Children's Vision Massachusetts Newsletter
Legislative Update: ACTION NEEDED
Thirteen years ago, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted Chapter 181 of the Acts of 2004 "An Act Relative to Eye Examinations for Children,"  to assure that all children would have the benefit of vision screening and/or eye exam before beginning kindergarten. However, there is no reporting requirement nor surveillance mechanism to measure the law's effectiveness or provide information about the status of children's eye health in the Commonwealth. Data is needed to guide the design and implementation of interventions related to the eye health and vision related school readiness of children across the state.
T he Children's Vision MA Coalition has been engaged in a legislative approach to establish a reporting system for children's vision screening data.  Last session, Rep. Christine Barber sponsored a bill that requested vision screening data, by school, from DPH (H1886).  As a result, it was confirmed that an efficient and effective system for collecting and reporting children's vision screening information does not exist.  This has led to the filing of HD.3109/SD.1517-An Act to establish a children's vision screening registry  by Rep. Barber and Sen. Lewis.  The bill has two parts. Section 1 instructs DPH to create a vision screening registry, similar to the immunization registry, to house data related to children's vision screening results. Section 2 establishes a special commission on children's vision, which will be charged with developing recommendations for improving DPH's registry and overseeing children's vision health in Massachusetts.  Please contact your state representative and state senator (deadline is Feb. 3) and request that they co-sponsor HD.3109/SD.1517.  If they would like to sign on, they should contact the offices of Rep. Barber or Sen. Lewis.

Contact information for your legislators
Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition Talking Points
Questions: Kathy Majzoub
Dana Cohen and Neuromyelitis Optica Awareness Gala
Join Children's Vision MA Coalition member Dana Cohen at the 2nd NMO Awareness Gala on March 25, 2017 at the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental, Boston. This grand, roaring 20s affair will be hosted by The Sumaira Foundation for NMO , a Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for Neuromyelitis Optica. And, Dana will be performing at the event as part of The Blackburn Stompers group!
2017 Joanne Angle Investigator Award: 
A research grant by Prevent Blindness
Deadline : March 6, 2017 at 12pm Eastern
The 2017 Joanne Angle Investigator Award provides funding for research investigating public health related to eye health and safety. Applications will be accepted in the following priority areas in adult vision, children's vision, or eye injury:
  • Burden/economic aspects of eye disease/vision loss on society
  • Best practices to integrate vision screening/follow up care to system care access
  • Vision program effectiveness/evaluation
All research grants need to promote the core mission of Prevent Blindness - preventing blindness and preserving sight. Basic laboratory science research will not be supported under this program. Only applications with investigators and projects based in the United States or Canada will be accepted. Please note preference will be given in 2017 to public health research that relates to AMD and/or glaucoma.   Grants are for a one-year period, up to $25,000, reviewed by a panel of scientists, and commence on July 1, 2017.
For more information, visit: Contact Nita Patel Sinha, Prevent Blindness Director of Public Health at 312-363-6019 or with any questions.
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