September 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Report Entitled Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow

September 15, 2016
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
[email protected]


(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released its report entitled Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow, with a goal of transforming vision impairments from common to rare and eliminating correctable and avoidable vision impairments in the United States by year 2030. The 450-page report, developed over the past two years and authored by a 15-member expert panel, provides a detailed assessment of the importance of vision and the need to evaluate, monitor, and protect eye health to reduce vision impairment and achieve better health quality of life and equity for all Americans.

The report includes nine recommendations, including calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, the vision care community, and stakeholders to raise nationwide awareness and take action toward reducing the burden of vision impairment and eye disease. Federal sponsors of the report included the CDC and the National Eye Institute (NEI). NAEVR served as a sponsor, along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, Prevent Blindness, and Research to Prevent Blindness.

Commenting on the report, NAEVR Board President Peter McDonnell, M.D. (Johns Hopkins/Wilmer Eye Institute) said:

“NAEVR commends NASEM for this groundbreaking report that provides a
roadmap, through nine comprehensive recommendations, to raise awareness
about vision and vision loss and to promote and protect the vision health of all Americans. Since the latter serves as NAEVR’s mission, the Alliance was pleased to have been a sponsor and thanks the authors for their dedication to the report’s development over the past two years. On behalf of the vision research community, NAEVR is committed to supporting the recommendations and working with all potential partners in this effort.

As recently reported in JAMA Ophthalmology—based on a 2014 public opinion poll conducted by NAEVR’s educational foundation affiliate the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), Americans across all racial and ethnic lines describe losing vision as potentially having the greatest impact on their day-to-day life. Since vision impairment and eye disease is estimated to cost the nation $717 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars by year 2050, NAEVR and AEVR have been advocating and educating, respectively about the impact of vision loss and welcomes the report’s recommendations to increase this awareness.

As the report was being released at NASEM’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks away NAEVR was hosting 22 emerging vision scientists from across the nation in 50 Capitol Hill visits. These early-stage investigators emphasized to Congress how federal funding can support research to potentially delay or prevent the looming cost and societal burden from vision impairment and eye disease.”

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at