This year, World Sight Day is recognizing the importance of eye health at work. We spoke with AbbVie’s Global Medical Affairs Head of Eye Care, Mathias Schifflers, and Vice President of Total Rewards, Demetris “D” Crum, about their commitment to eye health.
Why is World Sight Day an important observance?
Mathias: For many people, vision is something they may take for granted – that is, until they or someone they know is affected by prevalent and potentially devastating eye diseases. Each year more people will receive a vision-threatening diagnosis due to aging and lifestyle factors. AbbVie is committed to expanding and innovating quality of life eye care solutions that help to preserve and protect vision for patients around the world and is proud to support IAPB for World Sight Day. Recognizing World Sight Day is an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance of having access to eye care resources.
Why should employers prioritize eyecare in the workplace?
Mathias: Maintaining healthy vision is an important aspect of a person’s overall health. Without clear sight, daily activities can be a challenge at work. No matter where you work or what job you do, it is important to prioritize and protect your eye health at work. This includes everything from helping employees avoid accidents in the workplace to encouraging them to take frequent short breaks from looking at computer screens. Helping our employees maintain good eye health enables them to push forward with the important work we’re doing at AbbVie.
What is AbbVie doing to support their employees with their eye health?
D: Around the world, AbbVie provides well-being programs that support employees evolving needs at every stage of their life, with programs varying by country. I’m based in the U.S., and we are able to provide eligible employees working in U.S. locations with a free vision screening as part of our annual flu shot and health screenings. At the events, we provide information on the importance of eye exams and how to find an eye care provider. Also, eligible employees in the U.S. have access to vision insurance, which offers a large network of care providers so our employees and their covered family members get quality, affordable eye care. We also make a focused effort to ensure our communications and materials are accessible for those that are vision impaired. It is important to provide resources for our employees related to their eye health because we know when our employees are at their best, we can make the most impact.
What positive impacts do you see in team members for having access to eye care?
D: Eye health is an important aspect of our employee’s overall well-being. We know that by helping our employees thrive at work and at home, they can help our patients thrive, too. So, it’s important for us to cultivate an environment that supports the overall well-being of our employees and their families.
How is AbbVie encouraging employees to #LoveYourEyes at work in recognition of World Sight Day?
Mathias: The #LoveYourEyes campaign challenges everyone to consider the health of their eyes, and if they can, have their eyes checked. Operating as one AbbVie team, we’re encouraging our employees to bring attention to eye care in the workplace. We’re inspiring AbbVie colleagues around the world to host events in the workplace where possible using the #LoveYourEyes campaign materials, creating social media posts to raise awareness about prioritizing eye care in the workplace, and encouraging AbbVie employees to get their eyes tested whether at an on-site health screening or by a community eye care provider.
Will AbbVie be contributing to the 10 million pledges to receive sight tests or screenings and why?
D: AbbVie is proud to pledge its support for the “Love Your Eyes at Work” campaign and we take great pride in being a company that prioritizes and focuses on eye care and eye health. This year, we expect thousands of AbbVie employees to get a free health screening at work, which will include an eye chart test and screening for macular degeneration. We are committed to providing an open, supportive environment to raise awareness about the importance of eye care and eye health and to encourage employees to take care of their eyes.