Prevent Blindness and the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health Announce Recipient of the 2nd Annual Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award

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Award Presented to the Illinois Eye Institute at Princeton Vision Clinic

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“Prevent Blindness congratulates Dr. Block and the IEI at Princeton, and Dr. James for their outstanding efforts to improve the vision and eye health of children in their communities,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, and home of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) announced today the recipient of the second annual “Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award.” This year’s selected recipient is Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) at Princeton Vision Clinic based at the Illinois College of Optometry.

The Award recognizes significant efforts to improve public health for children’s vision and eye health at the state or national level. The award was established in 2014 by the Advisory Committee of the NCCVEH to commemorate Bonnie Strickland and her groundbreaking work to establish a comprehensive system for children’s vision and eye health in the United States. The award was presented at the Annual Meeting of the NCCVEH, Aug. 6, 2016 in Alexandria, Va.

The IEI at Princeton was selected by the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award Committee for its consistent and on-going commitment to addressing the unmet visual needs of Chicago Public School students.

Highlighted activities included:
1. Targeting a high-risk and high-need population of children
2. Establishing a unique partnership with a public school system
3. Providing staffing and resources necessary to ensure program success
4. Utilizing the program intervention to strengthen professional education and training
5. Engaging community partners to reduce barriers, and
6. Establishing a systems-level approach that engages families and creates access to eye care

“Healthy vision plays such an important role both in and outside the classroom. By providing children and their parents with the resources they need to receive quality eye care, we can help put kids on the path to success,” said Dr. Sandra Block; Medical Director, IEI at Princeton; Professor, Illinois College of Optometry. “We thank Prevent Blindness and the NCCVEH for recognizing our work making a positive difference in the lives of our children.”

In addition, Vivian James, PhD, North Carolina Preschool Exceptional Children Coordinator for the Office of Early Learning - State Board of Education, Department of Public Instruction, was named as Honorable Mention for the Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award. She was recognized for her exceptional work in North Carolina to improve vision screening systems as they relate to public health professional training as well as special education eligibility determinations.

“Prevent Blindness congratulates Dr. Block and the IEI at Princeton, and Dr. James for their outstanding efforts to improve the vision and eye health of children in their communities,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We hope their successes will serve as a platform for other vision programs to build on and expand across the country.”

Last year’s recipient of the inaugural Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award was The Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s (PPOC) based at Boston Children’s Hospital.

For more information on the 2016 Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award, Prevent Blindness or the NCCVEH, please visit http://nationalcenter.preventblindness.org/, or contact Kira Baldonado at (800) 331-2020 or kbaldonado(at)preventblindness(dot)org.

About Prevent Blindness and its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. In 2009, Prevent Blindness established the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, with funding and leadership support from the HRSA- Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Serving as a major resource for the establishment of a public health infrastructure, the National Center advances and promotes children’s vision and eye care, providing leadership and training to public entities throughout the United States. The National Center is advised by a committee of national experts and leaders from the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics, nursing, family advocates and public health to guide the work and recommendations of the Center. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at http://www.preventblindness.org or http://www.facebook.com/preventblindness.

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