PREVENT BLINDNESS LAUNCHING CENTER FOR VISION AND POPULATION HEALTH

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Prevent Blindness has created Center for Vision and Population Health to implement strategies that address health eye. Prevent Blindness president and CEO, Jeff Todd, along with co-authors Dr. Whitson, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine, associate professor in ophthalmology, and deputy director of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University, and Edwin C. Marshall, OD, MS, MPH, professor emeritus of optometry and public health, Indiana University, addressed the various challenges facing, and provided strategies for, such a center in an article recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Their paper was in response to a 2016 report from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow,” advancing a number of recommendations for improving eye health in the U.S. Among the ensuing discussion was the need for a coordinated national effort that engages key stakeholders to advance vision and eye health from a population health perspective.

To accomplish this, the Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness (CVPH) has been established as a national coordinating body for effective practices, state-level technical assistance, and programmatic interventions.

“The NASEM Report emphasized current gaps and the pressing need for action, but executing its recommendations will require coordinated efforts from stakeholders across public health, policy, community, and clinical arenas” said Whitson, co-author of the NASEM report. She added, “Prevent Blindness and its Center for Vision and Population Health are perfectly positioned to serve as the ‘backbone’ of this effort.”

As part of the launch of the CVPH, Prevent Blindness is establishing an Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Whitson, and staffed by Kira Baldonado, vice president of public health and policy at Prevent Blindness. The Advisory Committee will include experts in the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, epidemiology, geriatrics, minority health, public health, and patient advocacy.

“The NASEM report has been monumental in elevating the need facing this country and in presenting multiple areas of improvement for our nation’s vision health,” said Mr. Todd. “Now is the time for all those working to address vision and eye health to coordinate and streamline our efforts to effectively improve access to quality eyecare, promote research, and establish best practices to improve eye health today and for generations to come.”

For more information on the Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness, please call Prevent Blindness at 800.331.2020 or visit PreventBlindness.org/New-Center-Vision-Population-Health-Established.

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