Your Vision, Your Health - 2012 Annual Report
A Message from the CEO & Board Chair
We all care about our health. We know, in theory at least, that daily exercise and proper nutrition are essential for living longer and staying healthy. We know that unhealthy behaviors such as smoking can lead to a long list of problems as we grow older. We also know that regular medical check-ups or screenings can help find potentially serious health conditions early while still highly treatable. Despite what we do know, we often have a few blind spots in our understanding of good health.
Each year, Prevent Blindness America reaches out to millions of Americans with news and information about preventing vision loss from eye disease and injury. People are often surprised by one message in particular: taking care of your vision also means taking care of your health.
Now, more than ever, this message bears repeating. As we take care of our health, we also need to think about our eyes and the precious gift of sight. Choices we make for ourselves and our children can have a significant effect on vision for a lifetime. By making sure we and our children wear proper U.V. protection whenever playing or working outside in the sun, we may prevent or delay the onset of cataract later in life. By making sure we wear proper safety eyewear when playing sports, when working with power tools or chemicals or doing yard-work, we can avoid permanent loss of vision from eye injury. By promoting exercise and good nutrition for ourselves and our families, we can help prevent or manage diabetes and avoid vision loss from diabetic eye disease.
As we age, we also need to think about the need for regular professional eye care. Particularly for Americans ages 40 and older, a regular exam by an eye doctor can help detect potentially serious eye conditions before they cause loss of vision. We recognize, however, that in the difficult economic times many Americans have faced, it is often a significant financial challenge for families to make eye care a priority.
Prevent Blindness America has moved ambitiously to confront emerging threats to our vision health. We’ve launched new educational campaigns such as “Live Right, Save Sight!” we’ve expanded advocacy efforts, such as Eyes On Capitol Hill, that increase awareness among legislators in Washington, D.C. of vision care as a public health issue. We’ve advanced the cause of children’s eye health through the meticulous work of our National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. We’ve built successful partnerships with vision care leaders such as VSP and Luxottica to distribute vouchers to families in need for adult and children’s eye care.
And of course, you have made these efforts possible. The support of our many individual donors, corporate sponsors and institutional partners has extended our organizational reach and impacted the lives, and the vision health, of so many families throughout our nation. We thank you for this generous and important commitment to a lifetime of good vision and good health for all Americans.
Hugh R. Parry
President & Chief Executive Officer
James E. Anderson
Chair, Board of Directors