No-cost, comprehensive eye and vision assessments provided by InfantSEE(R) Program
DES MOINES, Iowa, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the overwhelming number of children with eye and vision problems across the United States, Des Moines and surrounding area optometrists are devoting appointments to no-cost, comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants between six to 12 months of age through InfantSEE(R). InfantSEE(R), a public health program developed by the American Optometric Association (AOA) in partnership with The Vision Care Institute(TM), LLC a Johnson & Johnson company, was designed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide at no-cost, regardless of family income or number of eligible children.
"InfantSEE(R) is doing much more than identifying and treating risk factors that may cause eye and vision problems later in the life," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). "They are taking prevention to a new level to ensure healthier, thriving children and lower health care costs down the road."
"I hope Iowa parents take advantage of this free public service to have their babies screened for potential vision problems," said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). "Taking your children to see the doctor regularly promotes wellness and can help detect and prevent serious health issues."
Leading members of the U.S. House of Representatives delegation from Iowa have also expressed their support for the InfantSEE(R) program. Reps. Tom Latham (R-IA), Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Steve King (R-IA), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Bruce Braley (D-IA) urged local parents to have their infant's eyes assessed during InfantSEE(R) Week.
To encourage parents to take advantage of the InfantSEE(R) program and to help protect infant vision and eye health, Governor Chet Culver has officially declared Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 InfantSEE(R) Week in the state of Iowa.
One in 10 children are at risk from undiagnosed eye and vision problems, which, if undetected, could lead to permanent vision impairment, and in rare cases, life-threatening health risks. However, only 14 percent of children from infancy to age six have had a comprehensive eye assessment from an eye care professional. In Des Moines and surrounding areas, great strides are being made to ensure that potential eye and vision problems are detected early. Infant eye assessments have been available in Iowa since the InfantSEE(R) program launched in 2005.
"Many parents are surprised to learn that the first year of life is one of the most critical stages of a child's visual development," said Dr. Beth Triebel, a Des Moines-area optometrist and InfantSEE(R) provider. "It's the ideal time to detect eye and vision problems before these conditions worsen or cause developmental delays."
The program launched in 2005 with support from former President Jimmy Carter, honorary national chair. Nearly 8,000 optometrists nationwide volunteer their time to provide assessments to babies in their communities. The majority of vision problems detected included retinoblastoma (eye cancer), severe hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), congenital glaucoma and congenital cataract.
"There was no specific reason to believe that my daughter had any vision or eye health problems, but I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that my daughter was healthy and developing well," said Lee Pietzsch, a mother whose daughter had an InfantSEE(R) assessment. "The InfantSEE(R) assessment gave me peace of mind. It is my hope that in the near future, a visit to an optometrist will become as important to parents as a routine well-care exam that an infant receives."
To continue to improve infant eye assessment rates in Des Moines and surrounding areas, the following eye care providers will offer no-cost InfantSEE(R) eye assessments from March 23 to 27, by appointment:
AMES Dr. Kristie Semrow 3800 W. Lincoln Way 515-292-4269 ANKENY Dr. Jim Schroder 111 NW 9th St. 515-964-7355 BELLEVUE Dr. Steve Sloan Dr. Martha Smith 103 N. Riverview Dr. (563) 872-5975 BOONE Dr. Jim Barker 718 Story St. 515-432-2020 Dr. Casey Roelfs 621 Story St. 515-432-2973 CORALVILLE (Near Iowa City) Dr. Katalin Hotsenpiller 1150 5th St., Ste. 160 319-337-0685 CLIVE Dr. Ethan Huisman 12871 University Ave., Ste. 140 515-221-9195 CRESTON Dr. Don McKim 1610 W Townline St., Ste.115 641-782-7619 DES MOINES Dr. James W. Hartzell Dr. Blaine R. Brunsen 2628 Beaver Ave. 515-274-4141 DUBUQUE Dr. Steve Sloan Dr. Martha Smith 505 Cedar Cross Rd. (563) 556-3937 EMMETSBURG Dr. Daniel Reedy 2217 Main St. (712) 852-2979 FORT DODGE Dr. Jeff Foreman 1511 1st Ave. S 515-955-7777 FORT MADISON Dr. Kristin Maus 914 Ave. G 319-372-5181 GREENFIELD Dr. Robert A. Weiland 107 NE 2nd St. 515-743-6222 HIAWATHA Dr. Mark T. Mentzer Dr. Patrick J. Fleming 2200 Blairs Ferry Crossing 319-294-9546 HUMBOLDT Dr. Daniel Reedy Hwy 169 N (515) 332-2020 INDIANOLA Dr. Jonathan Anderson 225 W. Ashland, Ste. 1 515-961-5305 LE MARS Dr. Becky DeRuyter 1111 Holton Dr. 712-546-6868 MARSHALLTOWN Dr. Tara Cooper Dr. Abie Chadderdon Dr. Connie Feldman 501 E. Main St. 641-752-1511 PELLA Dr. Ralph DeHaan 823 Franklin St. 641-628-9225 SHELDON Dr. Del Spronk Dr. Harlan Vander Griend 928 3rd Ave. 712-324-2552 URBANDALE Dr. Melissa Billings Dr. Wendy Muller Dr. Beth Triebel 2699 86th St. 515-270-2490 Dr. Wendianne M. Wilson 4660 86th St. 515-727-6340 WEST DES MOINES Dr. Barbara Scheetz 5958 Ashworth Rd. 515-440-4610 WINTERSET Dr. Joseph W. Johll 102 N. 1st Ave. 515-462-1254
InfantSEE(R) assessments are complementary to the routine well-care exams a baby receives from a pediatrician or family physician. Optometrists have the training to identify areas of risk that are critical to vision development and the skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine pediatric wellness exam. In some cases, conditions may need to be monitored, immediately treated or referred to a pediatric eye specialist.
To learn more about InfantSEE(R), visit www.InfantSEE.org.
InfantSEE(R) is a public health program managed by Optometry's Charity(TM) ? the AOA Foundation. Designed to ensure that eye and vision care become an integral part of infant wellness and improve a child's quality of life, doctors of optometry provide one eye and vision assessment to infants free-of-charge regardless of socioeconomic status. For more information visit infantsee.org.
About the American Optometric Association
American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, trained doctors, on the frontline of eye health and vision care, who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major role in an individual's overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases. Doctors of optometry have the skills and training to provide more than two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States. The American Optometric Association represents more than 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians in nearly 6,500 communities across the country. For more information, visit www.aoa.org.
About The Vision Care Institute
The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. is an innovative educational resource created to prepare optometry students for a successful transition into the real world of delivering quality eye care, as well as to assist practicing Eye Care Professionals in the growth and development of their practice. The state-of-the-art facility gives participants a rare opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the latest in vision diagnostic and treatment technologies through hands-on contact lens instruction. Besides clinical training, participants also concentrate on communication skills. The curriculum, taught by leading eye care practitioners from around the country, gives participants the skills and confidence necessary to excel in today's professional practice. The Vision Care Institute has hosted students from all 19 of the schools and colleges of optometry throughout North America at its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.
Contact: Julie Mahoney American Optometric Association (314) 991-4100 x4176 JMMahoney@aoa.org Madonna Duncan Hill & Knowlton (312) 255-3143 firstname.lastname@example.org
|SOURCE American Optometric Association; InfantSEE|
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved