Acting Surgeon General of the U.S., Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak to Speak at Prevent Blindness Eye Health Summit


CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness is pleased to announce that Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., the Acting United States Surgeon General, will provide opening remarks at the third annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit. The Summit will be held on Wednesday, June 18, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The mission of the Summit is to elevate the national dialogue around vision and public health issues.

RADM Lushniak will emphasize the damaging effects of smoking on vision. A recent report from the Office of the Surgeon General, “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014,” noted that cigarette smoking causes age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of vision loss.

“All of us at Prevent Blindness want to thank RADM Lushniak and his staff for their commitment to educating the public on the harmful effects that smoking has not only on overall health, but specifically on vision,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “By participating in our Summit, the Surgeon General is helping to bring much-needed awareness about the negative threat that smoking poses to our eyes.”

Also at the Summit, as previously reported, Prevent Blindness will release findings from its new study, “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Future Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems.” The report was commissioned by Prevent Blindness from the NORC at the University of Chicago. The study will be presented by the report’s author, John Wittenborn.

A diverse range of presentations for the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit are on the day’s agenda, which is posted at the event site

Attendees will include patient advocates, national vision and eye health organizations, government representatives and community-based organizations. For those unable to attend in person, a free webinar will be available courtesy of Pascale Communications, as well as Twitter commentary at #eyesummit.

Current gold-level sponsors include AMD Alliance International, The Allergan Foundation, BrightFocus Foundation, The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Genentech, Lighthouse Guild International, National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund, The Vision Council and VSP.

Silver-level sponsors include Alliance for Aging Research, Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, American Optometric Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Lions Club International, Local Eye Site, Notal Vision, Regeneron, Research to Prevent Blindness, Vision 2020 USA and VisionServe Alliance. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.