A Healthier Wisconsin

Adult Vision Health Program

Improving vision health equity among underserved populations

Full Project Name:Adult Vision Health ProgramPrimary Community Organization:Prevent Blindness WisconsinPrimary Academic Partner:Judy Kim, MD, Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesAward Amount:$200,000
Award Date
Project Duration:18 months

Project Description Narrative:

Through an ongoing partnership with the Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health, Inc. (MCHH), the project team has identified a need for culturally competent and accessible preventative vision health services for the Hmong and Myanmar populations and a lack of population-specific data and information on vision health needs. The impact of vision loss extends beyond the visual system to affect independence, mobility, mental health, cognition, employment, and other factors that directly impact the quality of life.

Prevent Blindness Wisconsin's preliminary data collected through the Adult Vision Health Program has shown many risk factors for vision concerns and eye diseases are prevalent in the Southeast Asian clients served at MCHH: 12% had diabetes, 4% had a family history of glaucoma, 22% have never received an eye exam in their lifetime, and 36% had not received any vision care in the past two years. 39% of clients served by MCHH have Medicaid, 6% are uninsured, 9.6% have private insurance, 5.5% have Medicare, and 38% did not provide insurance coverage. 78% of MCHH clients who received a vision screening/risk assessment did not pass and were referred on to further vision care, indicating this population is currently not receiving adequate preventative vision health care.

The project's primary aim is to conduct a program evaluation of the Adult Vision Health Program at MCHH to assess its level of cultural humility and accessibility and guide program development to improve vision health equity for the Hmong and Myanmar population in southeastern Wisconsin. The program's impact will be magnified by disseminating culturally competent program deliverables, including the new culturally modified program module for the target population, to vision health stakeholders throughout Wisconsin.

Community partners: Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health, Inc., Prevent Blindness Wisconsin

Project Updates:

  • Hired full-time community health worker dedicated to project objectives
  • Conducted four vision health focus groups with Hmong and Burmese adults
  • Provided 85 adults Certified Adult Vision Screening to 85 adults, with 57 receiving referrals and 23 accessing vision care after referral

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350