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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 204 2008
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR POSTS WORLD GLAUCOMA DAY WEB PAGE, ANNOUNCES PLANS TO EDUCATE/ADVOCATE ON CAPITOL HILL ON MARCH 6 ABOUT GLAUCOMA INCIDENCE AND NEED FOR INCREASED NEI RESEARCH FUNDING

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) announced that it has posted a section on its Web site at www.eyeresearch.org dedicated to the first-ever World Glaucoma Day, being held on March 6. NAEVR also announced its plans to engage in Capitol Hill education and advocacy on glaucoma during the entire day on March 6. NAEVR is participating in the American Glaucoma Society’s (AGS) Advocacy Day, which includes scheduled appointments in nearly 100 Congressional offices, as well as AGS’s Capitol Hill Briefing and Screening entitled Glaucoma: Awareness and Early Detection Can Prevent Blindness which will feature real-time optic nerve and pressure evaluation of the eye. The event, to be held in Room B-369 of the House Rayburn Office Building from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, is one of more than 300 events being held globally during World Glaucoma Day.

"NAEVR Advocacy Manager David Epstein and I are honored to be joining AGS members in Capitol Hill visits with key Members of Congress to educate about the incidence and economic burden of glaucoma, as well as to advocate for increased vision research funding," said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, who added that the AGS members will use in their advocacy NAEVR’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 position paper urging Congress to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $31 billion and the National Eye Institute (NEI) at $711 million, each reflecting a 6.6 percent increase over FY2008 funding.

Glaucoma, the second leading cause of preventable vision loss in the U.S., is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Every American over the age of 60 is at risk of developing glaucoma, which disproportionately affects minority populations. African Americans have a three times greater risk of developing this disease than white Americans, and it is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in both African Americans and Hispanics.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR’s goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR’s Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.