The purpose of this announcement:
Coordinating Grant for Children's Vision Screening is to support the public health role in assuring a continuum of eye care for young children within the healthcare delivery system and in the medical home.
The grant is designed to support the development
of public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of vision care and eye health for young children; and is committed to conducting this work through strong partnerships, sound science, and targeted policy initiatives.
The key activities of the Coordinating Grant are in bold as follows:
Supporting Pilot State Activities The grantee will work closely with the current five (5) affiliates in the following states:
Massachusetts, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina to continue work in developing and implementing uniform statewide strategy for universal vision screening by age five (5).
Each affiliate has convened the following members on their workgroup to thoroughly discuss current vision screening activities in their state:
Title V, school/education representatives; parent/family partners; nurses and/or primary care physicians; ophthalmologists and/or optometrists; insurance and/or hospital representation; and other health professionals and stakeholders.
These workgroup discussions have included reviewing current regulations and laws, gaps in services, guidelines, data collection activities and issues for parents and families in attempts to form a cohesive approach on vision screening activities in that state.
The grantee will also work with these states with the goal of having them serve as technical assistance advisors to other states and coordinate existing vision screening activities within those states.
Overseeing the National Expert Panel (NEP) Working Groups The NEP has members (optometrists and ophthalmologists) who are well versed in eye health for children and are divided into three key workgroups:
Guidelines for Vision Screening; Developing Performance Measures; Data Collection and Reporting.
The purpose of the NEP is to provide recommendations towards the establishment of Title V performance measures for vision screening, developing mechanisms for uniform data collection and reporting, and, developing and implementing a uniform strategy for universal screening of children prior to entry to school.
The grantee will be responsible for continuing the work of the NEP which will serve in an advisory capacity to the grantee.
The NEP has created recommendations from three workgroups that will inform the larger public on vision guidelines, performance measures and data collection.
Articles developed from the recommendations will serve to assist states in implementing the following:
Guidelines and/or strategies on vision screening; A mechanism for uniform data collection and reporting; and A state Title V performance measure for vision screening.
Coordinate the Federal Intra-Agency Task Force on Vision Meetings The Federal Intra-Agency Task Force on Vision serves to inform each other on vision health efforts and activities from the individual organizations represented.
These include participants from Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Education, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Administration of Children and Families-Head Start, Indian Health Services and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The grantee will coordinate the efforts and activities of the Federal Intra-Agency Task Force on Vision.
This will include facilitating and selecting speakers for these meetings and/or conference calls, writing and disseminating minutes from these meetings, and developing assignments for the Task Force as necessary.
Coordinating Requirements The grantee will build upon efforts of the previous National Center by continuing to address the screening and follow-up component of that continuum by providing national leadership in the development of the statewide vision screening and intervention component of programs for all children three to five years of age, prior to school entry.
The grantee will continue to assess the status and capacity of all states to meet the Bright Futures, U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and Healthy People 2020 recommendations.
The grantee will build upon the richness of information and knowledge gathered from State Title V agencies and develop a map in conjunction with the states on the needs of vision screening in order to create and spread a universal model for states.
Lastly, the grantee will begin to create methods to build insurance support and adequate reimbursement for providers who adhere to the Bright Futures Guidelines.