June 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

The Maryland Society for Sight provided follow-up eye care and treatment for people who were homeless, indigent and uninsured and who had been originally identified through the organization's vision screening programs.

The society is a non-profit organization that works to prevent blindness and preserve sight for Marylanders.

Key Results

  • The organization identified 57 individuals who needed follow-up eye care after their initial screening, but who were unable to afford the care.
  • Patients with limited resources or public insurance coverage were referred to physicians with whom the project negotiated a reduced rate for care. For those ineligible for medical coverage and without resources, the project used grant funds to pay for care at a reduced rate.
  • The most common types of care provided to patients were eye examinations and eyeglasses, cataract surgery and glaucoma exams.
  • As of January 2003, none of the 57 patients treated had lost their sight, according to the project director.

The organization continues to provide vision screening through its Adult Vision Screening Program and Eye Care for the Homeless Program. Additional information can be accessed on the Maryland Society for Sight Web site.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project from August 2001 to February 2003 with a grant of $49,972.

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THE PROBLEM

Although 50 percent of all blindness is preventable, approximately 47,000 Americans lose their sight each year, according to the Maryland Society for Sight (formerly known as the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Blindness). In Baltimore, 30 percent of the people seen at the organization's vision screening programs are in need of follow-up eye care, often for serious eye conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and traumatic injuries. Many of these individuals, however, do not have the financial resources or insurance coverage for the care.

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THE PROJECT

This project focused on providing follow-up treatment for people diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts during screenings conducted as part of the organization's Adult Vision Screening Program and its Eye Care for the Homeless Program. The organization identified 57 individuals who needed follow-up eye care after their initial screening, but who were unable to afford the care.

Patients with limited resources or public insurance coverage were referred to physicians with whom the project negotiated a reduced rate for care. For those ineligible for medical coverage and without resources, the project used grant funds to pay for care at a reduced rate. The most common types of care provided to patients were eye examinations and eyeglasses, cataract surgery and glaucoma exams. As of January 2003, none of the 57 patients treated had lost their sight, according to the project director.

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AFTER THE GRANT

The organization continues to provide vision screening through its Adult Vision Screening Program and Eye Care for the Homeless Program. Additional information can be accessed on the Maryland Society for Sight Web site.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Providing Vision Treatment and Care for the Homeless, Indigent, and Uninsured

Grantee

Maryland Society for Sight (Baltimore,  MD)

  • Amount: $ 49,972
    Dates: August 2001 to February 2003
    ID#:  042403

Contact

Kathleen M. Curtin
(410) 243-2020
kathycurtin@yahoo.com

Web Site

http://www.mdsocietyforsight.org

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Report prepared by: Linda Bernstein Jasper
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Terry Bazzarre

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