CHICAGO—Kicking off with a presentation from Michael F. Chiang, MD, director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), this week's Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit will bring together a roster of voices and experts examining the issues and opportunities facing eyecare.  This year’s Summit will be held as an interactive virtual event on July 14-15, with a variety of presentations related to the theme, "Our Changing Vision.” It will include multiple opportunities for participant engagement, including moderated discussions on key topics, chats with presenters, an exhibit hall with live exhibitor chat and video conversation, and more. Dr. Chiang’s remarks will address the key advancements in research, policies and social issues along with NEI’s strategic objectives related to advancing vision and eye health.

The agenda will celebrate the key vision advancements that have occurred during the 10 years that the Summit has convened, and will look ahead to leading advancements, policies, and social issues that will shape how we approach eye health for the coming decade. Expected attendees include patient advocates, vision researchers, clinicians, foundations, community-based and advocacy organizations, national vision and eye health organizations, vision companies, government agencies, and legislative staff. 
On July 15, Amy Dixon, paralympic athlete and president of Glaucoma Eyes International, will serve as a keynote speaker, sharing her personal story of triumph over obstacles and the importance of engaging the patient to reach the goal of a better health outcome. And, Ross C. Brownson, PhD, Lipstein Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, will serve as the closing keynote speaker, presenting “The Role of Public Health in Advancing Eye Health.”
Additional presentations at the Focus on Eye Health National Summit on July 14 will include:

  • Oculomics: Ocular Biomarkers of Disease
    • Siegfried Karl Wagner, BMBCh, MA, MRCP, FRCOphth, University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital
    • Steven M. Silverstein, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Vision Impairment and Blindness in the U.S.: New National, State, and County-level Prevalence Data
    • Elizabeth Lundeen, PhD, MPH, Vision Health Initiative, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • David B. Rein, PhD, MPA, NORC at the University of Chicago

  • The Intersection of Vision Impairment and Mental Health
    • Robin Casten, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University
Also on July 15, a variety of moderated discussions will be held, including those on “Myopia: A Global Health Challenge,” “Inequities in Vision Population Health Research,” “Barriers to Care in the COVID-era,” “Social Determinants of Vision and Health as it Relates to Learning,” “Emerging Telehealth and Artificial Intelligence Policy,” and more. A full agenda is posted here
During the event, Prevent Blindness will formally present the 2021 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to  R.V. Paul Chan, MD, MSc, MBA, FACS, professor and head, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, the John H. Panton, MD, professor of ophthalmology, director, Pediatric Retina and ROP Service at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national, and/or international level. 
Additionally, the second annual Rising Visionary Award will be presented to Shervonne Poleon, Vision Science Graduate Program student, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The Rising Visionary Award is given annually to an optometry student or resident, ophthalmology resident, primary health care, nursing, or other health professional student or resident in the U.S. who has the best essay based on the 2021 Focus on Eye Health National Summit theme.
Attendees are encouraged to visit the virtual exhibit hall and booths of event sponsors. Opportunities to chat and network with fellow attendees and presenters will also be available. All are invited to visit the social media lounge, and follow on Twitter at #eyesummit.
“At Prevent Blindness, we are proud to celebrate our 10th consecutive year of bringing together the nation’s top leaders in public health, vision and eyecare, science and advocacy through our Focus on Eye Health National Summit,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “By expanding the Summit to a two-day event, we are committed to providing the most informative and engaging presentations and discussions to continue to move our sight-saving mission forward.”
Registration details are posted here.
Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health event sponsors include:
Platinum: Genentech, Horizon Therapeutics, and PhRMA.
Gold: Alcon, Biogen, the Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, Regeneron, and the Seva Foundation.
Silver: Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), American Optometric Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), American Society of Retina Specialists, BrightFocus Foundation, CooperVision, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, National Industries for the Blind, National Keratoconus Foundation, PAN Foundation, Research to Prevent Blindness, and Vision 2020 USA.