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Sandra S. Block, Melissa Suckow, Sabrina Reed; Retrospective Review Of Records From A School Based Vision Clinic Serving The Chicago Community. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6761.
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Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) at Princeton opened as a school-based vision program to address the unmet need of vision care for children within the city of Chicago.
Each year, over 100,000 children in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) fail vision screenings, have broken/ lost glasses, or fail to complete an exam which is mandatedd for entry to schoolin Illinois. Due to lack of follow up by parents, along with limited access to providers accepting state insurance, a large portion of these children do not receive comprehensive vision care. CPS and the IEI partnered to open a year-round vision clinic to address this unmet need. CPS schools bus groups of children to the eye clinic or parents brought children themselves. Complete eyecare included VAs, EOMs, cover test, color vision, stereopsis, fields, keratometry, refraction, cycloplegic refraction (if consent received), vergences, accommodation, IOP and anterior and posterior eye health. Data reported represents the patients seen 1/5/11 - 11/17/11.
4,391 children and adolescents ranging in age from 9 mos-23.1 yrs (mean 11.2 yrs +/-3.3) were examined. Of these students, 55.8% were female. The children primarily represented schools with at least 90% of the children falling below the federal poverty level. The racial distribution was: Black - 59.8%, Hispanic -33.1%, White-2% , with the remainder of the subjects were mixed race, middle eastern, or the race was unknown. Refractive errors (OD) range: -14.75D - +17.25D sph (mean -1.07 +/- 1.08) and cylinder ranged from -7.50D - -0.25D (-0.25 +/- 1.95). Strabismus was present in 6.1% of the subjects. Amblyopia was found in 8% of the children. 75.2% required new or replacement glasses. Previously undiagnosed glaucoma was found in 2 patients.
There is a large unmet need for vision care within CPS. Our clinic provides primary eye care, access to refractive correction, and limited follow up. When secondary care is required, the challenge is ensuring the patient is able to access appropriate services. We are working to address referrals, expand services available, and monitor the wear of prescribed glasses. A unique aspect of this program is that services are offered to all CPS children during school hours. Local foundations, donations from corporate sponsors, and in-kind services allow the delivery of care.
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