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HEHP grant helps identify undiagnosed childhood vision problems at Oregon CHCs

December 20, 2012
Optometry interns check a preschooler’s visual acuity.

Optometry interns check a preschooler’s visual acuity.

While many people believe vision problems in children are rare, those in optometry know this is not the case. To catch these problems early, the AOA and the American Public Health Association recommend all children have routine eye exams at 6 to 12 months, 3 years and 5 years. Pacific University’s Len Hua, O.D., Ph.D., is helping ensure undiagnosed childhood vision problems don’t go unnoticed. As a 2012 recipient of a $4,000 Healthy Eyes Healthy People® (HEHP) grant by the AOA and Optometry Cares®-The AOA Foundation, Dr. Hua is putting the funding to good use to help children at Pacific University’s Pacific Eye Clinics, specifically the Virginia Garcia Clinic in Cornelius and Hillsboro, Ore.

With the HEHP grant, Dr. Hua has developed a year-long project to help Oregon children who are patients at the Virginia Garcia Clinic.

Pacific University’s Len Hua, O.D., Ph.D., is helping ensure undiagnosed childhood vision problems don’t go unnoticed.

Pacific University’s Len Hua, O.D., Ph.D., is helping ensure undiagnosed childhood vision problems don’t go unnoticed.

Optometry interns evaluate children at their wellness health exams at ages 3, 4 and 5 if they have not had a comprehensive eye exam or been seen by an eye care provider in the preceding 12 months.

Once evaluations are complete, parents are given the results and children are scheduled for an eye exam with a licensed eye care professional at Pacific Eye Clinics within a month.

Using Pacific Eye Clinic’s unique, child-friendly evaluation methods that do not require a child to read or speak, vision problems that have gone undetected through pediatrician or school nurse screenings are routinely diagnosed and effectively treated. Parents are also educated about the importance of ultraviolet (UV) and sun protection and provided with prescription glasses or sunglasses covered by Oregon Health Plan and Oregon Care.

An intern at the Pacific Eye Clinics performs stereo testing.

An intern at the Pacific Eye Clinics performs stereo testing.

At Pacific Eye Clinics, eye health and vision function for infants and preschool children are also effectively measured and evaluated.

Pacific Eye Clinics provide free vision assessments for infants from ages 6 to 12 months as part of the InfantSEE® program (www.infantsee.org), a nationwide public health initiative launched by the AOA.

Free vision evaluations for school-age children are also provided as part of its community outreach program.

Eye health and vision function for infants and preschool children are measured and evaluated.

Eye health and vision function for infants and preschool children are measured and evaluated.

Congratulations to Dr. Hua, Pacific University, Pacific Eye Clinic, the Virginia Garcia Clinic, and the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association for receiving a $4,000 Healthy Eyes Healthy People® grant to provide evaluations and eye wellness exams for 3- to 5-year-olds.

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