Prevent Blindness Announces the Fifth Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit

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Prevent Blindness to hold its fifth annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit, featuring recommendations and strategies set forth in the new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division (HMD) report on public health approaches to reduce vision impairment and promote eye health.

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“We are very pleased to leverage the 2016 Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit to bring a platform for the new HMD report on vision and eye health,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

Prevent Blindness and its partners announce the fifth annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit, to be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Summit will include a variety of presentations related to this year’s theme, "Vision to Action: Collaborating Around a National Strategy,” featuring recommendations and strategies set forth in a new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division (HMD) report on public health approaches to reduce vision impairment and promote eye health.

The following scheduled presentations for this year’s Summit will each highlight and provide expert analysis of the four broad focus areas addressed by the new report, along with an example of how Australia implemented a national approach to addressing vision problems.

o    Prevention and Care of Eye Disease and Impaired Vision - Paul Lee, MD, JD, University of Michigan

o    Public Health Burden of Eye Disease and Vision Loss - David Rein, PhD, NORC at the University of Chicago

o    Evidence-based Health Promotion Interventions for Vision Loss - Kelly Muir, MD, MHSc, Duke University

o    Collaborative Strategies to Promote Vision and Eye Health as a Public Health Priority - Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham

o    Implementing a National Strategy – the Australian Approach - Hugh Taylor, AC, MD, University of Melbourne

In addition, Prevent Blindness will be presenting the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to Bruce Moore, OD, Marcus Professor of Pediatric Studies, New England College of Optometry. The award is presented annually to 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, and/or national level.

Attendees of this free event will include patient advocates, national vision and eye health organizations, government representatives, and community-based organizations. Those unable to attend in person will have an opportunity to watch a live video stream of event presentations as well as follow the event on Twitter at #eyesummit.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To date, gold-level sponsors of the event include the BrightFocus Foundation, Genentech, Lighthouse Guild International, the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Silver-level sponsors are Alliance for Aging Research, Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, American Optometric Association, The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, Foundation Fighting Blindness, International Retinal Research Foundation, Notal Vision, Regeneron, Research to Prevent Blindness, Vision 2020 USA, Vision Impact Institute and VisionServe Alliance.

“We are very pleased to leverage the 2016 Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit to bring a platform for the new HMD report on vision and eye health,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “As the patient advocate for healthy vision, part of our strategy is not only to support ground-breaking research such as this report, but then to work with leaders in public health, government and vision health services to develop and implement programs that can save sight.”

In conjunction with the Summit, Prevent Blindness will hold the 11th annual Eyes on Capitol Hill event, bringing those directly impacted by vision loss and blindness together with their government representatives on Tuesday, July 12. A reception for the Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC) will be held the evening of this Capitol Hill event. 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. A Congressional briefing will be held on July 14.

To register or for more information about the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit and sponsorship opportunities, please visit preventblindness.org/eyesummit or call (800) 331-2020.

About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call (800) 331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.

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