Prevent Blindness to Hold 15th Annual "Eyes on Capitol Hill" Advocacy Event

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness will hold its 15th annual “Eyes On Capitol Hill '' advocacy day on Feb. 26 in Washington D.C. The program gives people from across the U.S. the opportunity to meet with Congressional and Senate members to discuss vision issues, including access to care, prevention and research. “Prevent Blindness began back in 1908 as a public advocacy organization, dedicated to preventing unnecessary vision loss,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “The year 2020 is particularly fitting as a time to focus on advocating for vision health issues.”

Advocates will also be able to stress the importance of early intervention to prevent eye diseases from progressing and highlight the federal programs that help promote the nation’s vision and eye health.

Data shows that the number of individuals with visual impairment and blindness is increasing in the United States and around the globe as a result of shifting demographics and aging populations. According to the Prevent Blindness report, “Children’s Vision And Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues,” uncorrected vision problems can impair child development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss.

In an effort to address the growing need for vision health support, this year’s Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates will ask elected officials to:

• Invest $5 million in funding for the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative to conduct much-needed surveillance.

• Maintain the CDC’s work in glaucoma prevention and awareness with $4 million.

• Support continued investments to the National Eye Institute (NEI) that will enhance the scope of research to support public health objectives of early detection, prevention, and population health.

Prevent Blindness also created the Prevent Blindness Policy Roadmap to guide efforts at the federal level to effectively save sight, and to help provide cost effective solutions to government entities, private institutions, and patients.

For more information on Eyes On Capitol Hill, or Prevent Blindness and its advocacy initiatives, call (800) 331-2020 or visit https://www.preventblindness.org/advocacy-prevent-blindness.