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NAEVR Central, the Vision Research Community’s “Town Hall,” Draws Record Number of Visitors at 2012 ARVO Annual Meeting

NAEVR’s James Jorkasky and David Epstein in front of NAEVR Central
NAEVR’s James Jorkasky and David Epstein in front of NAEVR Central
Prominently situated next to ARVO Central at the entrance to the Exhibit Hall, NAEVR Central at the 2012 ARVO Annual Meeting drew a record number of visitors. In addition to contacting Congress to urge Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding at $32 billion and $730 million, respectively, researchers also visited with representatives of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and the joint DOD/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vision Center of Excellence (VCE). At NAEVR’s May 7 Defense-Related Vision Research Opportunities session, TATRC announced that it has allocated $12.2 million in its FY2011/2012 Vision Research Program (VRP) funding cycle to award to vision researchers, who will be named later this year. NAEVR also released the top-line results of a first-ever study of the costs associated with military eye injury and blindness.

“NAEVR Central continues to serve as the ‘Town Hall’ for vision research issues, including funding advocacy and opportunities, as well as relationship-building,” said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky. “Advocacy can be a little daunting at first, so it is helpful for researchers to meet with NAEVR’s David Epstein or me to learn how they can be effective in expressing their voice about funding. The various programs and acronyms within the DOD can be a little confusing, too, so we help researchers learn more about those funding sources in ‘plain English’. Finally, it also provides an opportunity for those who may only know David and me through emails and phone conversations to meet us in person.”

NAEVR also participated in several meetings held by its member organizations, updating them on the latest on NIH/NEI funding and structure issues, as well as defense vision funding opportunities.

Left to right: ARVO President Jeffrey Boatright, Ph.D. FARVO (Emory University School of Medicine), James Weiland, Ph.D. (Doheny Eye Institute/University of Southern California) and NAEVR’s David Epstein. Dr. Weiland spoke at a March 22 AEVR Congressional Briefing on his DOD-funded research into an assistive device for the blind.
Left to right: ARVO President Jeffrey Boatright, Ph.D. FARVO (Emory University School of Medicine), James Weiland, Ph.D. (Doheny Eye Institute/University of Southern California) and NAEVR’s David Epstein.
Dr. Weiland spoke at a March 22 AEVR Congressional Briefing on his DOD-funded research into an assistive device
for the blind.
Left to right. NAEVR’s James Jorkasky with John Clark, Ph.D. FARVO (University of Washington), an ARVO Trustee.  NAEVR helped Dr. Clark to prepare his vision message for a May 15 Capitol Hill Advocacy Day in which he was representing the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurology Chairpersons, for which he serves as President.
Left to right. NAEVR’s James Jorkasky with John Clark, Ph.D. FARVO (University of Washington), an ARVO Trustee. NAEVR helped Dr. Clark to prepare his vision message for a May 15 Capitol Hill Advocacy Day in which he was representing the Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Neurology Chairpersons, for which he serves as President.
Left to right: Rod Nowakowski, O.D., Ph.D. (University of Alabama at Birmingham Optometry Dean) and NAEVR’s James Jorkasky. Dr. Nowakowski sent a joint letter with UAB Ophthalmology Department Chair Chris Girkin, M.D. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) requesting that he support NIH/NEI and defense vision research funding increases in FY2013 appropriations.
Left to right: Rod Nowakowski, O.D., Ph.D. (University of Alabama at Birmingham Optometry Dean) and NAEVR’s James Jorkasky. Dr. Nowakowski sent a joint letter with UAB Ophthalmology Department Chair Chris Girkin, M.D. to Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) requesting that he support NIH/NEI and defense vision research funding increases in FY2013 appropriations.
NAEVR’s James Jorkasky with Shirley Hamilton (left) and Torrey DeKeyser (right) of the Eye Sight Foundation of Alabama and Dawn DeCarlo, O.D., center, (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
NAEVR’s James Jorkasky with Shirley Hamilton (left) and Torrey DeKeyser (right) of the Eye Sight Foundation of Alabama and Dawn DeCarlo, O.D., center, (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

NAEVR's David Epstein with Erik van Kuijk, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Minnesota Dept. of Ophthalmology Chair)

ARVO Advocacy Committee member James Chodosh, M.D., Ph.D., FARVO (Mass Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School) with NAEVR's James Jorkasky