NAEVR Meets with VSOs to Ensure Support for FY2012 PRMR-Vision Funding
As in past years, the Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Independent Budget has called for increased funding for medical research at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including that into Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related visual dysfunction and vision implants, as well as increased funding for blind rehabilitation. It also recommends sufficient funding for the Peer Reviewed Medical Research-Vision (PRMR-Vision) program within the Department of Defense (DOD) to address combat eye injuries.
Thanks to NAEVR member Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), we have maintained constant contact with the VSOs and Military Service Organizations (MSOs), including a February 18 meeting hosted by the joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the BVA, as well as at a March 2 meeting held in the U.S. Capitol hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 15 Ranking/senior Democrats on key House committees, said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky.
February 18 VSO Meeting:
Joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence Director Colonel Donald Gagliano, M.D. hosts VSO attendees
VCE Deputy Director Mary Lawrence, M.D., Tom Miller and Tom Zampieri, Ph.D. from Blinded Veterans Association, Colonel Gagliano, and AAOs Rebecca Hyder
Rich Cardillo, the Military Sports Program Coordinator at the US Association of Blind Athletes, discussed his program and how it is bringing hope to sight-impaired veterans. He can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org
March 2 Capitol Hill meeting:
Center: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hosted the annual meeting with VSOs and MSOs to address active military and veterans issues, including unemployment, mental health, and oversight of the VA budget. Cong. Tim Walz (D-MN, picture left), a House Veterans Affairs Committee member and highest ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress, sponsored a Dear Colleague letter in support of PRMR-Vision funding in FY2011 appropriations
Attendees included 15 Democratic House Members with Ranking and senior status on committees of jurisdiction, including Armed Forces, Budget, Homeland Security/Intelligence, and Veterans Affairs.
NAEVRs James Jorkasky and Dr. Zampieri in the US Capitol