The partnership addresses a major gap in delivering resources for patients with vision impairment or blindness, including a new focus on mental health care delivery.
Prevent Blindness and Lumata Health are partnering on various initiatives to address barriers to care for patients, including a strong focus on mental health resources. This partnership will empower Lumata’s team of care coordinators to connect their low vision patients with various resources in any given geographical area.
Over 7 million Americans live with vision loss, including 1 million Americans who are blind. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults with vision loss experience anxiety or depression, and younger adults with vision loss have nearly a 5 times greater risk of serious anxiety or depression. With another 93 million US adults at risk for severe vision loss, these numbers could rise.
To kick off the partnership, the organizations are collaborating on a training program for Lumata’s certified eye care coordinators. This program will be focusing on capacity building around mental health resources, as well as support for individuals experiencing vision loss and blindness. The first training program will take place in the spring of 2023.
Through ongoing education and addressing barriers to care, Lumata’s care coordinators work directly with patients to ensure they can follow their doctor’s care plan.
“Our care coordinators are in frequent contact with patients experiencing vision loss, where they coordinate transportation, provide educational resources, and assist with refilling medications. When it comes to supporting mental health needs as patients lose their eyesight and often increasingly isolate themselves or lose elements of their daily routine, providing impactful resources is not one-size-fits-all,” said Landon Grace, CEO and co-founder at Lumata Health.
“Through our aligned missions to prevent blindness and preserve sight, we will collaborate on numerous initiatives to address gaps in health care delivery, not least of which is providing mental health resources to individuals with chronic eye diseases.”
Founded over 100 years ago, Prevent Blindness' national office and 6 state affiliates advocate and engage millions of people each year to promote eye health and vision preservation through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs, and research.
Prevent Blindness was first introduced to Lumata when one of their care coordinators participated in the Prevent Blindness ASPECT program, an advocacy training program for individuals who are visually impaired and their allies.
“We immediately saw parallels in our missions and upon learning more, were impressed by their wrap-around service model to tackle key barriers to care for patients at risk of losing their vision,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.
“There was immediate enthusiasm to move the needle to effectively drive change addressing mental health for patients experiencing vision loss. We’re excited to roll out this first training program and continue to expand resources from there.”
Lumata Health currently serves thousands of people suffering from vision-threatening chronic eye conditions through partnerships with ophthalmology clinics and health systems. Data shows patients supported by Lumata Health’s intelligent eye care management platform, which incorporates clinical and psychosocial elements to empower people to manage their chronic condition throughout their care journey, miss an average of 30% fewer appointments.