Friday, September 25, 2009

Massachusetts SB 850, Vision Care Registry

Katherine Majzoub, RN, MBA, Director of the Northeast Region for Prevent Blindness America, testified before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health in support of Senate Bill 850 on September 22.

This bill would establish a Vision Care Registry in the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts law requires vision screenings for school children and a mandated vision exam follow-up for children who fail the vision screening. Currently, there is no mechanism in place to track referrals and the follow-up exams.

The Vision Care Registry established by SB 850 would track vision screening information that would assist school health personnel as they manage referrals and treatment for children who fail a vision screening.

The Massachusetts General Assembly is expected to adjourn for this session on January 5, 2010. Legislation introduced in 2009 may be carried over to the 2010 session. Prevent Blindness America will continue to track the success of SB 850 and the other pieces of legislation addressing eye and vision health in Massachusetts.

Prevent Blindness America is the nation's leading eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and preserving sight. For more information on Prevent Blindness America, go to

Monday, September 21, 2009

Health Reform This Week

The Senate Finance Committee will take up health care reform after Chairman Baucus released the Chair's Mark last week ( Amendments to the legislation were due by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 18. A full list and summaries of the amendments can be found here: The Committee will meet at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, September 22, to begin consideration of the bill and offer opening statements. On Wednesday, the Committee should begin considering amendments to the bill.

Prevent Blindness America continues to advocate for the inclusion of eye and vision health measures in the House and Senate bills on health care reform. Tell your Representative and Senators that eye and vision health are important to you. Send your letter today!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Senator Baucus Announces Health Care Reform Bill

Senator Baucus announced his health care reform bill on September 16 (a copy of the Chairman's mark can be found at The Senate Finance Committee will begin marking up the legislation next week.

Prevent Blindness America continues to advocate for the inclusion of eye and vision health in health care reform legislation considered by Congress. Additionally, we are partnering with other patient advocacy organizations dedicated to prevention and wellness to tell Congress to include coverage for those measures that will promote patient health and reduce long-term health care costs. We must reduce the burden of chronic disease on patients, providers and our health care delivery system.

Tell your Representative and Senators that health care reform must include provisions for eye and vision health! Support coverage for preventive measures that preserve and protect sight! Go to to make your voice heard today!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September is Sports Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

Prevent Blindness America has dedicated September as Sports Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month to encourage parents and children to make eye safety part of the game plan. Every 13 minutes, an emergency room treats a sports-related eye injury. And, 43 percent of sports-related eye injuries are to children ages 14 and younger. Fortunately, 90 percent of all sports-related eye injuries can be prevented just by wearing the proper eye protection but only 15 percent of children and 33 percent of adults reported that they consistently do that.

Likewise, nearly half of eye injuries occur in or around the home. More than 1.5 million eye injuries happen in the home. Every year, there are more than 2.5 million eye injuries, yet 90 percent of these could have been prevented by using protective eyewear. When starting any project, whether it be cleaning surfaces with chemicals, working on the car or doing yard work, Prevent Blindness America asks everyone to wear eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The eyewear should have the “Z-87” logo stamped on the frames and can be purchased at hardware stores and home building centers.

For more information on how to protect your eyes at home and eye protection recommendations, call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit