Reducing Health Disparities among VIPs - Addressing Health, Aging and Vision in North Worcester County

This project will engage the many Visually Impaired People VIPs and their caretakers in North Worcester County, specifically those residing in the Fitchburg and Leominster areas. We have a presence in the City of Worcester area, with many VIPs and caretakers and sighted guides joining us in the several activities that weve organized and repeated over the past five years. We now look to our friends to the north and invite them to join us. Estimates of the number of VIPs in north Worcester County usually exceed 1,000, with one estimate around 3,000. Since many people who are blind or low vision dont self-identify, the true number eludes us. However, we know that these VIPs are typically home-bound, where isolation and depression go hand-in-hand. We continue to bring groups together to reduce and eliminate social, physical and logistical barriers. In the City of Worcester, VIPs have met and interacted with sighted volunteers, with cultural organizations, with government officials and lawmakers, with medical professionals, with transportation companies MBTA, Uber, media companies Audio Journal, WCCA-TV, and non-profit organizations Lions Club 94 and others. This project will expand these interactions to include the VIPs in the Fitchburg-Leominster areas. The long-term goal is to build similar events in the Fitchburg-Leominster areas. We know our efforts have brought about improvement in the physical and mental health status of many of our participants. Our walking WalkFit program has grown from an average of five participants per event, to an average of 30 per event. Other events and activities have seen similar growth. Individually, one VIP now has the self-confidence to organize a trip to the Boston Opera House to see Phantom of the Opera. Another VIP, predominantly home-bound before meeting us, now teaches technology at the Worcester Senior Center. With this grant, we anticipate that we will reduce the health disparities of VIPs for our participating neighbors in North County.

Project Details

Organization Name

VISIONS Consulting

Organization Type
Community-based organization
Project Lead

Jack Peacock

Start Date
May 1, 2019
End Date
April 30, 2020
Funding Amount
General Public
Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health