The Wald Community Nursing Center, a program of the School of Nursing, received a Healthy Vision 2010 Community Award from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health to promote vision health in East Baltimore.
The grant supports a program called VisionTEST (Targeted Education, Screening and Treatment) that increases the availability of community-based vision screening, vision education and follow-up eye care to underserved children and their families. The program aims to enhance and integrate existing clinical and instructional services.
"Vision is critical because it is so closely tied to successful learning," said Marion D'Lugoff, assistant professor at the School of Nursing and head of the Wald Center on Rutland Avenue. "If a child can't see the book or the board, that's an impediment to learning. If the parent can't afford the eyeglasses, that's another barrier."
According to D'Lugoff, a child who is losing sight in one eye is unlikely to notice because the other eye will take over. "That's why education and screening are so important. Treatment of this condition, known as amblyopia, in most cases involves simply wearing an eye patch," she said.
The award the Wald Center received was one of 32 NEI grants totaling more than $315,000. The Healthy Vision 2010 Community Awards program implements the new vision objectives of Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention effort.
For more information on the Wald Center and community health nursing at Johns Hopkins, go to http://www.son.jhmi.edu/resources/community/.