FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2016
Contact: Jenny Brown
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Releases Landmark Vision Study Report
ORLANDO, Fla. – September 15, 2016 − The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) has released a comprehensive vision study report titled, “Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health.” The report proposes a population health action framework to guide action and coordination among various stakeholders in pursuit of improved eye and vision health and health equity in the United States. The American Academy of Optometry is a sponsor of the report.
The report emphasizes that the majority of individuals in the United States are at risk for some form of vision loss and impairment during their lifetimes, and that avoidable vision impairment occurs too frequently in the United States. Such impairment can increase the likelihood of a host of other problems including the risk of falls/injuries and psychological problems in adults, and developmental, academic and in some cases permanent vision loss in children.
The National Academies outlined nine recommendations to “expand public health capacities and to encourage policies and programmatic emphases that recognize improved eye and vision health as an important population health outcome and as a strategy to achieve better health quality.” The American Academy of Optometry supports the report’s recommendations to improve collaboration, coordination and synergy across the health care spectrum to ultimately make the most impact on patient care.
“The report provides a comprehensive framework that should be operationalized for clinicians such that appropriate emphasis is given to broad social, economic, cultural, health and environmental conditions and policies in the practice environment,” said spokesperson for the Academy, Anthony F. Di Stefano, OD, MPH, FAAO.
The American Academy of Optometry’s Public Health and Environmental Vision Section will present their symposium on the outcomes from the report titled, “Eye Health Promotion and Vision Impairment Reduction: Results of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Study” on Thursday, November 10 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM during Academy 2016 Anaheim. The session will feature speakers from the Committee on Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health who authored the report, including Steven M. Teutsch, MD, MPH, Chair, Edwin Marshall, OD, MPH, FAAO, Sandra S. Block, OD, MEd, FAAO and Rohit Varma, MD, MPH.
“This report is the start of an immense opportunity to bring vision care to the forefront through a coordinated population health-based philosophy. The Academy looks forward to collaborating with other professional organizations and stakeholders as we are called upon to contribute in the implementation of these recommendations,” said Brett G. Bence, OD, FAAO, American Academy of Optometry President.
The full National Academies report can be accessed at http://nationalacademies.org/eyehealth.