Vision for Baltimore: The impact of school-based eye care on student academic performance

Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
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Vision for Baltimore:
The impact of school-based eye care on student academic performance

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Megan Collins, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute

Amanda Neitzel, PhD
Johns Hopkins School of Education

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness Invites You to Join Us for an “Ask the Author” Webinar.

A vision disorder can develop at any age during childhood or adolescence that can negatively impact learning. When vision disorders are identified and treated early, a child’s health and education benefits. Children whose vision problems remain undiagnosed and untreated, or who do not follow the eye doctor’s prescribed monitoring or treatment suggestions, may struggle in school, making learning and teaching challenging. This presentation will describe program implementation (including partnerships and lessons learned), as well as research findings about the prevalence of uncorrected vision disorders and the impact school-based eye care has had on student academic performance.

Webinar Objectives

  • To describe the importance of good vision to learning
  • To describe research findings about vision impact and academic performance from the Vision for Baltimore program
  • To describe program implementation and the role of school and community engagement in building a school-based vision program and reducing barriers to eye care and treatment

Vision for Baltimore provides vision screenings, eye exams, and eyeglasses to students in PreK through 8th grade in all Baltimore City Public Schools. Since the program began in 2016, the program has screened more than 64,000 students, provided eye exams to 10,000 students, and distributed 8,000+ pairs of eyeglasses to students. Dr. Megan Collins and Dr. Amanda Neitzel, from The Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute and School of Education, have led research projects investigating the impact of school-based vision care on access to pediatric eye care, vision, and academic performance

Presenter Bios

Amanda Neitzel, PhD, is Deputy Director of Evidence Research at the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at The Johns Hopkins School of Education. Dr. Neitzel has expertise on school-based health interventions, literacy, and research synthesis. While at the CRRE, Dr. Neitzel has worked on evaluations of school-based vision programs with an emphasis on issues of implementation. She has also conducted multiple systematic reviews, including reviews of elementary literacy and educational programs for struggling readers. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Amanda was an elementary school teacher in a traditional public school and also served in the Peace Corps.

Megan E. Collins, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute and Affiliate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Collins specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus. Dr. Collins received her medical degree from the University of Chicago, where she also completed a fellowship in clinical medical ethics. After an internship in internal medicine at the University of Maryland, Dr. Collins returned to the University of Chicago for her residency in ophthalmology, followed by a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus at the University of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.  ​Since becoming a faculty member at Wilmer, she has focused on researching barriers in access to eye care, epidemiology of pediatric eye disease, and the impact of refractive error on academic performance. Dr. Collins currently leads Hopkins’ activities for Vision for Baltimore, a collaborative school-based vision program providing vision screening, eye exams, and eyeglasses to every child PreK through8th grade in Baltimore City Public Schools. She is one of the co-founders of the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions.