Rancho Cordova, Calif., January 15, 2013 – The VSP® Eye on Diabetes campaign is launching its fourth year in 2013 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 initiative begins January 13-15 in Portland, where Oregon has among the highest rates for overall diabetes prevalence in the United States. Additional campaign stops include Seattle, WA, Baltimore, MD and Albany, NY.
Since the campaign’s inception in 2010, more than 4,000 people have been helped in twelve states. More than 50 VSP network doctors and optometry students who have participated in the campaign have identified both serious eye and general health-related conditions in patients. More than 200 people have been referred to a medical professional for additional treatment.
“The VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign was created in response to the increasing spread of diabetes with over 25 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with the disease and another 79 million who have prediabetes or at risk,” said Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care. “We hope our efforts continue to raise awareness that diabetes can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam and educate consumers about the critical role eye health plays in your overall health.”
The campaign utilizes the VSP Mobile Eyes® program and partners with local VSP network doctors, state optometric associations, optometry schools and diabetes associations to provide 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. New to this year’s campaign is a free continuing education course for doctor staff to further understand the role optometry plays in the detection and management of serious health conditions such as diabetes. The next series of continuing education courses will be offered in Seattle on January 20. For more information or to register, please visit vspeyeondiabetes.com.
"I am very pleased to continue partnering with the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign,” said VSP optometrist Jeffry D. Gerson, O.D., F.A.A.O. who is an expert in retinal disease management and leads the continuing education courses with Dr. Paul Chous. “Dr. Chous and I have been honored to be able to reach more than 1,000 optometrists through this program and provide what we hope is not only quality education but information that can be taken back to the office and used immediately. When I hear feedback from course attendees, I am gratified to learn about the immediate impact on patients’ lives and the care provided."
For more information about the campaign, visit vspglobal.com.
About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 58 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® which offers 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 $150 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 785,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.