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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2011
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

VSO INDEPENDENT BUDGET CALLS FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH, INCLUDING DOD PEER-REVIEWED MEDICAL RESEARCH-VISION PROGRAM

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 edition of The Independent Budget, an annual set of recommendations to Congress regarding Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding, has called for increased funding for medical research at the VA, including projects that address Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and ‘damage to the eye’. Data from the VA indicates that upwards of 75 percent of all TBI patients experience short- or long-term visual dysfunction. It also urges increased funding for research into advanced technologies for sensory aids, including vision implants, and increased funding for VA Blind Rehabilitation Service (BRS).

The 25th annual edition of the Independent Budget—which is developed by AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and supported by 57 other Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) and Military Service Organizations (MSOs)—recommends that Congress provide sufficient funding for the Department of Defense (DOD)’s Peer-Reviewed Medical Research-Vision (PRMR-Vision) research program to address combat eye injuries. NAEVR, which has requested PRMR-Vision funding at $10 million in FY2012, has received support from many VSOs for this dedicated funding for extramural research into immediate battlefield needs. In the combined FY2009/2010 PRMR-Vision funding cycle, the DOD awarded 12 vision researchers a total of $11 million.

“Thanks to NAEVR member Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), we have maintained constant contact with the VSOs and MSOs, including a February 18 meeting hosted by the joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE), BVA, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association, as well as at a March 2 meeting held in the U.S. Capitol and hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 15 other Ranking Democrats on key House committees,” said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.