UHCO Awarded National Grant

The American Optometric Association Foundation announced UHCO has been awarded a grant through the 2018 Healthy Eyes Healthy Children (HEHC) Community Grant Program. The “See Clearly Now” Project will provide grant funding to Dr. Rebekah Montes and her colleagues to promote awareness of vision issues and ocular health within an underserved community by highlighting the importance of yearly exams with an optometrist. The HEHC grant program provides awards of up to $5,000 for innovative projects with a focus on collaborations between doctors of optometry and community resources to boost awareness and access to vision care for children.

HEHC’s goal is to spread awareness and increase vision services to address uncorrected refractive error in children across the country. This grant is made possible by the generous support of the Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF). Additionally, EVF provides support of no cost glasses through the Changing Life through Lenses program.

Good vision and overall eye health are essential in childhood development but one in five preschoolers has a vision problem. Poor vision can affect a child’s ability to participate in class, cause them to fall behind in their education, impact their performance in sports, among other activities. Evidence now supports that children ages 6 to 18 years should receive a comprehensive eye exam before entering the first grade and annually thereafter.

“We are very grateful for the Essilor Vision Foundation’s support and our Healthy Eyes healthy Children grant. Healthy vision is one of the most important tools children need for a successful school year; when their vision suffers, so does their learning,” said Dr. Jenny Terrell president of the Texas Optometric Association and supporter of the Healthy Eyes Healthy Children program.