Children's Vision Massachusetts Newsletter
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE  
2017 Children's Vision Advocacy Day at the State House

Picture1: Participants Group Picture
Picture 2: CVMA Co-Chairs Jean Ramsey, MD, MPH; Bruce Moore, OD; Kathy Majzoub, RN, MBA

The Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition's 2017 Children's Vision Advocacy Day was held on October 18 at the Grand Staircase and Great Hall of Flags, Massachusetts State House. Over 150 people attended the event with 50 advocates making afternoon visits to 55 legislators and legislative staff.  By sharing personal stories and professional expertise, the advocates sent a strong message regarding the Coalition's lead ask, H3224/S1219 to establish a children's vision screening registry and special commission to study childhood vision and eye health, the next step to a comprehensive, universal, statewide, Children's Vision Health Program.  

 
Picture 1: Danielle Ledoux, MD
Picture 2: Representative Christine Barber and Priscilla Kelangi, with children and faculty from the Mario Umana Academy 
Picture 3: Senate President Stan Rosenberg 

The day's success is a reflection of the many groups and individuals who came together to share ideas, introductions, talents, and time, beginning last summer with the Advocacy Day Planning Committee.  Student and staff volunteers from Boston University, New England College of Optometry, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, and Boston University School of Medicine, helped before, during and after the event.  Lisa Levin, elementary educator from the Mario Umana Academy, East Boston, and 27 students (all wearing their eyeglasses) were an inspiring example of the coalition's vision that all children have the opportunity to develop and retain their best possible vision.  Senate President Rosenberg and Representative Christine Barber provided remarks of welcome and support, and parent John Stamatopoulos shared his experience with vision care and the impact that access to children's vision screening, eye exams, treatment and ongoing follow-up, has had on his family.  Danielle Ledoux, MD moderated the Speakers' Program and other members of the coalition participated as speakers, briefed advocates, and served as Visit Leaders.  Many thanks to the coalition partners who participated as exhibitors and to our sponsors for their financial support.  
 
Several weeks ago, the House voted to override the Governor's veto of amendment 135, to establish a special commission on childhood vision and eye health (section 2 of H3224/S1219).   The Senate has not taken up a vote on the Governor's veto. 

Please click CLICK HERE to view the pictures from 2017 Children's Vision Advocacy Day.

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