InfantSEE® celebrates a decade of success and growth

InfantSEEĀ® celebrates a decade of success and growth

InfantSEE®, the AOA's first public health program for infants, has been working to provide eye and vision care for babies for 10 years.

More than 118,000 babies have been examined through the InfantSEE® program.

The program provides one-time, no-cost, comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants between 6 months and one year of age, regardless of a family's income or access to health insurance. Managed by Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation®, InfantSEE was created by W. David Sullins Jr., O.D., a past AOA president, in 2005.

The program was built on the AOA's understanding that healthy vision—and early detection of eye conditions—is paramount to an infant's successful development and quality of life.

InfantSEE program played a key role in the advocacy efforts of the AOA Washington office in obtaining inclusion of the comprehensive vision examination into the Affordable Care Act's pediatric essential benefit.

"InfantSEE has elevated the public's awareness of the value of annual comprehensive eye examinations for all children beginning in infancy. It has also raised public awareness that optometrists provide these services," says Glen Steele, O.D., chair of AOA's InfantSEE and Children's Vision Committee who received the AOA Presidential Award at the 2015 AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference.

"Moving forward, the committee is evolving into a full children's program in order to promote the need for regular, comprehensive examinations as significant health events in a child's overall health and development," adds Dr. Steele.

A celebration of InfantSEE's 10-year anniversary—and its many accomplishments—will take place at Optometry's Meeting® in Seattle on June 26 at 1 p.m. near AOA Central, sponsored by Allergan and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Noteworthy achievements being celebrated:

  • As of June 2015, approximately 7,300 AOA-member optometrists serve as volunteer InfantSEE providers, representing all 50 states. The recommitment period began on April 1 of this year, and so far more than 1,300 optometrists have signed up.

  • More than 118,000 babies have been examined through the InfantSEE program, according to data from providers.

  • Providers discover significant ocular problems in approximately 10 percent of babies.

  • Since the program's inception, InfantSEE providers have identified at least 13 cases of retinoblastoma—a rare form of cancer.

  • AOA advocacy relied heavily on InfantSEE when working to secure pediatric vision coverage as an essential benefit in the Affordable Care Act. The pediatric essential benefit went into effect in January 2014.

  • InfantSEE has received support from generous sponsors, including The Allergan Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., OptiCare and the Centene Charitable Foundation and CareCredit.

Read more about InfantSEE on page 30 of the January/February 2014 edition of AOA Focus.

June 8, 2015

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