It’s amazing to know that the work we are doing today at Conexus will have a lifetime impact on a child and their family. It’s even more amazing to be reminded of that by grateful parents.
Through the good work of the Bill’s chief patron, Delegate Lee Ware, Conexus is pleased to announce HB1408 for consideration in the 2017 General Assembly. The Bill proposes changes to an existing mandate which requires vision screening in schools. The current mandate has not been addressed in over 20 years and is now significantly outdated considering the advances in technology. The proposed changes provide for unprecedented support to our school nurse partners through a funded mandate making VisioCheck available to all schools and students. To read the bill and follow its progress, click here. More to come this winter!
In August, Conexus submitted to the highly competitive Lora M. & E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant. Traditionally more than 60 non-profits submit for this once-a-year prestigious Award of up to $500,000.
The Conexus proposal to bring VisioCheck and a complimenting Mobile Vision Clinic to Richmond City schools was selected to advance to Phase 2 of a 5 step evaluation process.
Conexus has been providing VisioCheck to Richmond VPI, Head Start and or K-3 students for the last few years. 2016/2017 will be the first year Conexus will advance programming to the secondary schools – grades 7 and 10 - to help the Division fully satisfy the state mandated screening grades.
Over the years, Conexus began to see service gaps in Richmond City. While the Division as a whole refers more than 30% of their students for follow-up vision care (well above the 25% national average), Conexus was seeing very few returned referrals from the Richmond Community.
Returned referrals show us that students who have been referred for follow-up eye care are actually going to the eye doctor. Upon discovering a trend of low patient follow-up, Conexus began to explore the problem and found that only 5-7% of all Medicaid enrollees 0-18 are accessing their vision benefit, which provides for and eye exam and glasses every other year. Nearly 98% of Richmond City students are eligible for and have Medicaid.
Months of meetings, planning, and discussions lead Conexus to realize access to care was a barrier to vision services for Richmond City students. Consultation with other nationwide programs lead us to develop a self-sustainable Mobile Clinic as a follow-up component to VisioCheck.
The Robin’s Foundation would like to learn more, and our staff has been invited to make a 20 minute presentation to perhaps advance the concept.
More to come!
Just 30 days after launching the 2016/2017 screening season, Conexus has delivered VisioCheck to 10,905 students in 12 school divisions and referred 2,672 (25%) for follow-up care. Great work by the Conexus program staff, Corrine Huber and Lauren Garber, our screening technicians working under the direction of Melissa Perry, Director of Community Programs and Public Health.