Kathleen Murphy to Speak with Lawmakers on the Impact of Eye Disease

HOUSTON (June 4, 2013)– Galveston resident Kathleen Murphy will join Prevent BlindnessTexas as well as delegates across the country in the 8th annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” program. The program provides citizens the opportunity to meet with congressional and senate members and their staff to discuss vision care issues. The delegation is scheduled to visit the offices of local senators and representatives on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Kathleen Murphy is a board certified family nurse practitioner and an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. Murphy was also a former social worker with an extensive background in family, school and community health issues, particularly among underserved populations, sparking her passion to fight to improve vision care.

She currently serves on the Prevent Blindness Texas Board of Directors, Prevent Blindness America’s Public Health Committee, and as the chair of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health’s Advisory Committee, proving to be an integral role in improving vision care, particularly for children. Through the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, Murphy is working to improve and promote a uniform strategy for children’s vision screenings through strong national partnerships, sound research and science, and targeted policy initiatives.

As an influential member of the eye health and vision community, Murphy was eager to join Prevent Blindness Texas and participate in the Eyes on Capitol Hill program in the hopes of educating our policy makers on ways to save the sight of thousands across America.

In Texas 2.5 million people age 40 and over are diagnosed with one of the four most common eye diseases: glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, and an additional 256,000 people age 40 and over are diagnosed with low vision or blindness, according to Prevent Blindness America’s 2012 report of Vision Problems in the U.S. With these ever-growing numbers due to an aging and increasing population, now is time to make eye health and vision a main priority.

“Healthy vision is something that many people take for granted until it becomes threatened or impaired,” said Debbie Goss, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness Texas. “By giving constituents an opportunity to speak with their own government representatives face-to-face, we hope we can educate others on the need to fund programs and research that help save sight before it is needlessly lost.”  

The Eyes on Capitol Hill meetings have been scheduled to specifically ask elected officials to:

  • Provide $508,000 in FY 2014 to maintain vision and eye health efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
  • Support the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s (MCHB) 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;
  • Provide $730 million in FY 2014 funding for the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health;
  • Join or encourage membership of the Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC).

For more information on Prevent Blindness Texas and its advocacy initiatives, please call 1-888-98-SIGHTor visit http://www.preventblindnesstexas.org/.

About Prevent Blindness Texas   

Founded in 1956, Prevent Blindness is the state’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness Texas touches the lives of thousands of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the Texas public. Through a network of regional offices and volunteers, we are committed to eliminating preventable blindness in Texas. For more information, or to makea contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-888-98-SIGHT or visit us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, or blog.

Read Eyes on Capitol Hill Press Release.