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Optometry Community Urges Congress to Finalize FY2011 Appropriations While NAEVR Educates about Defense-related Vision Research Funding Opportunities

Right to left: Earl Smith, III, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O. (Dean, University of Houston College of Optometry) contacts Congress from the NAEVR Central Booth while NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky assists. Dr. Smith, who serves as the President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), also received the Charles F. Prentice Medal Award from the American Academy of Optometry at this year’s meeting.
Right to left: Earl Smith, III, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O. (Dean, University of Houston College of Optometry) contacts Congress from the NAEVR Central Booth while NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky assists. Dr. Smith, who serves as the President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), also received the Charles F. Prentice Medal Award from the American Academy of Optometry at this year’s meeting.
NAEVR had a significant presence at the American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting held during the week of November 15 in San Francisco. The NAEVR Central booth provided an opportunity for attendees to send email letters urging Congress to finalize Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 National Institute of Health (NIH) appropriations at $32 billion, as proposed by the House and Senate in draft bills and in the President’s proposed budget. The meeting attendees’ emails to Congress followed up on late October Capitol Hill visits by members of the Board of Trustees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), who also urged Congress to finalize funding. Congress has yet to finalize any FY2011 appropriations bills, while a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds most agencies at the FY2010 level expires on December 3.

NAEVR Central visitors could also confer with Executive Director James Jorkasky about vision research funding resources, especially those available for defense-related research from the Department of Defense (DOD) through the dedicated Peer Reviewed Medical Research-Vision (PRMR-Vision) line item. Earlier in the week, Jorkasky spoke about these opportunities to representatives of the three branches of the military (Army, Air Force, and Navy) at a meeting of the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS), noting that two optometric researchers received a total of $1.7 million to study the diagnosis and treatment of visual dysfunction associated with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from the $11 million total in awards in the FY2009/2010 cycle of PRMR-Vision funding.

"In addition to speaking at the AFOS meeting, NAEVR was invited to speak to the Optometric Glaucoma Society and to the boards of the various optometric societies and committees about NIH funding and structure challenges, as well as research opportunities,” said Jorkasky.

NAEVR Central also served as a Town Hall for information about research resources. Joining James Jorkasky is former National Eye Institute (NEI) staff member and consultant Israel Goldberg, Ph.D. (left) and NEI-funded researcher Mark Bullimore, MCOptom, Ph.D., F.A.A.O. (The Ohio State University, right).
NAEVR Central also served as a "Town Hall" for information about research resources. Joining James Jorkasky is former National Eye Institute (NEI) staff member and consultant Israel Goldberg, Ph.D. (left) and NEI-funded researcher Mark Bullimore, MCOptom, Ph.D., F.A.A.O. (The Ohio State University, right).
Left to right: James Jorkasky with Francis McVeigh, O.D., F.A.A.O., a member of the DOD’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) that manages the PRMR-Vision line item, and Colonel T.J. Lantz, O.D., F.A.A.O., Optometry Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General
Left to right: James Jorkasky with Francis McVeigh, O.D., F.A.A.O., a member of the DOD’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) that manages the PRMR-Vision line item, and Colonel T.J. Lantz, O.D., F.A.A.O., Optometry Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General
Left to right:  James Jorkasky with Captain Michael Pattison, M.S.C., Specialty Leader for Navy Optometry, U.S. Navy
Left to right: James Jorkasky with Captain Michael Pattison, M.S.C., Specialty Leader for Navy Optometry, U.S. Navy
Left to right: Colonel Ray Santullo, O.D., Optometry Consultant to the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, with James Jorkasky
Left to right: Colonel Ray Santullo, O.D., Optometry Consultant to the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, with James Jorkasky