There are over 375,000 children living in Missouri who are under the age of 5. With as much as 80 percent of learning occurring through the eyes, organizations across Missouri and the country strive to prevent vision problems in young children to help them succeed in school.
KidSight and the Delta Gamma Center for Visual Impairments partnered to host a Missouri Vision Professional Conference on June 28, 2016 at the Delta Gamma Center in St. Louis as a professional development and networking opportunity for organizations working to prevent the heartbreak of vision loss in children.
“This year, the NAVP (National Association of Vision Professionals) conference was cancelled and I came up with the idea to have a Missouri Vision Professional Conference in St. Louis and to reach out across the state to anyone working in the field of vision and children,” said Tamara Oberbeck, vision screening program manager for KidSight.
The goal of the conference was to gain a better understanding of the function and work of agencies in Missouri that strive to prevent vision problems. Lectures at the one day conference at the Delta Gamma Center focused on the best vision screening practices as defined by AAPOS (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus), eye problems in children such as refractive errors, and ways to improve communication with other vision care programs.
Guest speaker and ophthalmologist Michael Korenfeld, MD, gave a presentation on what to look for when screening and how to recognize abnormalities of the eye such as pink eye, sties, chalazions, pupil abnormalities, iritis and uveitis.
“The group was amazing – everyone is so passionate and focused on children’s vision,” said Oberbeck. “We learn so much from each other and it’s important to support one another in what we do.”