National search focuses on vision advocates

Prevent Blindness America (PBA), the nation's oldest and largest non-profit eye health and safety organization, is beginning its application process for the 2007 Eyes on Capitol Hill campaign. This event is designed to allow those affected by real-life vision issues an opportunity to discuss their experiences with their government representatives. The event will begin Feb. 28 in Washington, DC, with discussions on federal funding efforts for vision programs and research and seminars on how participants can become effective advocates in their own communities. The following day, participants will make office visits with congressional members.

Prevent Blindness America (PBA), the nation's oldest and largest non-profit eye health and safety organization, is beginning its application process for the 2007 Eyes on Capitol Hill campaign. This event is designed to allow those affected by real-life vision issues an opportunity to discuss their experiences with their government representatives.The event will begin Feb. 28 in Washington, DC, with discussions on federal funding efforts for vision programs and research and seminars on how participants can become effective advocates in their own communities. The following day, participants will make office visits with congressional members.

Last year, PBA brought more than 100 patient advocates to the Hill to meet with various congressional representatives, including Rep. Ralph Regula and Sen. Chuck Grassley. The 2006 event marked the first time a patient group of this size went to the Hill to advocate on vision loss prevention issues.

"Because of the tremendous success of last year's campaign, we are thrilled to be able once again to give vision care patients the opportunity to meet with our nation's leaders to discuss vision issues," said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president, PBA. "By bringing constituents to their member of congress, these lawmakers can hear the dire need for improved vision care and eye research funding."

PBA encourages adults and parents of children with chronic eye care concerns to attend. Due to the support of an unrestricted grant from Pfizer, PBA will be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to some attendees, which will cover all travel and hotel expenses for each participant and, if necessary, a companion or guardian. For more information, contact PBA at 800/331-2020.