Lighthouse International, Joined by 9 Other Co-Sponsors, to Hold Congressional Briefing on Diabetes and Vision Loss

Lighthouse International, the 106 year-old leading nonprofit organization fighting vision loss, and nine major nonprofit organizations will hold an important Congressional Briefing on the link between diabetes and vision loss on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 from 12 to 2 p.m. at Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-339. This briefing will focus on the growing number of people with diabetes and vision loss and the ramifications such projected growth will have on public health policy.

Mark G. Ackermann, President and CEO of Lighthouse International will be the presenter and the featured speaker will be Neil Bressler, MD, The James P. Gills Professor of Ophthalmology, Chief - Retina Division, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital. According to Mr. Ackermann, “More than 25 million Americans have diabetes and the numbers are increasing. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in the United States among adults age 20 to 74.” Low vision and vision rehabilitation services are vital to the increased health, independence and safety of people with vision loss. By increasing medicine compliance and early access to vision rehabilitation some of the major complications of uncontrolled diabetes can be prevented.

Co-sponsors of this annual event are: Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Diabetes Association, American Foundation for the Blind, American Optometric Association, American Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Prevent Blindness America, The Vision Council and VisionServe Alliance. Lunch will be served at this well attended event.

To RSVP contact Dina Beaumont at

This briefing is the first of three Congressional Briefings the vision community will hold on Capitol Hill over the next six weeks in an effort to educate Members of Congress on vision related issues. On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, as part of AMD Awareness Week, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research will host a briefing on Lifestyle and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) at 12 Noon -1:15 pm, House Rayburn B-340. On Thursday, October 13, 2011, Vision 2020 will host a briefing on Cost-Effectiveness of Blindness Prevention Activities Vision 2020, 12 Noon – 1:15 pm, House Rayburn B-340.

Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. It achieves this through clinical and rehabilitation services, education, research and advocacy. For more information about vision loss and its causes, contact Lighthouse International at 1-800-829-0500 or visit



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