systematic approach to children’s vision services that assures that all children have the opportunity to develop their best possible vision to support healthy development and academic growth.
In 2010, the Coalition embarked on an extensive analysis of the status of children’s vision health in Massachusetts and determined that there is an overall lack of awareness regarding the critical need to monitor and care for a child’s developing visual system and that there are significant gaps in the pediatric eye care delivery system in Massachusetts. These gaps are especially severe for children living in low income communities, urban areas, and in western Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands. The Coalition has responded with legislative and regulatory advocacy, educational programming, and technical assistance to member organizations. These partner initiatives have included research projects, quality improvement programs and innovative care models that have expanded access to vision services for children statewide.
“Through this Summit, we hope to educate everyone about the important relationship between vision and learning. It is our responsibility to make parents, educators, health care professionals, elected officials and policymakers aware of this connection and work together to develop comprehensive strategies to effectively address the vision health needs of children,” states Bruce Moore, OD, New England College of Optometry, Co-Chair of Children’s Vision Massachusetts, and speaker at both the Eastern MA Event and Western MA Event.
To register for the events, please visit https://childrensvision.preventblindness.org/events.
For more information about the Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition’s Vision and Learning: Making the Connection Summit, or general information on children’s vision and eye health, please contact Priscilla Kelangi at (312) 363-6037 or [email protected].
About Children’s Vision Massachusetts
Children’s Vision Massachusetts is a coalition of parents, nurses, pediatricians, family physicians, optometrists, ophthalmologists, educators, public health professionals and advocates from organizations across the state, committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to develop their best possible vision and motivated by the fact that many children in Massachusetts do not receive vision screening and recommended follow-up care, and therefore are at risk of lifelong visual impairment and unnecessary obstacles to learning.