Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, held the 12th annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Summit as a virtual interactive event on July 12 and 13, 2023. This year’s Summit engaged more than 915 registered attendees from across the globe, and included a variety of presentations related to the theme “Why the Eye?” Participants of the Summit had free access to a variety of national and international expert presentations and discussions; an exhibitor hall with educational materials, videos, and toolkits; and in-platform opportunities for networking and collaboration. Participants were also invited to post throughout the Summit on social media using #EyeSummit.
Day 1 Keynote
Advances in Eyecare and the Impact on the Patient
Neil M. Bressler, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and editor-in-chief of JAMA Ophthalmology, with his presentation, “Advances in Eyecare and the Impact on the Patient.”
Day 2 Keynote
Innovative Mental Health Approaches
Julian Eaton, BSc, MSc, MBBS, MRCPsych, Mental Health Director, CBM Global, Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with his presentation, “Innovative Mental Health Approaches.”
Additional sessions on July 12 included “Making an Impact With the Stories We Tell,” and “Reimagining How We Engage Communities from Identification into Care – Children and Adults.”
Day two of the Summit, July 13, was dedicated to discussions and engagement on mental health and vision impairment. Sessions included the “Forum on the Public Health Connection Between Mental Wellness and Vision,” and “Policy Opportunities and Obstacles Around Vision and Mental Wellness.”
Also during the Summit, the 2023 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health was presented to Dean A. VanNasdale, OD, PhD, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Optometry. The fourth annual Prevent Blindness Rising Visionary Award was presented to Christina Ambrosino, medical student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Platinum Sponsors of the 2023 Focus on Eye Health Summit included the Alliance for Aging Research, Horizon Therapeutics, PhRMA and Seva Foundation. Gold sponsors were Apellis, BIO, BrightFocus Foundation, Center for Vision and Population Health at Prevent Blindness, National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, and Regeneron.
Silver Summit sponsors included Alexion, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society, American Society of Retina Specialists, ARVO, CooperVision, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Janssen, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Mallinckrodt, National Industries for the Blind, National Keratoconus Foundation, Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, REGENXBIO Inc., Research to Prevent Blindness, The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama and VisionServe Alliance.
“Every year, our Focus on Eye Health Summit continues to grow and has become one of the premier events in the public health, and vision and eye health sectors,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We offer a tremendous thank you to our dedicated speakers, enthusiastic participants, and of course, our generous sponsors, for making this event possible.”