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Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit: A Community Health Worker Program to Prevent Vision Loss and Blindness Among People With Diabetes

Ammary-Risch, Neyal J. MPH, MCHES; Aguilar, Marcela MHS; Goodman, Laura Saunders MPH, RD; Quiroz, Leslie MA

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3182464fc0
Lay Health Promoters/Community Health Workers

Diabetic eye disease is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States and disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos. This article provides an overview of the Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit, a culturally and linguistically appropriate resource designed for community health workers to educate people with diabetes about eye health complications. The toolkit provides science-based, easy-to-understand information that can be used to conduct interactive, educational sessions about diabetes and eye health, the importance of comprehensive dilated eye examinations at least once a year for people with diabetes, and other ways to prevent vision loss and blindness.

National Eye Health Education Program, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (Ms Ammary-Risch), and ICF International, Rockville (Mss Aguilar, Goodman, and Quiroz), Maryland.

Correspondence: Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES, National Eye Health Education Program, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2020 Vision Place, Bethesda, MD 20892 (ammaryn@nei.nih.gov).

The National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) thanks the following organizations for their contributions to the development and assessment of the Diabetes and Healthy Eyes Toolkit: The Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; the NEHEP Diabetic Eye Disease Subcommittee; and the community health workers who tested the toolkit in the field and provided invaluable feedback.

The program described in this article was developed by the National Eye Health Education Program, an education program of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.