InfantSEE® to Support 2024 Call for National Pediatric Eye Health and Vision Mobilization

December 5, 2023
With 170,000 Assessments since 2005, InfantSEE Begins to Build Priorities for 2024 to Further Expand Access to Care Alongside American Optometric Association

St. Louis, MO – Dec. 5, 2023InfantSEE®, a program that provides no-cost, comprehensive eye and vision health assessments for infants, will contribute and collaborate with the American Optometric Association (AOA) in their upcoming campaign focused on pediatric eye health. The program is concluding the year with 170,000 assessments since the initiative’s inception in 2005.

Managed by Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation and backed from the beginning by long-time AOA visionary supporter Johnson and Johnson Vision, InfantSEE is a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. Currently, there are more than 4,200 InfantSEE providers, with over 10 percent being recent graduates.

2023 Year in Review for InfantSEE

Since the program’s inception in 2005, a total of 170,000 assessments have been performed and over 14,000 children have started their journey to improved quality of life after receiving a diagnosis from a participating InfantSEE optometrist. InfantSEE assessments have helped prevent a lifetime of vision complications, ranging from amblyopia and strabismus to sight-threatening retinoblastomas. 

“Sight is an important way that children learn and experience the world. The InfantSEE Program provides essential eye care to children and offers an opportunity for doctors of optometry to educate parents on the importance of comprehensive eye and vision care in children’s development. Johnson and Johnson Vision is a proud supporter of InfantSEE for the past 18 years,” said Charissa Lee, O.D., MBA, FAAO, Head of North America Professional Affairs at Johnson & Johnson Vision. 

InfantSEE also hosted a series of events, including two workshops at Optometry’s Meeting, pop-up events at the Midwestern Regional Conference at Chicago College of Optometry at Midwestern University and Western Regional Conference at Southern California College of Optometry as well as three virtual events in AOA’s EyeLearn. These events are crucial to demonstrating the value of the InfantSEE exam and provide a pathway for the next generation of optometric leaders to get involved.

Supporting the American Optometric Association’s Pediatric Initiative

During Optometry’s Meeting, held in June, AOA President Dr. Ronald L. Benner announced the Call for National Pediatric Eye Health and Vision Mobilization, an initiative that will work to remedy the pandemic’s acceleration of screen time and lack of access to community resources found in a traditional school environment.

“InfantSEE has demonstrated success year-over-year in providing essential care to children, but also offering parents the education and resources they need – ultimately, setting an example of how doctors of optometry can effect change in children’s lives,” said Dr. Jennifer Zolman, FCOVD, chair of the AOA InfantSEE and Children’s Vision Committee.

The pediatric vision initiative is viewed as crucial by AOA leadership as the urgency grows to close the gap on uncorrected refractive errors before they can adversely impact children’s future.

“This generation and the next are facing an unprecedented challenge that can only be addressed through innovative and impactful vision care. The AOA is well poised to shape the future of children’s vision care with InfantSEE serving as a crucial partner,” said Dr. Zolman.

Set to take place over multiple years of work, the campaign will garner support across various sectors of the industry to establish momentum and enact widespread mobilization. By unifying the industry, this initiative will identify strategies to close the gap in children’s eye health and vision care by:

  • Advocating on the federal level for policies and programs that ensure that children get the eye care they need and deserve,
  • Assimilating the evidence and creating a playbook to help expand Federal- and state-level advocacy efforts and guide policy decisions,
  • Addressing access to care, particularly for the underserved, and
  • Driving public awareness to help educate stakeholders and the public about children’s eye health and vision care and access to it.

AOA welcomes the perspectives of doctors, patients, teachers, parents, industry and all stakeholders as the initiative takes shape. More information on the campaign and how AOA’s established programs, such as InfantSEE, will support the initiative will be announced over the coming months. 

Participation and Support

Participating InfantSEE optometrists provide eye and vision assessments regardless of income or insurance coverage. The AOA thanks all participating doctors for their dedication to the program and the life-changing care they provide every day. To learn more about becoming an InfantSEE provider, click here.

Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation is committed to raising awareness about the importance of eye health, increasing access to vision care, and providing support to doctors of optometry and students in need. To support InfantSEE and other initiatives, consider making an end-of-year tax-deductible donation to Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation.

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About Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation

Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization working to empower the optometric profession in providing awareness and access to health and vision care for the public. To learn more, please visit aoafoundation.org.

About the American Optometric Association

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 49,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system, and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat, and manage disorders, diseases, and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.

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