Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) is undergoing a strategic review to redefine its approach to the early detection of preventable blindness.
Described as “the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our organisation”, the Centre will target services to assist patients with the highest clinical need in our most vulnerable communities.
Building on the successes of Centre for Eye Health, our work with eye healthcare services will play a critical role in addressing the growing burden of chronic, co-morbid eye disease and burgeoning healthcare costs
CFEH was established through a joint initiative between Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and UNSW Sydney in 2008, with the aim of reducing preventable blindness through the early detection of eye disease.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Chief Executive, Dale Cleaver said, “The future model will better align with the purpose of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, which is to see beyond low vision, find ways to support independence, look for solutions to make big differences and create connected communities.
“We are excited to continue the positive impact we have for our most vulnerable clients in the early detection space and to leverage the expertise of the Centre for Eye Health to focus on innovation and stakeholder relationships, ensuring positive outcomes across our communities,” he said.
Under the new model, the Centre will work closely with UNSW Medicine and Health, and the School of Optometry and Vision Science.
“At UNSW Medicine & Health, and School of Optometry and Vision Science, we are working with health services and agencies to ensure discoveries made at UNSW translate rapidly into improved health care,” said Professor Lisa Keay, Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science.
“Our partnership with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT via Centre for Eye Health is an ideal test bed for innovations in prevention of vision loss and bridging gaps between medical care and rehabilitation services.
“Building on the successes of Centre for Eye Health, our work with eye healthcare services will play a critical role in addressing the growing burden of chronic, co-morbid eye disease and burgeoning healthcare costs by identifying affordable models of care, and implementing innovative approaches to preventing, treating and managing eye disease,” she said.
As Australia’s first eye care facility to offer advanced eye imaging and visual system diagnostic services at no charge to the patient or referring professional, the Centre currently provides clinical services to over 13,000 patients each year across multiple locations.
In addition to collaborating with community optometrists, ophthalmologists and local area health districts to achieve impressive patient outcomes, the Centre has achieved international recognition through invitations to speak at national and international conferences and produced hundreds of research papers with global impact. It has also delivered undergraduate and postgraduate education with UNSW and developed and distributed educational resources to community optometrists around the world.
Founding director Professor Michael Kalloniatis, who led the Centre’s evolution and success, recently stepped down from this role. He will continue his research and to support his students at UNSW.
Both Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and UNSW are committed to ensuring the expertise developed at Centre for Eye Health over the past 12 years continues to grow and have a positive impact on both patients and industry.
A project group called Horizon, which includes members from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, UNSW and Centre for Eye Health, has been established. Horizon will map the future strategy of our Centre to ensure it aligns with the mission of both Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and UNSW.
“With the ever-growing demand in the early detection space, we are excited to continue the innovation of our services to ensure maximum impact across communities with the greatest need. This will be achieved by exploring new joint initiatives, and providing agility in this space,” said Sarah Holland, Executive Manager of Centre for Eye Health and member of Horizon.
More information will follow.