RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- VSP® Vision Care kicks off the 2011 Eye on Diabetes campaign March 31, in Phoenix, AZ continuing to Lansing, MI; Atlanta, GA and Harrisburg, PA.
The campaign focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of the connection between eyecare and a person's general health, as well as highlighting the important role eye doctors play in the early detection and treatment of chronic health conditions.
The pilot launched in May of 2010, with stops in five State capital cities across the U.S. In the first year alone, the program was able to provide nearly 350 qualified residents free comprehensive eye exams, eyewear and diabetes screenings. VSP network doctors participating in the campaign identified both serious eye and general health-related conditions in patients onboard its mobile eyecare clinics. Roughly half of the patients seen were identified with having abnormal blood sugar and blood pressure levels and more than 100 were referred to a medical professional for additional treatment.
Many of these patients had not received a comprehensive eye examination in several years, increasing their risk of missing treatable and potentially life threatening medical problems. One patient in particular in Little Rock, AK had not seen an eye doctor in over a decade when she visited the VSP mobile eyecare clinic. She had signs of diabetes and was referred to a medical professional who diagnosed her with the disease and prescribed her medication to control her diabetes which she has been taking ever since.
"The mission of the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign is to provide people with comprehensive eye exams they may not otherwise have been able to receive, and to raise awareness across the country about the importance of eyecare in detecting and managing chronic diseases like diabetes," said Gary Brooks, President, VSP Vision Care. "Today almost 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, 7 million of which are undiagnosed. Since Americans are more likely to get an annual eye exam than a physical, eye doctors can be a first line of defense in early detection."
The campaign utilizes VSP Mobile Eyes® program, in partnership with local VSP network doctors and the respective state optometric associations and diabetes associations to provide free comprehensive eye exams, eyewear and diabetes screenings to low income, uninsured and underinsured Americans. For up-to-date tools on how doctors can detect signs of chronic conditions in their patients, a free continuing education course approved by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE), will be offered in each city for all licensed optometrists.
For more information about the campaign, visit vsp.com/community.
About VSP Global
VSP Global includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 56 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 offer innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Labs, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.
Since 1997, VSP has provided more than 603,000 low-income, uninsured children with free eyecare. Through relationships including those with the American Diabetes Association and Prevent Blindness America, VSP promotes the importance of annual eye exams for maintaining eye health and overall wellness.
SOURCE VSP Vision Care