On April 19-21, 161 low-income, uninsured Ohio residents received free health services, including comprehensive eye exams, glasses and health risk assessments for diabetes and high blood pressure during the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign’s second event of 2012. Additionally, 61 patients were identified for being at-risk for diabetes after being examined at the events.
Partnering with The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Optometry and the Ohio Optometric Association, VSP® Vision Care brought two mobile eye clinics outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms, dispensaries and a finishing lab to Faith Mission of Ohio, a local center which provides services and resources to the homeless community. Health services were provided by OSU College of Optometry students and doctors to Ohioans who have or are at risk for diabetes. The campaign focus is to increase awareness and understanding of the connection between eyecare and a person’s general health.
In recognition of the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign Ohio Governor John Kasich and Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman proclaimed April 19-21 “Eye on Diabetes Days in Ohio” and “Eye on Diabetes Days in Columbus,” respectively. It is estimated more than 895,000 Ohio residents have been diagnosed with diabetes, and more than 268,000 have undiagnosed diabetes in the state.
“Through the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign, communities grow their understanding of how to incorporate positive preventive care behaviors, such as annual eye exams, into their lives,” said Cheryl Johnson, Vice President, Eyecare Delivery Solutions, VSP Vision Care. “Partnering with The Ohio State University College of Optometry provided additional access to care for those in need and remains a great asset to the State of Ohio and to the future of the optometric community.”
Following the event, all patients who needed further eye care services were eligible to receive care at the OSU College of Optometry clinic at Faith Mission of Ohio. Patients requiring additional ophthalmologic services or general health care have been referred to resources throughout Columbus.
“We were excited to partner with VSP in bringing the Eye on Diabetes campaign to Columbus,” said Joan Nerderman, OD, clinical associate professor at The OSU College of Optometry. “Our students were able to experience the impact an optometrist can make on the daily life of a patient while increasing the connection between eye health and overall health within our community.”
An additional component of the campaign is a free continuing education course approved by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) offered in each city for all licensed optometrists. The course provides doctors with the most recent information and tools for them to continue providing quality care for their patients who have or are at-risk for diabetes.
The VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign has made stops in ten states since it launched in 2010 and rolls on to Sacramento in June.
The VSP Blog hosted a series of Q&A interviews during the Ohio events to provide a closer look at the Eye on Diabetes campaign.
Also, view more event photos here!