NCCVEH at Prevent Blindness Awards Sixth Annual Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award

CHICAGO—The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) has announced that the recipient of the sixth annual Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award is Logan Newman, NBCT, ABO, MS Ed. Newman is program developer and NYS-certified science teacher and career in technical experience teacher at the East High School Vision Care Program in Rochester, New York. Newman’s award will be presented at the NCCVEH Annual Meeting, held virtually this year, on Aug. 18, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. ET. Newman is a former U.S. Navy medic with training as an optician. In a release, Prevent Blindness said he was, “selected by the all-volunteer Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award Committee in recognition of his innovative, educational and vocational approach to vision and eyecare for disadvantaged and underserved youth in Rochester, New York.”

Under Newman’s direction, local volunteer ECPs perform refractive exams in the Rochester city schools for students who do not pass their school-based vision training. Newman, along with his team of student opticians, have provided over 100 clinics for eyeglasses, including eyeglass selection, fitting and dispensing, throughout the Rochester city schools. Prescription glasses are provided free of charge and, to date, more than 5,000 pairs have been made for RCSD students.

Additionally, Newman created this program to teach high school students the skills required to make eyeglasses and work as student opticians at the Vision Care school clinics over the course of three years. The program works as follows:

- Year 1 is a fabrication course where the students learn how to make glasses and use the tools needed to manufacture the glasses.

- Year 2 is a dispensing course where students work with patients and doctors and learn patient skills as they dispense glasses in a team setting.

- Year 3 is a leadership course where students learn to manage the clinics and assist the school nurse as they perform visual acuities for RCSD students.

Then, the students in the program collect college credits toward an optician degree at Erie Community College in Williamsville, New York.

Newman said, “Being an educator myself, I know the tremendous impact that healthy eyesight can have on a student’s ability to perform well in the classroom. I created the East High Vision Care Program not only to help provide eyecare services and glasses to those who need it most, but to put the next generation of eyecare providers on the right path to help others see clearly in the future.”

Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness said, “Prevent Blindness congratulates Mr. Logan Newman on this outstanding program that provides much-needed eyecare services to students, while also creating opportunities for our future sight-savers through skills and leadership training. The East High Vision Care Program is a shining example of the positive outcomes that are possible when local eye doctors, educators, and schools collaborate.”

The Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award recognizes significant efforts by an individual or group of individuals to improve public health approaches for children’s vision and eye health at the state or national level. This award was established in 2014 by the Advisory Committee of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness to commemorate Bonnie Strickland and her work to establish a comprehensive system for children’s vision in the U.S. Past recipients include Anne L. Coleman, MD, MPH, UCLA Stein Eye Institute, for her efforts to improve children’s vision through stakeholder engagement, resource development, and services to high-risk populations of children, specifically through her work at the UCLA Mobile Eye Clinic (UMEC). Additional past recipients include the Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study Group, Richard Bunner, retired from the Ohio Department of Health; Sean P. Donahue, MD, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt University; the Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) at Princeton Vision Clinic; and the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s (PPOC).