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How can underserved populations get improved access to eye care services?

Supporting improved access to eye care to underserved populations through SIGHT Studies

Challenge

Glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss. Over 3 million Americans have glaucoma; another 2.4 million have undiagnosed and untreated glaucoma. Although there is no cure, if found early it can be treated and managed. Regular eye exams are key for diagnosis and treatment. Individuals living in low-income communities, racial and ethnic minorities, and the elderly face multiple barriers to accessing and using eye care services.

The Screening and Intervention for Glaucoma and eye Health through Telemedicine (SIGHT) Studies are 3 community-based studies funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that use innovative service delivery models to reach populations at greater risk for glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Solution

In partnership with Columbia University, Westat serves as the SIGHT Studies Coordinating Center. In this role, Westat

  • Facilitates collaboration and communication between grantees and CDC
  • Provides logistical support and evaluation expertise
  • Establishes and leads working groups, participates in writing teams, and prepares manuscripts

Westat also developed and maintains the SIGHT Studies websites.

Results

Westat’s role supports CDC’s overall program objectives

  • Implement community-based interventions that improve access to eye care
  • Detect and manage glaucoma and other eye diseases among high-risk populations

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