Healthy Eyes Healthy Futures

Addressing barriers to vision care after vision screening in Milwaukee

Full Project Name:Healthy Eyes Healthy Futures Children's Vision Health CollaborativePrimary Community Organization:Prevent Blindness WisconsinPrimary Academic Partner:Deborah Costakos, MD, OphthalmologyAward Amount:$202,227
Award Date
January2016
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:


Impaired vision can affect a child's cognitive, emotional, neurologic, and physical develop by limiting the range of experiences and the kinds of information to which the child is exposed. To ensure all children in nine Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) not only have advanced vision screening, but also the care needed to improve outcomes for children in the long-term, project partners embarked on changing the follow-up encounters to improve parents' awareness and commitment to seeking follow-up care. To address vision health disparities in the long-term, partners laid the groundwork for a new integrated system of vision screening, referral, and education by building upon Prevent Blindness Wisconsin's successful vision screening program model.

Community partners:

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin school nurses, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Health Navigators serving target neighborhoods, Milwaukee Public Schools, Children's Community Health Plan, Herslof Optical, Milwaukee Public Schools Social Worker serving target neighborhoods, Milwaukee Public School Parent Coordinator serving target neighborhoods

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Developed three Vision and Eye Health curriculum guides for 3K/4K, 5K, and 5th grade, using age-appropriate activities to teach children about sight, vision health, and the importance of vision care

• Identified lessons to such a complex and multi-faceted problem, noting that one additional form, one additional piece of vision health education, or one additional follow-up touch by a partner represent the solution, but rather a combination of all of the available resources and players must work together to improve a child's access to vision care

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