Creating a new vision to solve poor academic performance


Studies show a strong link between poor vision and poor performance in school. An estimated 25 percent of school-aged children and youth in the U.S. need glasses to read the blackboard.


The Fund secured a two-year grant to evaluate whether a vendor-based vision-care model is sustainable and more cost-effective than the City’s current one, which requires NYC Health Department staff to perform all vision screening and eye exams and provide eyeglasses without insurance reimbursement. The pilot targets 11,000 seventh and tenth grade students in 104 historically low-performing schools during the 2016-2017 school year. While Health Department staff will perform the screening services, a contracted vendor will conduct the eye exams and provide glasses to the students who fail the screening test. About 50 percent of the students in the targeted schools have Medicaid coverage, and the contracted vendor will receive reimbursement from Medicaid for eye exams and glasses, when applicable. Funds from the grant will reimburse the vendor for exams and glasses provided to students ineligible for Medicaid.


If proven successful, this program model has the potential to be adopted citywide to cover the majority of NYC middle and high school students at multiple grade levels, with revenue from reimbursements and modest financial support from the NYC Health Department.


The Fund invites businesses, philanthropic organizations, and individuals to join us in making a significant impact on the health of all New Yorkers. Please contact our development team to learn about opportunities for supporting our work.