Prevent Blindness collaborates with patient advocacy groups, health care policy thought leaders, provider and professional organizations, industry and trade associations, disability advocates, and others where necessary on areas that have a broader reach than vision and eye health but may nevertheless pose a potential benefit or harm to vision and eye health without the right policy solutions. Our voice is amplified when we join our partners in collective efforts to improve patient access to treatments, bolster funding for critical public health programs with state and local impact, secure a rigorous and ready public health workforce and national infrastructure capacity, and advocate for equitable access to health care. Coordinating efforts with organizations through opportunities such as sign-on letters to Congress or the Administration, public comment in rulemaking processes, statements of principle and policy objectives, press statements, bill endorsements, issue advocacy through social media channels, and issue briefs or fact sheets strengthens our own advocacy on behalf of patients with vision loss and eye disease, helps to breaks down siloes that separate vision and eye health from broad health policy goals, and helps us achieve advocacy successes that would be too difficult to take on as a singular effort.
National Eye Institute (NEI) NEHEP Partnership Group
Much of our advocacy work is accomplished through coalitions that are either informal, ad hoc or issue-based, or formalized through membership and governance structures. Through our advocacy partnerships, we have:
- Sustained and, in some cases increased, funding for programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration,
- Protected the patient-provider relationship in decisions about access to treatments and quality eye care,
- Informed Congress and the Administration on the need to address vision as a matter of health equity,
- Promoted access to low vision devices in the Medicare program,
- Secured new investments to modernize our nation’s public health data infrastructure, and
- Reauthorized programs address the needs of older Americans, continuing school-based health programs, renewing efforts on diabetes prevention, and improving health quality.
Among many others, Prevent Blindness is proud members of such coalitions as the National Health Council, the Coalition for Health Funding, the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, and the Vision Health Advocacy Coalition. Each of these coalitions represents a policy goal that Prevent Blindness shares and provides us with the opportunity to have an impact where the vision and eye health patient’s voice can benefit critical policy and legislative deliberations.