This feasibility study was a self-initiated evaluation request. The NEI has supported the VISION Public Information Network (Network) for a 10 year-period and it appears to be an appropriate time to confirm its value to the NEI and its grantee institutions. The National Eye Institute (NEI) coordinates the Network for Eye Institutes and departments of ophthalmology and schools and colleges of optometry. Network members appoint a Public Information Officer to work with NEI and the Network to develop an ongoing program to inform and educate the public about the benefits of vision research. A review of the Network’s various reports and activities was undertaken, but limited to the following: the Network’s participation in the dissemination of clinical trial study results to the media, the amount of media coverage generated, the annual business meeting, survey reports from the Network membership, and website activity. Also, input from representatives of the numerous stakeholders had to be obtained.
These stakeholders included, but were not limited to the following: Network Members, Deans and Presidents of the Schools and Colleges of Optometry, and the Chairs of the Departments of Ophthalmology, Directors of Public Affairs Offices at NEI grantee institutions, NEI senior administrative staff, and Principal Investigators at NEI grantee institutions. In addition, a search for comparable programs within the Federal and state governments as well as in the private sector needed to be undertaken. Evaluation results were reviewed to determine whether an outcome or process evaluation is needed. This study will help in the design of a process and/or outcome evaluation to assess the programs operation and/or to assess the programs effects.
PIC ID: 8192; Agency Sponsor: NIH-NEI, National Eye Institute; Federal Contact: Horrigan, Jean, 301- 496-5248; Performer: GYMR Public Relations, Washington, DC