The CDC’s Vision Health Initiative (VHI) has joined with others committed to vision health to create a more effective multilevel network for vision loss prevention and eye health promotion. VHI has the unique role of collaborating with state and national partners, to strengthen science and develop interventions to improve eye health, reduce vision loss and blindness, and promote the health of people with vision loss.
The CDC VHI, a group in the Division of Diabetes Translation, is designed to promote vision health and quality of life for all populations, throughout all life stages, by preventing and controlling eye disease, eye injury, and vision loss resulting in disability.
VHI’s goals are to:
- Promote eye health and prevent vision loss.
- Improve the health and lives of people with vision loss by preventing complications, disabilities, and burden.
- Reduce vision and eye health related disparities.
- Integrate vision health with other public health strategies.
Public Health Approach
Translating public health strategies to vision problems.
- To assess and monitor the burden of vision impairment and blindness. The VHI develops and refines vision surveillance at the state and national level and helps states develop their capacity to implement effective state-based surveillance systems.
- To build capacity for conducting epidemiologic, behavioral, and health services research related to vision loss at all life stages and translate scientific evidence into public health practice, health policy, and health promotion strategies.
- To identify, prioritize, and disseminate evidence-based, efficient, and cost-effective public health interventions to improve quality of life, increase access to needed eye care, and reduce health disparities among people with or at high risk for vision loss.
- To leverage resources, facilitate strategic partnerships and provide technical assistance to national, state and community based partners to preserve, protect, and enhance vision health.
- To integrate appropriate and effective vision health activities into existing state and community public health programs.
Future vision and eye health initiatives must incorporate innovative, comprehensive and multidisciplinary approaches that ensure positioning eye health within any healthy lifestyle intervention. We must address eye health disparity and we must evaluate measurable impacts and use the finite resources wisely.
Working with its partners, CDC aims to expand surveillance activities, programs and interventions nationwide to improve the care for people with or at risk for vision loss. CDC is also working to develop an integration model at the state level to address vision and eye disease problems