2015 HEHP State Association Grants

January 6, 2015: Announcement and forms available
February 28, 2015: Applications must be submitted
July 31, 2015: State Associations notified

Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation and The American Optometric Association (AOA), through a generous grant from Luxottica are pleased to announce the Healthy Eyes Healthy People State Association Grants. These grants provide funding for activities which address the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Healthy People® objectives while simultaneously encouraging a more comprehensive approach to the vision and eye health care needs of America’s infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Doctors of optometry, as physician providers of essential primary vision and eye health services, should seek to use these grants to help leverage challenges and opportunities in community health to address disparities in visual health and contribute to improved overall community health status.

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What is supported? The AOA has elected to directly link HEHP grants to federally-defined Healthy People® objectives.  This year, to encourage the growth of community-based solutions to reduce vision problems and eye diseases in adults, HEHP grants will focus directly on the Healthy People® 2020 (HP 2020) vision objectives:

V-5.2: Reduce visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy
V-5.5: Reduce visual impairment due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

The AOA believes that this public health emergency in vision and eye health must be resolved and that targeted efforts and new data from carefully selected 2015 HEHP grant applicants will be helpful in steering a course of action to more fully address the vision and eye health needs of Americans.

The eyes are an important, but often overlooked, part of overall health. Despite the preventable nature of some vision impairments, many people do not receive recommended exams.  A visit to an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam can help to detect common vision problems and eye diseases.

Potential grantees should develop and clearly describe pathways to increase access to comprehensive vision and eye health care while also providing the AOA with non-identified data collected; including but not limited to patient demographics, vision /eye health diagnosis and treatment.

Grantees should be aware that despite the current efforts to provide vision care for the general public, there is considerable evidence of disparities in both the access and utilization of professional vision care. Sadly, appropriate assurance of access to timely comprehensive vision care services by a professional eye care provider is often being sidetracked by vision screenings that produce an inordinate number of “false negatives” and /or symptomatic  patients simply not being referred to professional eye care services directly.  Healthy vision is an essential part of everyday life, influencing how Americans of all ages learn, communicate, work, play, and interact with the world. Yet millions of Americans live with visual impairment, and many more remain at risk for eye disease.

To be responsive to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), applicants should address the following objective(s):

V-5.2: Reduce visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy
V-5.5: Reduce visual impairment due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Who may apply? All state optometric associations. Collaborations, which indicate broad-based sponsorship with other state health associations and/or public agencies, are required. These letters of support for collaboration must accompany all grant application forms. Faculty from schools and colleges of optometry may apply through their state optometric association.

How much? An award is worth up to $5,000. The AOA Foundation’s Community Grants Committee will score the proposals and make funding decisions.

What is the intent of these grants? The Healthy Eyes Healthy People® Grant Program is intended to stimulate community initiatives in health promotion and disease prevention that address the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Healthy People® objectives while simultaneously encouraging a more comprehensive approach to the vision and eye health care needs of America’s infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors. The AOA recognizes the importance of strengthening the outreach of community-based organizations by providing “seed money” to begin or continue these vision and eye health-related projects.

What is Healthy Eyes Healthy People® (HEHP)? Healthy Eyes Healthy People® is an initiative by the American Optometric Association, administered by Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation, to improve the vision and health of all Americans. The goal of HEHP is for optometrists to change community health programs so that vision services are recognized as vital to the health care system and to improving the qualify of life for all Americans. The programs activities seek alignment with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Healthy People® objectives while simultaneously encouraging a more comprehensive approach to the vision and eye health care needs of America’s infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

This goal could be accomplished by partnering with key stakeholders to develop collaborative health promotion and disease prevention projects at the state and local community level. HEHP National Eye Institute resource materials may be helpful as well as those of the American Optometric Association (AOA) in determining vision and eye health needs of your community. HEHP encourages working with health care decision makers at the national, state and local levels.

How do I apply? The online application form must be submitted by February 28, 2015. In addition to the completed application form, letters of support and a letter of approval from the State Optometric Association are required. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

How will my application be reviewed? Applications will be evaluated according to these criteria:

(1) Project Approach and Activities (40 points): a statement of how your project relates to the Healthy Vision objectives, a summary of your project’s key elements, a clear description of the target audience or population to be served, state who will be responsible for carrying out each phase of the project with a specific timetable;

(2) Project Effectiveness (20 points): a description of how you will document project activities and measure your success, such as news coverage or number of participants;

(3) Project Director/ Organizational Capabilities/Collaborations (20 points): a description of activities which demonstrate your commitment to conduct the proposed, work and a brief discussion of the skills and experience of your proposed project director; and

(4) Budget (20 points): a listing of the line items for the award amount you are requesting, along with a brief justification. A description of in-kind matching of funds is encouraged. Please indicate the resources available to your association for matching (for example, personnel and labor hours, facilities, other equipment) in the budget justification. Funds can be allocated for case or project managers.

What is not supported with HEHP grant funds? Funding is not available for:

– Continuing education courses for optometrists.
– Research projects.
– Fund raising.
– Direct grants to individuals.
– Commercial (for-profit) enterprises or activities.
– Cash reserves and endowments.
– Underwriting of ongoing costs construction, purchase, or renovation of facilities.
– Subgranting or regranting.
– Promoting religious activity, lobbying, or political support.
– Any activity that violates local, State, or Federal laws.

Where do I submit my application? You must submit your application electronically with letters of support and approval from the state optometric association no later than February 28, 2015. For additional information, contact the AOA Foundation at Foundation@aoa.org.


Your investment will ensure that The AOA Foundation continues to provide immediate relief to those in need in the wake of natural disasters, vision care to needy Americans, scholarships for optometry students, preservation of optometry’s history and public education about the need for a lifetime of vision care.

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