Improving Access to Eye Care for Veterans


Faculty/Clinicians/Staff: Amy Cohn, Cliff Guyton, April Maa
Students: Kate Burns, Dima Chaar, Michelle Chen, Jordan Goodman, Malcolm Hudson, Jiaqi Lei, Matthew Levenson, James McAuliffe, Justin Rogers, Muhammed Ugur, Adam VanDeusen, Carolyn Wu

Project Contact: [email protected]

Project Synopsis:

Access to preventive eye care is critical in preventing blindness from chronic eye disease, especially for higher-risk patient populations, including veterans. The Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system has implemented the Technology-based Eye Care Services (TECS) program to improve access by offering chronic eye disease screening performed by ophthalmic technicians. The Eye Access project aims to help the VA evaluate how to locate different types of providers throughout a region so that veterans can access eye care screenings at clinics that are geographically near them. This project is a collaboration with the Dr. April Maa, an ophthalmologist with the VA in Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 7, based in Georgia.

We have developed facility location models that assist VA leaders in understanding which clinic locations should offer eye disease screening, what provider type(s) should staff each location, and which patients should be screened each location. We solve these models using mixed-integer programming and consider several objectives, including screening the most patients possible or minimizing cost, subject to a set of constraints. These models can help the VA understand how to organize eye care providers throughout a region, allowing more veterans to access preventive eye care.

Papers, Posters, & Presentations: