Ohio Residents Visit Washington to Advocate for Support for Programs, Research to Save Sight

Columbus, OH (March 2, 2020 ) – Ohio Delegates David Monder (Hilliard), and Tari Hodge (Lewis Center) joined delegates from across the country for the fifteenth annual Prevent Blindness “Eyes on Capitol Hill” advocacy day on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Since 2006, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness and its national office have brought citizens from across the country to meet with members of the House and Senate, and their staff, to discuss the importance of vision and eye health programs and research.

“We are proud to continue to work with members of government through our Eyes on Capitol Hill event, as well as other local and national advocacy efforts, to help protect the gift of sight and continue to bring Americans to quality, affordable eye care,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate.

According to the recent Prevent Blindness study “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” vision impairments are projected to cost the United States $167 billion in 2019, due in large part to the aging population. Yet, for every $18,600 that vision problems cost the country, only a single dollar is allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toward their prevention. Annual costs are projected to increase to $717 billion by 2050 without significant investments in vision and eye health.

This year’s Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates visited with the offices of United States Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and United States Representatives Tim Ryan, Marcy Kaptur, Robert Latta, Bill Johnson, Troy Balderson and Steve Stivers and asked these elected officials to:

.Invest $5 million in funding for the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative to conduct much-needed surveillance.

.Maintain the CDC’s work in glaucoma prevention and awareness with $4 million.

.Support continued investments to the National Eye Institute (NEI) that will enhance the scope of research to support public health objectives of early detection, prevention, and population health.

Prevent Blindness has also established the Prevent Blindness Policy Roadmap to guide efforts at the federal level to effectively save sight, and to help provide cost effective solutions to government entities, private institutions, and patients.

For more information on Eyes on Capitol Hill, or Prevent Blindness and its advocacy initiatives, please call 800-331-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.