Prevent Blindness created the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to recognize an individual, team, or organisation that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national, and/or international level.
Members of the Johns Hopkins University School-Based Eye Care Team are part of Wilmer Eye Institute’s Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Center for Research and Reform in Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
The team was selected for the award for their work investigating and addressing vision-related problems in high-poverty schools. This collaborative effort was designed to:
increase access to pediatric eye care in high-poverty areas,
develop and refine models for school-based vision programmes,
and advance research on the long-term impact of vision care on academic performance among students.
The team’s first project in school-based eye care was the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study. Based on results from their earlier work, they are now working in partnership with Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Schools, Vision To Learn, and Warby Parker on “Vision for Baltimore,” a city-wide school-based vision programme.
“The ultimate goal of our project is to ensure that all children in need of eye care and glasses receive them. By partnering with schools and educators, and providing the necessary tools, we believe we can achieve this,” said Dr. Collins. “We thank Prevent Blindness for recognizing our team with this award and we are encouraged to continue this important work to improve the vision health of children across the country.”
The Johns Hopkins University team has now expanded this work, collaborating with Chicago Public Schools in the new “Vision for Chicago” research programme to conduct a longitudinal assessment of the impact of glasses on academic performance, as well as the impact of a school-based professional development programme on teacher engagement and student use of eyeglasses. With these projects, the team aims to lay the groundwork for reform of public school practices and national education policy regarding vision care, and potentially form alliances between educators and eye care professionals.
Image on left: Wilmer team/ Image Courtesy: Prevent Blindness