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Prevent Blindness Northeast Region
Topsfield Resident Goes to Washington D.C. to Educate Policymakers on the
Importance of Supporting Vision and Eye Health Services
Boston, MA (June 27, 2019) – Danielle Ledoux, MD, of Topsfield, MA, will join Prevent Blindness Northeast Region and Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition, and delegates from across the country for the fourteenth annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” advocacy day on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The event brings together those who have been affected by vision issues, with government representatives and their staff members to discuss the importance of vision programs and funding that save sight.
Dr. Ledoux is a fellowship trained pediatric ophthalmologist practicing since 2006. Specialized Pediatric Eye Care (SPEC), which Dr. Ledoux opened in 2015 with Catherine Johnson OD, is a dedicated practice for the care of children’s eye disease and vision needs, located on the north shore of Massachusetts. SPEC is the first private practice in Massachusetts dedicated exclusively to pediatric ophthalmology and optometry. Dr. Ledoux is also a member of Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition.
Dr. Ledoux also continues to work at Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Ophthalmology, specializing in caring for people with special needs such as those with Down Syndrome. She is an advisor for the National Down Syndrome Society as well as Optineeds, two organizations dedicated to individuals with special needs. People with special needs can be more sensitive to changes in their vision and more difficult to vision test in eye care practices. Along with Dr. Barry Kran at New England College of Optometry, Dr Ledoux educates eye care providers in the care of this population. Her work with the National Down Syndrome Society also helps families advocate for family members who often have vision concerns that may be under-recognized in the health care industry.
“The delivery of eye care to children and adults with special needs is unique as are the vision problems that affect children. As we all know, children are not “little adults” but have developmental needs and obstacles to how we can test them for vision issues. Even within our own healthcare industry, there can be limited understanding to how a vision problem affects a child’s development. Screening for vision problems is an important component to identifying the children who most need our eye care resources. Early identification of vision problems can help ensure treatment of vision disorders for lifelong benefit.” said Dr. Ledoux
According to the recent Prevent Blindness study “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” vision impairments are projected to cost the United States $167 billion in 2019, due in large part to the aging population. Yet, for every $18,600 that vision problems cost the country, only a single dollar is allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) toward their prevention. Annual costs are projected to increase to $717 billion by 2050 without significant investments in vision and eye health.
This year’s Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates will ask elected officials to:
- Invest $5 million in funding for the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative to conduct much-needed surveillance.
- Maintain the CDC’s work in glaucoma prevention and awareness with $4 million.
- Provide $850 million to the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“By providing Dr. Ledoux with the opportunity to share her story directly to policymakers, we can help inform them of the direct impact that vision issues have on their own constituents, and how we can all work together to help save sight” said Paulette Tattersall, Director of Prevent Blindness NE Region, and Co-Chair of Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition.
On Wed., July 17, all Eyes on Capitol Hill delegates will attend the eighth annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
For more information on Eyes on Capitol Hill or Prevent Blindness Northeast Region and its advocacy initiatives, please call (617)-587-5723 or visit www.childrensvisionmassachusetts.org .
About Prevent Blindness Northeast Region and Children’s Vision Massachusetts
Prevent Blindness Northeast Region is part of Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, serving the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screenings, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness
Children’s Vision Massachusetts, supported by Prevent Blindness, is a seventy member coalition of families, professionals from multiple disciplines and affiliations, whose mission is to facilitate the development of a state-wide plan to improve the visual health of children in Massachusetts. To achieve this, the coalition is working to raise awareness and create systems to assure that every child has a vision screening, eye exam, and ongoing treatment if diagnosed with a vision condition.
To join our efforts use #kidsvision #eyehealth #visionandlearning #askaboutvision #cvma4vision #eyesoncapitolhill and spread the word about Children’s Vision Massachusetts. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn