Friday, October 31, 2008

On November 4, Americans will vote for a new president, 35 U.S. Senators and 435 U.S. Representatives. On March 2, 2009, Prevent Blindness American will bring vision advocates to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and staff to discuss the importance of vision research and early detection to prevent vision loss, among other issues. To learn more about our Eyes on Capitol Hill event and to apply for a scholarship to attend, please go to I hope to see you in March.

Friday, October 24, 2008

November Congressional Session planned

Congress will reconvene in November. There's still time to send your Senators emails to encourage them to co-sponsor S 3534, the Vision Preservation Act. To take action, go to:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Prevent Blindness America Launches Nationwide Search for Annual Patient Advocacy Event

Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest non-profit eye health and safety organization, is announcing the call for applications for the 2009 “Eyes on Capitol Hill” event. The fourth annual event is designed to allow those affected by real-life vision issues an opportunity to discuss their experiences with their government representatives.

Eyes on Capitol Hill is a special program for people with chronic eye conditions or diseases to speak out about the importance of vision healthcare and research, and to share their personal stories with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. The 2009 program has been made possible due to the generous support from Pfizer and VSP.

The event will be held March 2-4, 2009, in Washington, D.C., with educational forums on federal funding efforts for vision programs, and training seminars on how participants can become local advocates and leaders for eye health programs in their own communities and states. The following day, Prevent Blindness America will arrange for participants to make office visits with Members of Congress.

In conjunction with Eyes on Capitol Hill, Prevent Blindness America will host a reception for the Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC) on March 3. The CVC is a bicameral and bipartisan coalition of more than 100 Congressional Members and one Senate Member. The CVC is co-chaired by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), and Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio).

Last year, Prevent Blindness America brought more than 100 patient advocates to the Hill to meet with various congressional representatives, including Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.), Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).

“By bringing actual citizens who have been affected by vision loss to Washington, D.C. and arranging for them to speak to their government representatives, we hope to put a face with the staggering numbers of eye disease and vision impairments,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “Through this program, we hope to educate our lawmakers on the importance of vision care and the imperative need to fund sight-saving programs.”

Prevent Blindness America invites both adults and children to participate. There will be a limited number of scholarships for attendees which will cover all travel and hotel expenses for each participant and, if necessary, a sighted companion or guardian. Interested applicants should contact Prevent Blindness America for further details.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 1, 2008. Individuals will be selected by a volunteer review committee at Prevent Blindness America. All applicants will be notified of their status by Dec. 19, 2008.

For more information on Eyes on Capitol Hill, please call 1-800-331-2020 or visit