Prevent Blindness - Our Vision Is Vision  
 

Support Investments in Vision and Eye Health

The federal government works to prevent vision loss and eye disorders largely through programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).  Investments in these programs support activities like developing a public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a continuum of vision and eye health care for children, conducting surveillance of the rates of vision impairment and eye disease, and performing research and pilot programs to develop effective prevention and early detection interventions.  

By sending a message to your Members of Congress, you amplify the work of Prevent Blindness and others in the vision community to ensure that the funding available to these programs is enough to allow them to do this important work.

Thank you for being a voice for vision!

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

Contact

*Required fields
 
 

Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

On behalf of Prevent Blindness , I am writing to respectfully request that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill include funding in the amount of:

- $1,000,000 for the Vision Health Initiative (visual screening education line) and
- $3,319,000 for the Glaucoma Program,
both at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, I request that you support the inclusion of report language strengthening the CDC's Vision Health Initiative and encouraging continued investment in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's (MCHB) National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health (the Center) within HRSA.



The following report language will help to ensure that the Vision Health Initiative at CDC can increase vision impairment and eye disease surveillance efforts, apply previous CDC vision and eye health research findings to develop effective prevention and early detection interventions, and begin to incorporate vision and eye health promotion activities into state and national public health chronic disease initiatives.

CDC Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion
Vision Health Initiative

"The Committee is concerned that people with vision impairment often report chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, at substantially higher rates than individuals without vision impairment. Of further concern, individuals with vision impairment and chronic conditions report poorer health overall. Given the growing number of Americans living with chronic diseases coupled with the increasing number of people with age-related eye diseases, the Committee believes the nation must better understand the nature of vision impairment and chronic disease and mount a comprehensive effort to integrate vision and eye health into other appropriate chronic disease prevention and health promotion programs within the CDC. Therefore, the Committee provides $1,000,000 for the Vision Health Initiative to increase vision impairment and eye disease surveillance efforts, apply previous CDC vision and eye health research findings to develop effective prevention and early detection interventions, and begin to incorporate vision and eye health promotion activities into state and national public health chronic disease initiatives, with an initial focus on early detection of diabetic retinopathy."

The following language will support the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health (the Center) in developing a public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a continuum of vision and eye health care for children.

HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau
National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health

"The Committee is concerned that vision disorders are the leading cause of impaired health in childhood and one in four school-aged children has a vision problem significant enough to affect learning. The Committee recognizes that early detection can help prevent vision loss and blindness and understands many serious ocular conditions in children are treatable if diagnosed at an early stage. Therefore, to promote vision and eye health for the nation's children, the Committee commends and supports the work of the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health, which through partnerships, sound science, and targeted policy initiatives advances the development of public health infrastructure to support a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of vision care for young children."

Continued federal investment in vision health programs at the CDC and MCHB will go a long way toward ensuring that people throughout our country enjoy lives free of vision problems. We greatly appreciate your consideration of our requests. If you need any additional material or have any questions, please contact Alison Manson, Director of Government Affairs, at (312) 363-6037, amanson@preventblindness.org.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]