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November 28, 2018

UHS has received a three-year, $139,000 grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to bring new diabetic vision screening capabilities to UHS' primary care centers.

Funding for the screening equipment comes from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield's Member and Community Health Improvement Program.

A demonstration of the new retinopathy equipment was held at UHS Vestal with representatives of the UHS Diabetes and Endocrinology Center and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

“The use of this equipment for screening is a major advance, because early detection and treatment can prevent vision loss," said UHS diabetes specialist Olayinka Wilhelm, MD.  "Patients can slow or prevent the development of eye disease by having eye exams at least once a year, in addition to keeping their blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol under control."

According to Jessica Renner, Regional President of Excellus BueCross BlueShield, "Providing access to high-quality healthcare for people who need it is core to our mission as a nonprofit health plan.  We chose to partner with UHS because it is an organization that shares our commitment to improving the health of residents in our community."

Diabetic eye diseases include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.  Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in individuals with diabetes, but often symptoms aren't obvious in the early stages of the eye condition. 
Diabetes affects millions of people nationally and is estimated to affect over 25,000 people in Broome County.

The UHS Diabetes and Endocrinology Center is your home for diabetes support and education.  The experienced team at the center strives to help you lead a healthy life with diabetes.  For more information go to https://www.nyuhs.org/care-treatment/diabetes.

UHS is the Southern Tier's largest and most comprehensive provider of healthcare services. 

Watch the press conference and live demonstration below