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New England Eye receives $10,000 grant to provide pediatric vision screenings

Tilted logo for New England Eye saying words: New England Eye in circle.

Grant will support comprehensive eye and vision care for students at the John F. Kennedy School in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

New England Eye, an affiliate of New England College of Optometry, recently received a $10,000 grant from the Boston Children’s Hospital Office of Community Health. This grant will enable New England Eye’s On-Sight mobile eye care program to provide comprehensive eye and vision care to pre-school and school age children from the John F. Kennedy School in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston.

The goal of this project is to improve the visual health of the children at the John F. Kennedy School. Beginning in October 2014, faculty and students from the New England College of Optometry (NECO) will conduct vision screenings for the school’s 410 enrolled students. The grant from the Office of Community Health will provide vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams and glasses to the estimated 25% (about 100) of children may fail the screening. Those who fail the screenings will be given the opportunity to receive a comprehensive eye exam by pediatric optometrists and NECO students on New England Eye’s On-Sight mobile eye clinic. On-Sight is a state of the art equipped 39 foot long clinic with two eye examination lanes and a facility to fit eye glasses. Any child in need of glasses will receive them regardless of vision insurance benefits. All eyeglasses will be delivered back to school by a licensed optician from the Ben Franklin Institute.

Key personnel who will oversee and implement this initiative include Gary Chu, OD, MPH, Vice President of Community Collaborations, NEE; Bruce Moore, OD, Marcus Professor of Pediatric Studies, NECO; and Paulette Tattersall, MSc, Pediatric Program Director, NEE. Collaborating partners include Cathy Couture, School Nurse at the John F. Kennedy School who will serve as a liaison for scheduling and communication; Kathy Majzoub, Prevent Blindness Regional Director of the Northeast Region who will provide eyeglass vouchers to families who lack insurance coverage for a second pair of eyeglasses; and faculty and students from the Ben Franklin Institute who will dispense and fit on-site eyeglasses.