Prevent Blindness Announces Third Annual Focus on Eye Health Summit

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CHICAGO— Prevent Blindness and partners have announced the third annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit, an event held to bring national attention to vision and public health issues. The Summit is scheduled to take place on June 18, 2014 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In conjunction with the Summit, Prevent Blindness will also hold the ninth annual Eyes on Capitol Hill event, aimed to bring those impacted by vision loss and blindness together with their respective government representatives. This will include a Congressional briefing June 17 and reception for the Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC) the evening of June 18, according to the association.

The Summit on June 18 will include the release of a new report from Prevent Blindness projecting the potential burden and economic impact of vision problems in the U.S. The report draws upon previous studies conducted by Prevent Blindness, including the association’s “Vision Problems in the U.S.” studies and the “Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States” study conducted last year.

According to Prevent Blindness, attendees of the Summit will include patient advocates, national vision and eye health organizations, government representatives and community-based organizations, and the agenda, though still in development, will include the following presentations:

• Forecasting the Prevalence and Cost of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders – John Wittenborn, NORC at the University of Chicago
• Overview of Multiple Chronic Conditions – John Crews, DPA, Vision Health Initiative, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• The Impact of Diabetes Among Children on Future Eye Disease – Neil Bressler, MD, Johns Hopkins University
• Smoking and Vision – David Lee, PhD, University of Miami
• Depression and Vision – Alan Morse, JD, PhD, Lighthouse Guild International
• Children’s Vision: A Population Perspective – Panel members include David Musch, PhD, MPH and Joshua Stein, MD, MS, University of Michigan; Richard Bunner, MA, retired from the Ohio Department of Health; Alex Kemper, MD, MPH, MS, Duke University; Sandra Block, OD, MEd, Illinois College of Optometry; Rachel Schumann, PhD, RN, Michigan Department of Community Health
• Reducing the Impact of Diabetic Eye Disease – Panel members include Lori Grover, OD, PhD, Arizona State University and Neil Bressler, MD, Johns Hopkins University
• Turning the Tide – Can Public Policy Curb the Growing Impact of Vision Problems?


Sponsors of the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit include: gold-level sponsors, AMD Alliance International, 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; and silver-level sponsors, Alliance for Aging Research, Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Regeneron, and Vision 2020 USA.

“We are excited to be hosting such an impressive collaboration of leaders in the vision and public health fields as well as patients and advocates to help further the important mission of protecting vision,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We also want to thank our sponsors for their generous support. Because of their contributions, we can come together to help protect the gift of sight.”

Sponsorship opportunities for the Summit are still available. For information on registration, sponsorship or other inquiries involving the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit, visit preventblindness.org/eyesummit or call (800) 331-2020. Those unable to attend the Summit may follow the event on Twitter at #eyesummit.