Outreach Activities

Department of Ophthalmology
School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Eye Care Quality and Accessibility Improvement in the Community (Project EQUALITY)
Songs for Sight Youth Low Vision Support Group
UAB Connections Support Groups for Adults with Vision Impairment and Their Families
Orientation and Mobility Services (O&M)
InCHARGE eye health education program for seniors through Area Agencies on Aging in Alabama
Jefferson Health System Eye Clinic, serving the indigent of Jefferson County, Alabama
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Emergency Department
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital’s charitable services
INSIGHT network’s telemedicine-based diabetic retinopathy screening program for patients with diabetes in the Jefferson Health Clinic
Telemedicine-based diabetic retinopathy screening program for diabetic patients in Kirklin’s Endocrinology Clinics



Eye Care Quality and Accessibility Improvement in the Community (Project EQUALITY)
This is a demonstration program combining primary comprehensive eye care in community eye clinics at Wal-Mart Vision Centers with a telemedicine component based at UAB to improve the detection and follow-up of glaucoma in patients who are high-risk for this disease.  The program is designed to improve the quality, efficiency, and convenience of eye care.
(Supported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama)
For more information contact Demond Wiley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Songs for Sight Youth Low Vision Support Group 
This is a peer support group for children with vision impairment and their families.  Childhood vision impairment is a rare condition and often children with vision impairment have never met another child with similar challenges.  The Songs for Sight Youth Low Vision Support Group provides the opportunity for children and parents to know that they are not alone and to share their knowledge and experiences. The group meets at least three times per year for 1-day or weekend retreats.  All events have educational, peer support and recreational components.  The group is sponsored through the Songs For Sight benefit concerts and participation is free. 
 
UAB Connections Support Groups for Adults with Vision Impairment and Their Families 
UAB Connections is a health education program consisting of a combination of educational, social, recreational/leisure, and physical activities. The goal of the curriculum is to share eye health knowledge and research, improve coping skills and quality of life, and to maximize independence within the context of peer support. Trained health educators facilitate the groups on a regular basis. Groups consist of persons with varying eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, stroke, and eye injuries and their families. 
(Supported by the Eyesight Foundation of Alabama)
For more information, please contact Dr. Laura E. Dreer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Orientation and Mobility Services (O&M)
Many people living with vision impairment have difficulty navigating physical and social environments.  They may be unable to anticipate and exercise control over potentially hazardous situations.  The skills needed to move safely and confidently through an environment are developed through instruction in Orientation and Mobility (O&M).  These skills sometimes incorporate the use of a white cane, although not all patients require a white cane.  This service is provided by Master’s level trained orientation and mobility instructors and is not covered by any form of health insurance. O&M training is provided free of charge to those referred by a provider in the UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation.
(Supported by the Songs for Sight Benefit Concerts)


InCHARGE eye health education program for seniors through Area Agencies on Aging in Alabama
InCHARGE© (In Communities Helping African Americans Receive General Eye Care) is an eye health education program targeted for older African Americans.  It promotes annual dilated eye examination by educating about the importance of routine preventive care and communicating strategies for removing the perceived barriers to eye care.  Trained health educators deliver the program to small groups of seniors in community settings.
(Supported by the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama and Central Alabama Community Foundation)
For more information contact Dr. Cynthia Owsley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jefferson Health System Eye Clinic, serving the indigent of Jefferson County, Alabama
Jefferson Health System Eye Clinic operated by Jefferson County, Alabama and provides outpatient and urgent care services to the citizens of Jefferson County, regardless of ability to pay.  The UAB Department of Ophthalmology has log partnered with the county to provide eye care services to uninsured patients.  With the transition in 2013 to a fully outpatient delivery model, this partnership continues and in fact has strengthened, given ophthalmology’s focus on outpatient care.
(Supported by Jefferson County, Alabama)
For more information contact Dr. Russell Read at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Emergency Department 
Our Emergency Department (ED) is the only dedicated eye ED in the state and one of only a few in the country.  We treat patients from throughout the state and region with traumatic and non-traumatic eye emergencies on a 24/7 basis.

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital’s charitable services 
Since 1977, the Lions Eye Clinic is an important department of the hospital that fulfills our mission of providing vision care services to the medically underserved and indigent communities.  The clinic is a key site for education and provides our residents with exposure to a highly diverse population of patients that is an integral part of their clinical experience.  Through this same mission, the hospital is the only eye hospital for the uninsured or underinsured patients needing surgical care for eye disease and trauma. 
(Supported by the Callahan Eye Hospital, UAB Health System)
For more information contact Brian Spraberry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

INSIGHT network’s telemedicine-based diabetic retinopathy screening program for patients with diabetes in the Jefferson Health Clinic
The Jefferson Health Clinic is a county-operated health service that cares for uninsured patients residing in Jefferson County.  Our program is screening adult patients with diabetes seen in the Internal Medicine Clinic for diabetic retinopathy using a non-mydriatic camera (meaning no dilating drops are needed).  Through telemedicine, images are read by fellowship trained retina specialists in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology with results and eye care recommendations sent back to the primary care physician.
(Supported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)
For more information contact Dr. Owsley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telemedicine-based diabetic retinopathy screening program for diabetic patients in Kirklin’s Endocrinology Clinics
Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of new cases of blindness in the adult working-age population.  Early treatment of diabetic retinopathy complications is highly effective and is one of the most cost effective treatments in all of medicine.  An aging population and an independently increasing incidence of diabetes is expected to lead to a doubling of diabetic retinopathy patients in Alabama, by the next decade.  Existing medical manpower levels however, are inadequate even now, to monitor the diabetic population, according to current recommendations, let alone, if diabetic retinopathy increases as expected in the future.  To address this concern, the UAB Department of Ophthalmology and the Department of Endocrinology have developed a telemedicine monitoring program, designed to effectively monitor large numbers of diabetic patients for complications of diabetic retinopathy.  Standardized, digital retinal fundus photographs are taken in the Endocrinology Clinic and are delivered electronically to retinal specialists in the Department of Ophthalmology where they are interpreted.  The digital fundus photographs are evaluated using a standardized scoring system and an interpretation is returned electronically to Endocrinology Department physicians along with recommendations for follow-up retinal evaluation, as indicated.
For more information contact Myra Rivers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.