The mission of the National Commission on Vision and Health is to improve the nationís vision health by collaborating with experts in science and health policy to ensure informed analysis and policy recommendations in order to prevent blindness, improve visual function, and eliminate vision health disparities.
Our goal is to assure that access to vision care is integrated into public health policy and programs at the national, state, and local levels.
The Commission will provide authoritative information and advice concerning health policy to decision-makers, health professionals, and the public at large. The work of the Commission will be shared in consensus reports of expert study committees, symposia and convocations engaging multiple stakeholders in debates of national issues, proceedings from conferences and workshops, and "white papers" on policy issues of special interest.
The Commission will review the growing evidence of significant barriers to access eye care by high risk populations and the consequent societal costs of vision impairment. The major forces impacting health care delivery will be explored with an emphasis on how to expand the role of vision care in primary health care, prevention of vision loss, treatment of disease, and rehabilitation of vision conditions. Policy measures will be identified to expand vision care in all levels of health care delivery and related public health collaboration.
There are many health policy issues, which potentially could be addressed by the Commission. Some of those possible issues include: Access to vision care, Aging and Vision, Chronic Disease Management, Childrenís vision, Emergency and Disaster preparedness, Education and Training, Environmental Health, Health Disparities, Health Insurance, Injury Prevention, Nutrition, Obesity, and Tobacco Use.
The Commission is composed of up to 12 members. At least two thirds of the membership is non-optometrists who represent the broadest array of stakeholders and expertise in health care. The non-optometrists currently serving are a dentist, a physician assistant, an ophthalmologist, a state health department chronic disease program specialist, a Medicaid policy specialist and a CDC disabilities specialist. Go to Commission Members for a complete list of members.
Consultants may be added by the Commission Chair within the confines of the Commission budget. Consultantsí appointments vary in length depending on the needs of the program. Consultants may participate in deliberations on policy issues but have no vote. Consultants may come from academic policy organizations such as the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, as well as other research organizations such as Abt Associates, Inc.