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!