BISMARCK, N.D., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the overwhelming number of children with eye and vision problems across the United States, Bismarck 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.
"I can't stress enough the importance of early childhood health screenings," said Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). "I encourage parents across North Dakota to take advantage of the InfantSEE(R) program. Have your child assessed in order to detect and treat any potential vision problems before they interfere with their learning."
"As parents, we regularly take our children to the dentist to help prevent cavities. Likewise, we should have our children's vision screened at an early age to prevent potential eye and vision problems down the road," said Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND). "I applaud our local optometrists for providing free InfantSEE(R) assessments, and encourage families to take advantage of this useful service."
To encourage parents to take advantage of the InfantSEE(R) program and to help protect infant vision and eye health, Governor John Hoeven has officially declared Monday, February 23 through Friday, February 27 InfantSEE(R) Week in the state of North Dakota.
"Protecting infant vision and eye health is an integral part of North Dakota's commitment to the health and wellness of our children," Hoeven said. "I commend the North Dakota Optometric Association and optometrists across the state for providing this important program to North Dakota families."
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 Bismarck 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 North Dakota 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. Danelle Moch, a Bismarck-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.
"As a special education teacher, I know the importance of identifying developmental issues early," said Mary McCarvel-O'Connor, local mother of Illyana. "I encourage all parents to take advantage of the InfantSEE(R) program. I brought my daughter for an InfantSEE(R) assessment when she was six months old and was relieved to find out her vision was healthy."
To continue to improve infant eye assessment rates in Bismarck and surrounding areas, the following eye care providers will offer no-cost InfantSEE(R) eye assessments from February 23 to 27, by appointment:
BISMARCK Dr. Brian C. Beattie Dr. Eve L. Kostelecky 2331 Tyler Park Suite 2 701-258-4384 Dr. Shanon S. Bencker 738 Kirkwood Mall 701-258-8810 Dr. Thomas L. Deis Dr. Keith L. Schindler 204 West Century Ave. 701-255-0186 Dr. Todd A. Kelsch 210 West Front Ave. 701-222-2461 Dr. Danelle F. Moch 1221 West Divide Ave., Suite 1 701-224-0661 Dr. Taya M. Patzman 2821 Rock Island Place 701-222-1140 Dr. Thomas J. Samson 200 South 5th Street 701-222-3937 Dr. Tim Tello 1221 West Divide Ave. Ste. 1 701-224-0661 MANDAN Dr. James A. Helmers Dr. John N. Helmers Dr. Daniel J. Long 113 3rd Ave. NW 701-663-2020 Dr. Daniel C. Little Dr. Terry Schmidt 107 6th Ave. NW 701-663-0313 BOTTINEAU Dr. Paul Dunderland 522 Main Street 701-228-2219 CARRINGTON Dr. Kathy M. Hendrickson 110 9th Ave. South 701-652-2020 DEVILS LAKE Dr. Craig A. Bratvold 211 4th Street NE, Ste. 1 701-662-2817 Dr. Carey L. Enderle Dr. Kyle D. Krein Dr. Mark A. Moen 404 Highway 2 East 701-662-4085 DICKINSON Dr. Nate Shilman 448 21st Street, Ste. D-1 701-225-7886 FARGO Dr. Angela K. Darveaux 3902 13th Ave. South, Ste. 406 701-281-3084 Dr. Kristin F. Engstrom 4731 13th Ave. South 701-281-2746 Dr. Shari L. Kensok 3051 25th Street South #K2 701-234-0766 Dr. Lori Scheel 1702 South University Drive 701-364-6116 GRAFTON Dr. Michelle K. Carter 415 Hill Ave. 701-352-1370 GRAND FORKS Dr. David Biberdorf 2200 South Washington Street 701-775-3135 Dr. Kari E. Torkelson Dr. Jeffery B. Yunker 2900 South Columbia Rd. 701-746-6745 Dr. Jason Schaff 2200 South Washington 701-775-3135 HARVEY Dr. Steve Kourajian 901 Lincoln Ave. 701-324-2154 LANGDON Dr. Richard H. Eklof 324 9th Ave., Ste. 1 701-256-2269 LISBON Dr. Corey R. Mairs 17 11th Ave. West 701-683-5815 MINOT Dr. Jason Bradley 207 South Main Street 701-852-5626 Dr. Bruce A. Moen 1100 31st Ave. SW, Ste. 2 701-837-0022 Dr. Robert P. Nyre 10 1st Street SW 701-852-2020 OAKES Dr. Geoffrey A. Rath 409 West Main 701-742-3111 PARK RIVER Dr. Dori M. Carlson Dr. Mark K. Helgeson 121 Briggs Ave. North 701-284-7330 WAHPETON Dr. William Welder 315 North 11th Street, Ste. A 701-642-4090 WATERFORD CITY Dr. Douglas Nordby 109 5th Street SW 701-444-3221 DILWORTH, MN Dr. Becky McIlonie 415 34th Street North 218-233-9839
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 http://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 http://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 Madonna Duncan American Optometric Association Hill & Knowlton (314) 991-4100 x4176 (312) 255-3143 JMMahoney@aoa.org firstname.lastname@example.org
|SOURCE InfantSEE; American Optometric Association|
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