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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2004
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

Noted Glaucoma Specialist to Speak at September 8 AEVR Briefing on "Vision Health Disparities Research"

(Washington, DC) Today, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) announced that Mildred Olivier, M.D., F.A.C.S. , will join Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., the Principal Investigator (PI) on the recently released Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES), as a featured speaker at a Capitol Hill Briefing entitled Vision Health Disparities Research, to be held Wednesday, September 8, 2004, from 12 Noon -1:15 pm in Rayburn House Office Building Room B-369.

Dr. Olivier will report on the recently released National Eye Institute (NEI) study on the use of pressure reducing drops to delay or prevent glaucoma in African Americans, who are three times more likely to develop glaucoma than Whites. Dr. Olivier will also address NEI's efforts to educate affected populations about its vision health disparities research.

Dr. Olivier, a nationally noted glaucoma specialist, is President and CEO of the Midwest Glaucoma Center, PC, which serves patients in Chicago and its suburbs. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Olympia Fields Osteopathic Medical Center and Cook County Hospital, and serves on the National Advisory Eye Council.

Dr. Olivier joins Dr. Rohit Varma, Principal Investigator of the LALES study, which is the largest, most comprehensive epidemiological analysis of visual impairment in Latinos conducted in the United States. The full results of this study, released on August 9 (and published in the June, July, and August 2004 issues of the journal Ophthalmology ), show that Latinos had high rates of open-angle glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, an eye complication of diabetes. Dr. Varma serves as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine's Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California.

Both the Ocular Hypertension Study and the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study were funded by the NEI , the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHHD), and Research to Prevent Blindness.

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Congress and the public about the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research. AEVR is the first organization of its kind to bring together stakeholders in the research community-including ophthalmic and optometric professionals, consumer advocates, and manufacturers-to speak with a unified voice about the economic and societal value of eye and vision research. Visit AEVR's Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.