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CooperVision Launches Innovative Myopia Program with US Optometry Schools

The aim is to provide long-term myopia management for underserved children.

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NECO Event, (L to R) Dr. Justin Kwan, CooperVision; Dr. Steve Rosinski, CooperVision; Michael Curry, Health Equity Compact; Dr. Michele Andrews, CooperVision; Rep. Christine Barber, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Dr. Gary Chu, New England College of Optometry; Dr. Felicia Timmermann, CooperVision
NECO Event, (L to R) Dr. Justin Kwan, CooperVision; Dr. Steve Rosinski, CooperVision; Michael Curry, Health Equity Compact; Dr. Michele Andrews, CooperVision; Rep. Christine Barber, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Dr. Gary Chu, New England College of Optometry; Dr. Felicia Timmermann, CooperVision

(PRESS RELEASE) SAN RAMON, CA — CooperVision has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative that will bridge myopia management access disparities among under-resourced children in the U. S. The global eye care leader is partnering with three of the nation’s top optometry schools to offer extended myopia treatment for a pilot group beginning in 2024. The program kicked off with inaugural activities in Boston and Chicago.

“All children deserve accessible, quality eye care to protect their future eye health. We are leading the conversation to identify long-term solutions to overcome access inequity for kids with myopia,” said Michele Andrews, OD, Vice President, Professional & Government Affairs, Americas, CooperVision. “Hand-in-hand with several academic partners who share our vision, this initiative represents a major advancement in addressing the childhood myopia epidemic.”

CooperVision will initially partner with optometry school faculty, residents, and students to identify and treat children in need, as well as engage other multidisciplinary community partners. The program structure is designed for scalability, potentially allowing more schools to participate over time.

In metropolitan Boston and central Massachusetts, the New England College of Optometry (NECO) and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) will elevate myopia management within their affiliated community health clinics. “This program will provide vital access to myopia management for children across the region who would otherwise be left out due to access and cost. This gift will ensure improved vision for learning and health outcomes in the years ahead,” said Howard Purcell, OD, president of NECO. “Forward-thinking, collaborative initiatives like this are critical to fight back against myopia’s pervasiveness, starting in our own neighborhoods,” said Greg Waldorf, OD, MPH, Associate Dean of Clinical Programs at MCPHS.

The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), through its Illinois Eye Institute, will use the program to expand upon its rich history of care with Chicago Public Schools. “If we can collectively determine how to make myopia management accessible to more children, so many lives will be made better for decades—a heroic undertaking with immeasurable impact,” said Mark Colip, OD, president of ICO.

In its initial phase, the program is offering MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses and Paragon CRT orthokeratology† contact lenses at no cost for as long as participating children require myopia management. MiSight 1 day is the first and only soft contact lens approved by the FDA* to both correct vision and slow the progression of myopia in children aged 8-12 at the initiation of treatment.

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Ongoing assessments will be conducted throughout the year to monitor the initiative’s performance and to support its continual improvement, facilitating the expansion of engagement aimed at long-term access solutions. CooperVision also plans to work with researchers from each school to aggregate and analyze relevant data supporting the program goals.

“Beyond the direct benefit to children and families who participate, this initiative presents optometry students—the next generation of clinicians who will be at the leading edge of addressing the myopia epidemic—the chance to provide essential care within their communities. For more than a decade, CooperVision has shared that effectively combatting myopia will be a long-term effort involving a wide range of contributors. Today, we are taking one more step in that direction,” said Dr. Andrews.

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