Date: July 17, 2019

Location: National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

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On Wednesday, July 17th, 2019, Prevent Blindness hosted the 8th Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. 

The Focus on Eye Health National Summit has become a key venue to elevate the national dialogue among diverse stakeholder groups around vision and significant public health issues such as surveillance, access, prevention messaging, service integration, program development and dissemination of best practices. The Summit allows its participants to develop new collaborations, integrate new vision health messages and procedures into their outreach, and improve lines of communication with internal and external partners. 

The Summit will include a variety of presentations related to this year’s theme, "A Lifetime of Vision.”  The agenda will feature discussions around key pillars of public health such as health policy, surveillance, health promotion, and state/community programs as they impact vision and eye health at different points of a lifetime.

Expected attendees include patient advocates, community-based organizations, national vision and eye health organizations, government agencies, and potentially some legislative staff. We will also once again host a virtual live-feed teleconference to coincide with the event, allowing for anyone interested to join in from across the country.

For questions about attending the National Summit and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Nita Sinha, at 312.363.6019 or [email protected].


Morning Keynote Presentation: No Barriers Life: Rope Team - Bill Barkeley

Bill Barkeley, a visually impaired adventurer, advocate and author, will inspire our audience by reflecting on building a life without limits and overcoming barriers as he shares tales of his accomplishments including being the first deaf-blind individual to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2008, leading expeditions for deaf teenagers to the Amazon jungle and the Grand Canyon, and being the first deaf-blind person to complete the Boston Marathon. 

Additional presentations at the Focus on Eye Health Summit include:

  • Emerging Sight – Vision and the Young Child- Moderated by Jean Ramsey, MD, MPH, Boston University School of Medicine and Sandra S. Block, OD, MEd, MPH, Illinois College of Optometry, this session will include presentations by Alejandra de Alba Campomanes, MD, MPH, University of California, San FranciscoDawn DeCarlo, OD, MS, MSPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Edwin Marshall, OD, MS, MPH, Indiana University
  • Looking Forward – Promoting Sight in Young Adults- Kristina Beaugh, MPH, National Eye Health Education Program
  • The Scope of Vision and Eye Health – Guidance from Surveillance-  David Rein, PhD, and John Wittenborn, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Losing Vision and Gaining Perspective - Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University
  • Strategic Vision: Population Health and Vision in the Military- Moderated by James Jorkasky, MBA, Alliance for Eye and Vision Researchthis session will include a presentation by Col. Mark Reynolds, MD, MPH, DoD/VA Vision Center of Excellence
  • Engaging Stakeholders to Improve Vision - Moderated by Heather Whitson, MD, MHS, Duke University, this session will include a presentation by Kira Baldonado, Prevent Blindness and Michael Hodin, PhD, Global Coalition on Aging
  • The Keystone for Independence: Low Vision, Vision Loss, and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults- Moderated by  Heather Whitson, MD, MHS, Duke University, this session will include presentations by Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH, University of MichiganKellogg Eye Center, and Marcus Escobedo, MPA, The John A. Hartford Foundation
  • 2019 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health- Introduced by Megan Collins, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University, this session will include an award presentation along with remarks by Cynthia Owsley, PhD, MSPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Learn More


Center for Vision and Population Health
Horizon Therapeutics
International Retinal Research Foundation
Lighthouse Guild
National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health
NORC at the University of Chicago*
The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama
UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and Clinics and UAB Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR)
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Optometric Association
Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology
Bausch Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation
Foundation Fighting Blindness
Lions Clubs International
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Research to Prevent Blindness
Seva Foundation
Vision 2020 USA
Vision Impact Institute
VisionServe Alliance


*Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Nita Sinha at [email protected]