American Optometric Association Healthy Eyes Healthy People Provides Grants Up to $5,000 to 15 Projects


Saundra Naifeh, Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians executive
director, (l), with HEHP grant recipient Ruthie Ruan, OD.

ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association Healthy Eyes Healthy People (HEHP) program has provided grants of up to $5,000 to 15 community outreach projects addressing the vision-related objectives of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Healthy People 2010 public health agenda. Started in 2004, HEHP is generously funded by Luxottica.

“During the past nine years, we have seen the Healthy Eyes Healthy People projects in action across almost every state in the U.S., with programs ranging from vision care for the homeless to preschool vision screenings and eye disease awareness projects,” said Andrea Dorigo, president, Luxottica USA. “Results have proven that these grassroots community outreach programs not only promote eye and vision health, but in some cases save a person’s vision.”

“Healthy Eyes Healthy People is a program that is committed to improving the vision and health of all Americans,” said James L. Boccuzzi, OD, chair of the community grants committee. “The HEHP grants are a tool for optometrists to integrate vision services into community health programs. Access to eye and vision care improves the quality of life for all Americans.”

The 15 grant recipients, listed with the state in which they are located and their coordinator, are: Saving Sight: Pilot Project for Latino Community in Los Angeles Area, California, Tina MacDonald, OD; Connecticut Optometry and Children with IEP, Connecticut, Elizabeth McMunn, OD; Coeur d’Alene School District Educational Project, Idaho, Robert Sorenson, OD; Vision of Hope Health Alliance, Illinois, Janis Winters, OD; U & Eye, Louisiana, Doug Wilkinson; Mission 20/20, Maryland, Nina Doyle, OD; Diabetes and Your Eyes, Minnesota, Beth Coleman; See To Learn Reinforcement, Nebraska, Alissa Johnson; Sight First, Nevada, Stephanie Lee, OD; Diabetic Eye Exam Initiative, New Hampshire, Sarah E. Jagatic, OD; KidSight, New Mexico, Jane Compton, OD; Eye Exams in Putnam City Schools, Oklahoma, Ruthie Ruan; C2READ, Oregon, Rebecca R. Chown, OD; Project Homeless Connect: Focus on Vision Care, Tennessee, Zakiya Nicks, OD; Frank Haskell Lions Eye Clinic, Washington, Ken Henderson, OD

The grant program is open to any AOA member optometrist who wishes to establish or continue an eye or vision public outreach program conducted in conjunction with an entity outside organized optometry. Since the HEHP program’s inception in 2004, the AOA has distributed more than $1.2 million in grants for 350 projects addressing diabetes, glaucoma, children’s vision, eye safety, low vision, and other vision-related issues.