Prevent Blindness Holds 10th Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit as Expanded Two-day Virtual Event

Prevent Blindness held the 10th annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit as a virtual event on July 14 and 15, 2021.  This year’s Summit included a variety of presentations and discussions related to the theme, “Our Changing Vision” with more than 1,300 registered attendees.

In addition to a wide variety of presentations and moderated discussions, the Summit provided attendees with the opportunity to visit virtual booths of event sponsors, as well as chat and network with fellow attendees and presenters.

Michael F. Chiang, M.D., director of the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health kicked off the Summit as the keynote speaker with his presentation “Eliminating Blindness & Improving Quality of Life through Vision.” Amy Dixon, paralympic athlete and president of Glaucoma Eyes International, and Ross C. Brownson, PhD, Lipstein Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis, served as keynote speakers the following day.

Additional presenters included:

  • Vision Impairment and Blindness in the U.S.: New National, State, and County-level Prevalence Data
    Elizabeth Lundeen, PhD, MPH, Vision Health Initiative, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and David B. Rein, PhD, MPA, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Oculomics: Ocular Biomarkers of Disease
    Steven M. Silverstein, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center, and Siegfried Karl Wagner, MD, FRCOphth, University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • The Intersection of Vision Impairment and Mental Health
    Robin Casten, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University

Moderated discussions included “Myopia: A Global Health Challenge,” “Inequities in Vision Population Health Research,” “Barriers to Care in the Covid-era,” “Social Determinants of Vision and Health as it Relates to Learning,” “Emerging Telehealth and Artificial Intelligence Policy,” “Improving Vision Health Equity through Workforce Diversity,” “Aging Eye and Vision,” “Innovations in Vision and Eye Health: Highlights from State-level Practices, Systems, and Policies,” “The Importance of the Patient Advocate in Vision Health,” and “Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System: Using National, State, and County-level Prevalence Data.”

During the event, Prevent Blindness formally presented the 2021 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health to R.V. Paul Chan, MD, MSc, MBA, FACS, Professor and Head, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, the John H. Panton, MD Professor of Ophthalmology, Director, Pediatric Retina and ROP Service at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). And, Ms. Shervonne Poleon, Vision Science Graduate Program student, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), was presented with the second annual Rising Visionary Award.

Copies of presentations and webinar recordings are available at

Genentech, Horizon Therapeutics and PhRMA, served as the 10th Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit Platinum Sponsors. Gold sponsors were Alcon, Biogen, Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness, The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, Novartis, Regeneron and the Seva Foundation.

Silver sponsors included Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), American Optometric Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), American Society of Retina Specialists, Bausch+Lomb, BrightFocus Foundation, CooperVision, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, National Industries for the Blind, National Keratoconus Foundation, Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, Research to Prevent Blindness, Santen, School Health, Vision 2020 USA and VisionServe Alliance.

“Over the last ten years, The Focus on Eye Health National Summit has grown to be one of the premier events in the vision and public health industry as well as expanded to reach participants in more than 60 countries across the globe,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We thank our generous sponsors, engaging presenters and moderators, and all of those who attended to help make the 2021 Focus on Eye Health National Summit a great success!”

For more information about the 2021 Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit, please visit