Prevent Blindness to Hold 16th Annual ‘Eyes on Capitol Hill’ Advocacy Virtual Event From Feb. 24-25

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness will be holding its 16th annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” advocacy event, held virtually this year, on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The program will brings together patients, caregivers, public health workers, and medical professionals with their elected officials to educate lawmakers and their staff on vision issues, including equitable access to quality eyecare, health disparities in the prevalence of vision disorders, and the importance of sight-saving research and surveillance. The event also will provide an important opportunity to reach out to newly elected members of Congress to introduce them to critical vision advocacy initiatives.

As learned during the Coronavirus pandemic, many of the circumstances that surround vision loss and eye disease—such as age, presence of chronic disease, and health disparities—intersect with COVID-19 and its most serious consequences, underscoring the need for advocacy to ensure that public policy accounts for those who live with blinding eye diseases.

In addition to sharing their personal stories about the importance of healthy vision, this year’s Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates will ask elected officials to:

• Increase the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vision Health Initiative to $5 million for vision and eye health surveillance.
• Maintain the CDC’s work in glaucoma prevention and awareness with $4 million.
• Join the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Vision Caucus and champion vision and eye health policies in the 117th Congress.

“From its founding in 1908, Prevent Blindness has continued to be, at its core, a public health advocacy organization,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “By working to give those who are directly affected by vision issues the opportunity to educate our government representatives directly on the importance of eye health, the Eyes on Capitol Hill event continues to carry on that mission.”

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