June 23, 2021

ACU and the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare Partner to Improve Access to Vision Care in Underserved Communities

McLean, VA – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is pleased to announce it has received a three-year grant from the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare to expand access to vision care in underserved communities. The grant will support a multi-pronged project that includes:  (1) the creation of readiness assessment and cost calculator tools to assist safety net facilities in becoming prepared for vision service delivery; (2) the development of evidence-based practice guidelines for vision care; and (3) technical assistance to support the establishment of vision exam lanes and eyewear fulfillment capabilities in five clinics in underserved communities. In addition, the grant funding will allow ACU to continue to bring vision screening campaigns to rural and medically underserved regions of the country.

“Vision care is a vital component of total health care. Yet, these services are often unavailable for individuals and families in rural and other underserved communities,” said Craig A. Kennedy, Executive Director of ACU. “We are thankful to the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare for its investment in this critical area. ACU is committed and uniquely positioned to make access to vision care a reality for those we serve.”

ACU is a nonprofit, transdisciplinary organization of clinicians, health care organizations and health advocates that serve diverse populations. With the grant from the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare, the organization will target safety net facilities that provide care to low-income and racial and ethnic minority populations. Studies indicate that these patients are at greater risk for undiagnosed and uncorrected eye and vision disorders. In addition, by providing preventive vision services and timely treatment, the organization will focus on reducing the severity of vision impairment and improving overall health outcomes.

Kathy Bradley-Wells serves as President of the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare. She spoke about the value of collaborative partnerships saying, “Through our work with organization such as ACU, we can focus on health challenges that impact individuals who reside in underserved areas and the resiliency of our communities. We are pleased to make this investment and look forward to making high quality vision services a reality for those in need.”

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The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is a transdisciplinary membership organization of clinicians, advocates, and healthcare organizations that provide health care for the underserved. Our programs include professional education, clinical tools, advocacy, patient education, training and technical assistance. For more information, please visit our website at www.clinicians.org.

The Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare is a non-profit private foundation dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare in the United States. The Foundation serves as a resource to identify and support innovative approaches to improving and increasing the quality of and access to healthcare for low-income individuals and families. This is accomplished through an inspired philanthropic giving plan that seeks to promote efforts and activities that identify and address core causes of unequal access and treatment in healthcare.