Prevent Blindness America Announces Second Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit in June


CHICAGO— Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has announced the second annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit, an event highlighting advances in vision and public health scheduled to take place on June 18, 2013 at the Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C. The organization expects attendance from patient advocates, community-based organizations, national vision and eye health organizations, government agencies and potential legislative staff. A coinciding Twitter conference will post live updates throughout the day, inviting followers and members of the vision community to participate.

At the Summit, PBA said it will release a new report featuring cost data related to vision problems. In addition, a variety of topics will be addressed by industry leaders in the form of presentations, including: Economic Impact of Vision Problems – John Wittenborn, NORC at the University of Chicago; Vision Surveillance in the United States – Paul Lee, MD, JD, University of Michigan; Health Care Reform and Vision Benefits for Children – Joe Touschner, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute;Women’s Eye Health – Janine Austin Clayton, MD, NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health; and Surveillance Data Highlights – John Crews, DPA, CDC Vision Health Initiative and Mary Frances Cotch, PhD, National Eye Institute.

Current gold-level sponsors of the Focus on Eye Health Summit include Genentech, American Optometric Association and The Vision Council. Silver-level sponsors include the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, American Academy of Ophthalmology, America Public Health Association – Vision Care Section, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Helen Keller International, Lighthouse International, Lions Clubs International, Vision 2020 USA, and VisionServe Alliance. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, PBA said.

In conjunction with the Summit, PBA will hold its annual Eyes on Capitol Hill event, uniting individuals impacted by vision loss and blindness with their government representatives. A reception for the Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC) will be held in the evening. The CVC is a bicameral and bipartisan coalition of more than 100 Congressional Members dedicated to strengthening and stimulating a national dialogue and policy on vision-related problems and disabilities.

“During the first Summit last year, we observed how crucial bringing together leaders and key stakeholders in the fight against eye disease could be in terms of sharing information, experience and expertise,” said Hugh R. Parry, PBA president and CEO. “We recognized that the Summit could provide them with the data they need to educate the public, as well as key policy makers, on how we can work collaboratively today to save the vision of millions of Americans in the future.”