VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign launches third year
February 10, 2012
Free eye exams, eyewear and diabetes screenings in four states this year
Rancho Cordova, Calif., February 7, 2012 – The VSP® Eye on Diabetes campaign returns for its third year in 2012 to provide low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents across America with free health services, including comprehensive eye exams and health risk assessments for diabetes and high blood pressure. The campaign’s first stop is February 13 in Biloxi, MS, which is the second highest state in the United States for overall diabetes prevalence. Upcoming campaign stops include Columbus, OH, Sacramento and Torrance, CA and Pittsburgh, PA.
Since the campaign’s inception in May 2010, more than 3,000 people have been helped in eight states. Nearly 50 VSP network doctors who have participated in the campaign have identified both serious eye and general health-related conditions in patients. More than 160 people have been referred to a medical professional for additional treatment.
“Over 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 7 million of those cases are undiagnosed. The VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of eyecare and the role of optometry in detecting and managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes,” said Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care.
The campaign utilizes the VSP Mobile Eyes® program and partners with local VSP network doctors, state optometric associations and diabetes associations to provide the free health services. Patients who have or are at risk for diabetes are examined onboard a VSP Mobile Eye Clinic outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms, dispensaries and a finishing lab.
An additional component of the campaign is a free continuing education course approved by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) offered in each city for all licensed optometrists. The course provides doctors with the most recent information and tools for them to continue providing quality care for their patients who have or are at-risk for diabetes.
"I am honored to partner with VSP for the Eye on Diabetes campaign by sharing my knowledge of diabetes detection, treatment and education with my fellow optometrists,” said Paul Chous, OD - who specializes in diabetes eye care, has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes mellitus for forty years and leads the continuing education courses along with VSP provider and expert in retinal disease management, Dr. Jeffry Gerson. “New information pertaining to diabetes continues to emerge, so it’s important that doctors of optometry be aware of the most recent research news and clinical tools to care for their patients properly.”
For more information about the campaign, visit vspglobal.com.
About VSP Global
VSP GlobalSM includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 57 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®/Officemate® which offer innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.
To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested more than $142 million in free eyecare and eyewear for close to 745,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.