On May 19, Research to Prevent Blindness was present in Washington, DC, along with other organizations supporting the major Institute of Medicine study "Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health" for the first meeting of the study's Advisory Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice.
"The timing and context of this study is excellent," said RPB President Brian F. Hofland as part of his opening remarks. "With the aging of the baby boomers, 10,000 Americans are turning 65 each day! This trend will continue for another 14 years until all 73 million of the baby boomers turn 65. Because of this huge increase in older people, the big four age-related eye diseases -- cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration -- are all projected to explode in terms of prevalence. Given this major demographic trend, we need innovative public health approaches to meet the vision challenges presented.
"Our mission at Research to Prevent Blindness is straightforward: to prevent blindness and restore sight lost to any and all conditions that cause vision loss. While our core activities revolve around the support of research and the development of the research careers of individual scientists and vision science leaders, we recognize that multifaceted strategies, partnerships and collaborations are necessary to bring new and better treatments from labs to eye care providers and patients.
"We expect that this IOM study will provide data essential to the expedited and efficient execution of those strategies, and to improving the lives of millions of Americans whose sight is threatened by the increasing prevalence of eye disorders. We hope that the study will provide powerful content and messaging to:
"We are pleased and proud to be in partnership with the other organizations funding this IOM study and thank the CDC and NEI for their leadership roles."
Members of the IOM Study advisory Board:
May 20, 2015