Arizona Foundation for Eye Health

A Message from AFEH

Arizona Foundation For
Eye Health Is Winding Down

Arizona Foundation for Eye Health (AFEH) was founded and became a 501 (c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit organization and an Arizona Corporation, in 1998. The Founding Board of Governors adopted the following mission:

“Arizona Foundation for Eye Health (AFEH) exists to prevent blindness and vision loss, caused by treatable eye disease, to the underserved and uninsured patients in Arizona via advanced telecommunication”.

In 2000, AFEH began “TRAILBLAZING” in the new e-science of tele-ophthalmology with the creation of its cornerstone program, Arizona Telemedicine Ophthalmic Program (ATOP). The opportunity to pioneer in the healthcare challenge facing patients with diabetes which had the potential to vastly improve and expand sight saving service outreach to underserved and uninsured patients, all over the state of Arizona.

To chose to become a part of the ever changing world of advanced Information Technology, was a daunting challenge for this small but mighty new nonprofit! But, the possibility of bringing patient and doctor together, at a distance, to save sight was a challenge the ATOP TEAM embraced with great enthusiasm. Initial ATOP program development begin in 2000. A professional network was built from professionals from Ronald Weinstein, M.D., Chair, University of Arizona, ATP, to myriad all over the United States, from Vanderbilt University to University of Iowa, and as far reaching as the U.K.

The development of the ATOP program began in 2000.

The first 'beta' remote ATOP site was launched in 2002, at Mountain Park Health Health Center, Phoenix, Arizona. (largest CHC in Maricopa County)



AFEH is very proud of its many accomplishments in striving to continue to improve and develop new program modifications in a rapidly changing e-science of tele-ophthalmology, which still remains in its infancy. During the entire time period of existence AFEH remained the only community based tele-ophthalmology program in the United States!

  • ATOP screened approximately 7,000 patients with diabetes in Pinal, Maricopa, Nogales, Casa Grande, and Yuma counties in Arizona.
  • All sight saving patient services were provided to Community Health Center patients and several Indian Communities. All sight saving intervention, prevention, and community outreach education services were targeted to patients with diabetes.
  • AZSIGHTSAVER, state of the art mobile eye center begin development in 2008 and was launched at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) meeting in Las Vegas in 2009 and was launched in 2010.
  • Three key AFEH demonstration programs were developed and implemented successfully to diverse ethnic populations
    1. We're also great believers in a healthy and clean diet. A keto diet is something we recommend to many of our patients. If you thought a keto diet had to be boring, well, you're wrong. From many great recipes such as keto cakes, keto pizzes and even the heathier stuff (creamed spinach), anything keto can make a huge difference! Ask us for more details next time you're in!
    2. East Valley Sight Conservation Program: six participating health centers joined in this collaboration. Using AZSIGHTSAVER, the ATOP state of the art mobile eye center was used for patient outreach. Goals were achieved and program had successful evaluations by all participants and patients.
    3. 2010: Inaugural Opening of the 4602 EYE CLINIC
      Moving to Sustainability
      with underserved population PHASE I
      Goal: to determine if the CHC diabetic patient would travel to 4602 Eye Clinic to receive their annual retinal visit: 75% appointment compliance no charge (grant funded).
      Moving to Sustainability
      with underserved population PHASE II
      2011 & 2012 Goal: Would patient continue to participate if fee was $20 cash / first 6 months; $25.00 duration of program 70% compliance.

It Takes A Village

From the AFEH Founding Board of Governors to the closing AFEH Board of Governors, Executive members we have always believed in reaching out for all advice and counsel we could obtain to achieve our mission.

AFEH was able to play a small role in assisting the new e-science of tele-ophthalmology in learning about what would work and what would not; the ever changing IT technology that needed to be watched and implemented (as funding allowed); the need to recognize that one suit did not fit all: that each ethnicity required AFEH to learn first and then develop to meet requisite needs; to realize each client wanting AFEH services was an entity unto themselves and assessments were necessary and benchmarks set to measure efficacy; and always to try to approach myriad challenges with humor and optimism.

AFEH could not have survived 14 years, and continued its work without the many friends in the AFEH Village. To the AFEH staff, Board of Governors, Volunteer doctors, Funding investors with AFEH (large and small), and the gazillions of volunteers from every walk of life,


Thank You!

Arizona Foundation for Eye Health   |   4020 N. 20th Street, Suite 215   |   Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Telephone: 602-251-3400   |   Fax: 602-251-3415   |

Arizona Foundation for Eye Health is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Arizona Corporation. All AFEH monies remain in Arizona to save sight.
© 2013 Arizona Foundation for Eye Health. All Rights Reserved.