Dr. Sarah Hinkley, a Ferris State University associate professor and chief of Vision Rehabilitation Services in the university’s Michigan College of Optometry, was awarded a $2,000 2013 Fredric Rosemore Low Vision Grant.
Hinkley applied for the grant to help fund her “Interprofessional Collaboration in Vision Rehabilitation for Student Education and Patient Care” project. The venture focuses on the University Eye Center’s collaboration with the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This collaborative effort assists the rehabilitation of patients with vision impairment and blindness and the team approach allows for more comprehensive patient care. Additionally, the team provides the needed home and occupational modifications, orientation and mobility training, and other ABVI/MCO resources. The grant will help keep the partnership, one already in place for a year, financially viable.
Hinkley noted that MCO students benefit from this collaborative relationship. She said that the students are learning through hands-on clinical experience. Students better understand the benefits of a collaborative approach for patient care and what it means to be part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team.
“My students and I learn from ABVI staff and they learn from us during every patient encounter,” Hinkley said. “In addition, my students and I go along on home visits so that we can see how the rehabilitation process and devices are actually working for the patient in their own environment which can be much different than in the exam room.”
The Fredric Rosemore Low Vision Grant is provided by the American Optometric Foundation. It awards $2,000 grants to optometry faculty and their respective institutions for projects that will increase interest and reward excellence in the low vision field. The grants enable the institutions to offer care, support personnel, student education or equipment directly related to this field.
In addition to Hinkley, Dr. Marsha S. Snow, of the University of Alabama’s School of Optometry, was awarded a $2,000 grant for “A High-Tech Visual Impairment Demonstration Class for Optometry Residents and Students.”