Mainline Health Systems recently was awarded a $54,677 grant from the Blue & You Foundation to purchase RetinaVue cameras for Mainline’s primary locations to increase the number of diabetic patients receiving diabetic retinal exams.

Some 80 percent of patients with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy at some point in their lifetime.

Mainline serves many patients who have no transportation or limited transportation, making it impossible to travel to other communities to receive an eye exam. A RetinaVue machine at each of Mainline’s primary clinics would increase the number of diabetic patients receiving a diabetic eye exam and decrease the number of patients that experience vision loss related to retinopathy.

Mainline’s Diabetic Retinal Assessment Compliance Program is one of the health-promoting projects funded by the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas as part of more than $3.4 million in annual grant awards for 2020.

“Our grants this year went to programs throughout the state that address issues and needs that organizations have identified as important to their communities,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. “These include physical and mental health programs for all ages, opportunities to participate in exercise and good nutrition and building the future medical workforce that will care for all our citizens.”

Directors members Robert D. Cabe, chairman, Little Rock; Mark Greenway, Lowell; Mahlon O. Maris, M.D., Little Rock; Carla Martin, Pine Bluff; Bob Shoptaw, Little Rock; Rex Terry, Fort Smith; and Mark White, Little Rock.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001. Since then, it has awarded more than $36 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies for 1,922 health-improvement programs in 248 communities and in all 75 counties.