VSP Vision Care Goes Blue for Diabetes Awareness
November 12, 2012
November 12, 2012—Rancho Cordova, CA—In the past 20 years, diabetes rates have doubled worldwide. Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, but more than a quarter of them have no idea. Additionally, 75 percent of people who have diabetes for 10 years or more develop diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness among adults in the United States. This lack of risk awareness combined with an increase in prevalence is driving underscores the importance of preventive care and education.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and VSP® Vision Care (VSP) is rolling out a multi-pronged campaign to reach consumers to educate them about their risks for diabetes as well as the importance of exercise in controlling and preventing diabetes. This effort complements the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign—an initiative launched to provide free health services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents across America—which just completed its third year.
VSP will join more than 400 other organizations and cities around the world in lighting buildings blue in support the WDD Blue Monument Challenge
. VSP will light its Sacramento, Calif., headquarters and Columbus, Ohio, eastern operations center from Nov. 12 – Nov. 16.
“Most people don’t realize that diabetes can be detected through an eye exam up to seven years before they would show symptoms and seek treatment,” said Susan Egbert, director of eye health strategies for VSP Vision Care. “Our goal is to help educate consumers about how to incorporate positive preventative care behaviors into their lives now, such as exercise and annual eye exams, to help take greater control of their health for the future.”
In Sacramento, where VSP is headquartered, VSP and the local American Diabetes Association are teaming up to provide free diabetes screenings to the public on World Diabetes Day. Participants will be offered a free diabetes risk assessment
, blood pressure check, blood sugar check, and the Big Blue Test
, a 14-minute exercise and sugar retest to demonstrate how physical activity positively impacts diabetes management. VSP gift certificates for free eye exams and glasses will be available for those who qualify.
Online, VSP has launched a robust and multichannel social media campaign, including www.VSPblue.com
, to educate consumers about the risks of diabetes and its prevalence in society. The campaign also seeks to share information through opinion leaders, such as VSP optometrists and employee benefit managers, to provide increased access to information about diabetes.
VSP is also teaming up with Marchon Eyewear to provide marketing collateral featuring statistics about diabetes and talking points to help encourage patients to obtain regular eye exams.
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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.